2 min

Coppers win

Naked parties are canned

TEMPORARY INJUNCTION? TNT man Peter Simm is both naked and regal in a lawyerly kind of way. Credit: Jan Becker

There will be no more naked parties at the Barn following police threats.

“They say to us they will charge us again,” says Janko Naglic, owner of the Barn, which has hosted the monthly Naked Nights for years. “I just don’t want to have a hassle. This is costing me a fortune. Lawyers cost a lot, they charge $200 to $300 an hour.”

The Barn is already up on a single disorderly conduct charge under the Liquor Licence Act for the March nude dance sponsored by Totally Naked Toronto Men Enjoying Nudity. The case is likely to be heard in September.

Supt Aidan Maher, head of 52 Division, says the Barn is now facing a second disorderly conduct charge because of the April TNT MEN party, which went ahead after Maher negotiated a deal with a lawyer at the Alcohol And Gaming Commission Of Ontario in which the bar rented itself out for a private party and sold tickets off-site.

That deal is off. “At a later date, [the lawyer] said he could not condone this, and he did some backtracking,” says Maher. “That’s why [the second charge] was laid.”

Alcohol commission lawyer Richard Kulis says he can’t talk to the media about “any type of negotiations that may have happened,” but admits that “everybody’s got my phone number.”

He does say he hadn’t heard of a second charge being laid.

“I can’t say whether this type of activity [nudity in conjunction with a liquor licence] is approved or not approved. I hadn’t heard whether or not there was a resolution to it.”

Maher also says the Crown attorney’s office is in favour of charges, though he didn’t have a specific Crown’s name with whom the issue had been discussed.

TNT MEN is being as defiant as it can. The regularly scheduled May party was canceled, but the Sat, Jun 24 “Show Your Pride” event is back on, as a “nearly naked dance,” says TNT MEN spokesperson and lawyer Peter Simm. “Men will have to wear underwear or skirts or kilts so that their genitals aren’t exposed.”

The Barn already hosts Sunday underwear parties, and owner Naglic says he knows those are legal.

Simm also says he has looked into getting a temporary injunction against police. The TNT board has yet to decide whether to go ahead with that plan.

Simm argues that his study of case law clearly shows that nudity should not be prohibited in a licensed establishment, and that the naked focus is misguided. He’s found an Alberta Court Of Queen’s Bench ruling that, he says, will back up the group if it decides to apply for damages once the charge is beaten.

The case revolves on a Calgary limousine company repeatedly harassed under taxi by-laws that simply didn’t apply to his business. When the decision finally came down (in 1993), the judge wrote: “The inspectors were seeking to stop the plaintiff from operating its business before the validity of the charges had been determined. This, I do not believe is compatible with the proper exercise of the authority given them. It is a court that determines whether certain actions are unlawful and, if so, what punishment should be imposed.

“The actions of the inspectors… were, I believe, arrogant and an abuse of their authority.”