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Federal judge won’t stop Columbia from closing shop

COLUMBIA (AP) — A federal judge has refused to stop the city of Columbia from closing an adult store.

U.S. District Judge Terry Wooten has refused to block the city’s efforts to close the sex shop Taboo, The State newspaper reported.

Wooten said he does not think owner Jeffrey White will succeed in his lawsuit to force the city to allow the store to remain open permanently.

The judge rejected White’s contention that he would suffer “irreparable harm” without the injunction against the city.

City officials would not say if they will move more quickly to close the store.

White’s attorney, Tommy Goldstein, says he will ask Wooten to reconsider his decision. Otherwise, the request for an injunction could be sent to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va.

Wooten set the trial on White’s lawsuit against the city for early next year. White’s lawsuit challenges the city’s authority to force the store to move to a new location.

Goldstein said he hopes Columbia “will let judicial process run its course” and will not try to close the store before the trial.

“It would be regrettable if they came in and started arresting people and all that kind of stuff,” Goldstein said. “I don’t think anyone in the city has been harmed by this operation.”

City officials have said there are other places where the store would be allowed to operate.

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