DETROIT — A couple has filed a federal lawsuit against a southern Michigan township for preventing the launch of their swingers club.
Kent and Angie Tyler’s lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit last week alleges Summit Township officials have used legal barriers to stop their business from opening, the Detroit Free Press reported . The couple describes the proposed spot as a “private membership adult couples social club.”
Township officials wrote a letter to the Tylers saying their business doesn’t meet the community’s definition of a club or lodge. The Board of Trustees is unanimously against the proposed business, said Trustee Bob DuBois.
“Our building inspector told us, ‘You don’t want this.’ We found out it was going to be a place for males and females to meet each other, and they’d have rooms where I guess they’d make a night of it, and we don’t want any part of that,” said DuBois, 79, a retired school superintendent.
Sex wouldn’t have been allowed at the club, said Fred Lucas, the couple’s lawyer. The club would’ve been a place for adults to mingle, he said. The couple argued against being labeled a swingers club because plans called for members to be shuttled to and from area hotels, according to the Jackson Citizen Patriot .
But the Michigan Court of Appeals deemed the swingers club designation appropriate.
The Tylers spent about $100,000 to buy a vacant commercial building in 2014 and another $140,000 in improvements. The township then issued a stop-work order in March 2015 and withdrew permits that had previously been issued, Lucas said.
The Tylers decided to seek monetary damages in district court after losing at township hearings and in other courts.
The township has already spent about $80,000 in attorney’s fees to block the club’s opening, DuBois said.
Information from: Detroit Free Press, http://www.freep.com