Edge v City of Everett

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Edge v City of Everett
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   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 COMPLAINT - 1 [2:17-cv-01361] N EWMAN D U W ORS LLP   2101 Fourth Avenue, Suite 1500 Seattle, Washington 98121 (206) 274-2800 Plaintiffs Jovanna Edge, Leah Humphrey, Liberty Ziska, Amelia Powell, Natalie Bjerke, Brittany Giazzi, Juanita Castaneda Guerrero, and Matteson Hernandez (together, the “  Baristas  ”) allege for their complaint against the Defendant, the City of Everett (the “ City ”), on personal knowledge as to their own activities and on information and belief as to the activities of others, as follows: UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON  JOVANNA EDGE, an individual; LEAH HUMPHREY, an individual; LIBERTY ZISKA, an individual; AMELIA POWELL, an individual; NATALIE BJERKE, an individual; BRITTANY GIAZZI, an individual;  JUANITA CASTANEDA GUERRERO, an individual; and MATTESON HERNANDEZ, an individual, Plaintiffs, v. CITY OF EVERETT, a Washington Municipal Corporation, Defendant. Case No. 2:17-cv-01361 COMPLAINT Case 2:17-cv-01361 Document 1 Filed 09/11/17 Page 1 of 23   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 COMPLAINT - 2 [2:17-cv-01361] N EWMAN D U W ORS LLP   2101 Fourth Avenue, Suite 1500 Seattle, Washington 98121 (206) 274-2800 NATURE OF THE CASE This action challenges the constitutionality of two new City of Everett ordinances. The first ordinance (No. 3559-17) (the “ Citywide Ordinance  ”) is a citywide restriction that prohibits women from exposing “more than one-half of the part of the female breast located below the top of the areola” and the “bottom one-half of the anal cleft.” A woman displaying more than 25% of her breast area or the lower half of her anal cleft is a criminal—facing up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine. Anyone who “permits, encourages, or causes to be committed” the wearing of a bikini that violates the law is also now a criminal under Everett law. To properly enforce the Citywide Ordinance, police must first determine the location of the “top of the areola,” which is only revealed when a woman exposes her breast. Next, the suspect woman must undergo a humiliating and intrusive examination so the officer can calculate whether her clothing choice exposes more than the law allows. If police suspect a violation, officers may view, evaluate, and take measurements from a woman’s breast areola or anal cleft. It is unlikely that most citizens would be able to determine the location of their anal cleft, as it is not a term used in everyday speech and has varying definitions on the internet. The second ordinance (No. 3560-17) (the “  Dress-Code Ordinance  ”) is a dress code that applies to drive-through coffee stands. It requires workers to cover completely their upper and lower body, including the pectorals, stomach, back below the shoulder blades, and the “top three inches of legs below the buttocks.” The length of a common woman’s shirt is often short enough that stretching or bending would reveal part of her back or stomach. Wearing that attire expressly violates the Dress-Code Ordinance. The plaintiff Baristas earn their living working at bikini-barista stands. They wear bikinis while serving coffee to customers in their cars through a drive-through window. They express messages of freedom, openness, acceptance, empowerment, and individuality. By exposing who they are as people through tattoos, scars, and the bikinis that they choose to wear, the Baristas exchange conversations with customers about life experiences, personal choices, and other topics that would not otherwise occur. The Baristas cannot express these messages and prompt these discussions without the unique expression that wearing a bikini provides. Case 2:17-cv-01361 Document 1 Filed 09/11/17 Page 2 of 23   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 COMPLAINT - 3 [2:17-cv-01361] N EWMAN D U W ORS LLP   2101 Fourth Avenue, Suite 1500 Seattle, Washington 98121 (206) 274-2800 The two new Everett ordinances violate the Baristas’ First Amendment rights under the United States Constitution to express themselves in their choice of dress. The ordinances also violate the Fourteenth Amendment right to privacy, personal autonomy, and liberty. The ordinances violate substantive due-process because they are not rationally related to preventing crime. And they are unconstitutionally vague because Everett citizens cannot tell which clothing is acceptable and which is criminal. The Baristas seek a judicial declaration that both ordinances are unconstitutional, and injunctive relief preventing enforcement.  JURISDICTION AND VENUE This Court has subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and 1367(a) because claims alleged in this complaint arise under the laws of the United States and the United States Constitution. This Court has personal jurisdiction over the City of Everett because it is located, and enacted the challenged ordinances, in the State of Washington. Venue is proper under 28 U.S.C. § 1391 (b)(1)-(2) because the City of Everett is located, and committed the acts and omissions at issue, within the portion of the State of Washington that this Court serves. The Seattle division of this Court is proper because it serves Snohomish County where the City of Everett is located and where the plaintiffs earn their living. PARTIES Plaintiff Jovanna Edge is an individual and resident of Monroe, Washington. Edge owns and operates a chain of drive-up coffee businesses, and specifically bikini-barista stands, in Everett, Washington. Plaintiff Leah Humphrey is an individual and resident of Fall City, Washington. Humphrey earns her living as a bikini barista in Everett, Washington. Plaintiff Liberty Ziska is an individual and resident of Mukilteo, Washington. Ziska earns her living as a bikini barista in Everett, Washington. Case 2:17-cv-01361 Document 1 Filed 09/11/17 Page 3 of 23   1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 COMPLAINT - 4 [2:17-cv-01361] N EWMAN D U W ORS LLP   2101 Fourth Avenue, Suite 1500 Seattle, Washington 98121 (206) 274-2800 Plaintiff Amelia Powell is an individual and resident of Seattle, Washington. Powell earns her living as a bikini barista in Everett, Washington. She is also a student at a prominent four-year university in the Seattle area. She is pursuing a double major in international relations and political science. She expects to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in 2018. Plaintiff Natalie Bjerke is an individual and resident of Snohomish, Washington. Bjerke earns her living as a bikini barista in Everett, Washington. Plaintiff Brittany Giazzi is an individual and resident of Kirkland, Washington. Giazzi earns her living as a bikini barista in Everett, Washington. Plaintiff Juanita Castaneda Guerrero is an individual and resident of Bothell, Washington. Guerrero earns her living as a bikini barista in Everett, Washington. Plaintiff Matteson Hernandez is an individual and resident of Everett, Washington. Hernandez earns her living as a bikini barista in Everett, Washington. She is also employed as a dental assistant. The “  Baristas  ” as used in this complaint means all plaintiffs. Defendant City of Everett (the “ City ”) is a Washington municipal corporation located within the area of the State of Washington that this Court serves. FACTS A.   The Baristas earn a living serving coffee while wearing bikinis. A drive-through coffee stand is a business that sells coffee drinks, non-alcoholic beverages, and food items to customers who never leave their cars. A bikini-barista stand is like any other drive-through coffee stand, except the employees—all women—are dressed in bikinis. No men have ever worked as bikini baristas. Women who work at bikini-barista stands include students, single mothers, and women who depend upon the job to earn a living. Many women who work at bikini-barista stands earn money they otherwise could not, due to lack of higher education, experience, or opportunity. These women rely on the flexible schedule to accommodate school and childcare. Case 2:17-cv-01361 Document 1 Filed 09/11/17 Page 4 of 23
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