Mayfair House, a specialty clothing and accessory store, filed a lawsuit in federal court Wednesday against the City of West Hollywood seeking to have the city’s fur ban declared unconstitutional and void, according to a statement from the store’s law firm.
The 18 page, five-count complaint asks the court to permanently order WeHo to stop enforcement of the ban.
“The ordinance is an ill-considered and illegal law that is harmful to the city, its consumer citizens and business residents,” said Johanna Judah, owner of Mayfair House at 8844 Beverly Ave. near Robertson. “It was passed by city councilmen who have the political support of national animal rights activist groups who wish to impose their will over others despite the unconstitutional nature of the ordinance.”
Michael O’Connor, a lawyer in the L.A. office of Kelley Drye and Warren, which filed the complaint on behalf of Mayfair House, said, “It is crystal clear that California’s constitution grants the state legislature the only authority to enact legislation relating to the protection of wildlife, including the exclusive power to pass laws regulating the market for products of wildlife, such as fur.”
Last week, industry group Fur Information Council of America (FICA) also said it planned to file a complaint in an effort to block enforcement of the ban, which was passed by the West Hollywood City Council in 2011 and took effect Saturday, Sept. 21.
FICA Executive Director Keith Kaplan said that the agency has received calls from local retailers who have questions about the ban, which he called “ill-conceived and lacking appropriate research.”
“We support Mayfair House’s determination to have the ordinance overturned and to protect the rights of businesses and consumers,” Kaplan said in a statement. “We too are committed to the overturning of the ordinance and will support any and all efforts by injured parties. Animal activist groups and their followers cannot be allowed to foist their radical ideas on the rest of society.”
West Hollywood has 21 days to file its response to the complaint, according to the law firm.