A twice-raided magazine and video shop has filed a federal lawsuit accusing Salt Lake police and prosecutors of violating its constitutional rights.
Bob's Magazine Corner, 360 S. State, said police seized hundreds of videos with no legal finding that they were obscene and without prop-er search warrants.Filed in U.S. District Court by free speech attorney Jerome H. Mooney, the lawsuit asks the court to bar any criminal prosecution of Bob's and seeks $1.1 million in dam-ages.
Named as defendants are Salt Lake County District Attorney Neal Gunnarson, Salt Lake police detective Todd C. Mitchell and 10 "John Does."
Police first raided Bob's on Aug. 9, 1997. According to the lawsuit, the search warrant identified no specific item or material, but rather directed police to seize videos "which relate to the manufacturing, distribution and/or possession with intent to distribute pornographic materials."
Armed with that warrant, police took between 1,200 and 1,500 video tapes and other materials. All but 250 tapes were later returned, and no charges have been filed.
On March 12, police returned with a new search warrant and seized another 250 videos plus cash from the register and the clerk's wallet.
The lawsuit said the tapes at Bob's "include a wide range of expressive materials, all of which are presumed to be lawful but some of which defendants find personally offensive."
None of the material has been ruled obscene by any court or otherwise prohibited from distribution, the lawsuit said.