Questions about eCode360? Municipal users Join us Monday through Wednesday between 12pm and 1pm EDT to get answers and other tips!
City of Dover, NH
Strafford County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Dover as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 11-13-2013 by Ord. No. 2013.10.09-013 as Ch. 56 of the 2013 Code.]
[Amended 2-12-2020 by Ord. No. 2020.01.08-001]
The purpose of this article is to regulate the display of adult books, magazines and videos for the purpose of sale/rental by placing them out of view of minors.
The following are definitions of terms as used in this article:
ADULT BOOK, MAGAZINE OR VIDEO
Any book, pamphlet, magazine, video, printed matter or electronic media, however reproduced, which contains any matter enumerated in RSA 571-B:2, I(a), or explicit and detailed verbal descriptions or narrative accounts of sexual conduct and which, taken as a whole, is harmful to minors.
[Amended 2-12-2020 by Ord. No. 2020.01.08-001]
HARMFUL TO MINORS
That quality of any description or representation in whatever form of sexual conduct when it:
A. 
Predominantly appeals to the prurient interest of minors in sex, that is, an interest in lewdness or lascivious thoughts;
B. 
Depicts or describes sexual conduct in a manner so explicit as to be patently offensive to contemporary adult standards in the community with respect to what is suitable material for minors; and
C. 
Lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.
KNOWINGLY
Having general knowledge of or reason to know or a belief or ground for belief which warrants further inspection or inquiry, or both, as to the character and content of any material described herein which is reasonably susceptible to examination by the defendant.
MINOR
Any person under the age of 18 years.
SEXUAL CONDUCT
Human masturbation, sexual intercourse, actual or simulated, normal or perverted, or any touching of the genitals, pubic areas or buttocks of the human male or female or the breasts of the female, whether alone or between members of the same or opposite sex or between humans and animals, any depiction or representation of excretory functions, any lewd exhibitions of the genitals, flagellation or torture in the context of a sexual relationship. Sexual intercourse is simulated when it depicts sexual intercourse which gives the appearance of the consummation of sexual intercourse, normal or perverted.
Any person, firm or corporation knowingly offering for sale adult books and/or magazines shall display them on shelves, book racks or other display devices at a height of no less than 60 inches from the floor level immediately in front of the display racks or shelves or, in the absence of shelves or book racks, having a minimum shelf height of 60 inches; adult books and magazines shall be displayed on shelves behind the operator or the sales register or checkout counter, and any adult book or magazine cover thereof containing pictures, photographs or drawings of a person or portion of the human body, which depicts sexual conduct and which, taken as a whole, is harmful to minors, shall not be open to public view.
A. 
Applicability. The following section shall apply to any video store or other premises selling/renting adult videos, or adult magazines, where the video cover or magazine cover depicting the adult material as defined in RSA 571-B:2, I(a), is in open view or exposed in any part of the store where minors are present on the premises.
(1) 
Any video rental store renting adult videos as defined above shall be required to obtain a license and pay an annual fee as provided in the City Fee Schedule. The license application shall be in accordance with § 41-4B.
[Amended 2-12-2020 by Ord. No. 2020.01.08-001]
(2) 
All adult sexual material as defined above shall be kept in an enclosed room with a sign prohibiting minors. All such rooms shall not exceed 15% of floor space and shall be monitored and under the control of the store in a manner to prevent minors from gaining access to the room.
(3) 
Any store which sells/rents adult videos/magazines as defined above shall not display advertising signs/posters or other visual material depicting adult sales on the premises.
B. 
License required.
[Amended 2-12-2020 by Ord. No. 2020.01.08-001]
(1) 
An application for a license must be made on a form provided by the Dover Licensing Board. The application must be accompanied by a sketch or diagram showing the configuration of the premises, including a statement of total floor space occupied by the business. The sketch or diagram need not be professionally prepared but must be drawn to a designated scale or drawn with marked dimensions of the interior of the premises to an accuracy of plus or minus six inches.
(2) 
The applicant must be qualified according to the provisions of this article and the premises must be inspected and found to be in compliance with the law by the Building Official.
(3) 
The Dover Licensing Board shall approve the issuance of a license to an applicant within 30 days after receipt of an application unless it finds one or more of the following to be true:
(a) 
An applicant is under 21 years of age.
(b) 
An applicant has failed to provide information reasonably necessary for issuance of the license or has falsely answered a question or request for information on the application form.
(c) 
The premises to be used for the business has not been approved by the Building Official as being in compliance with applicable laws and ordinances.
(d) 
The license fee required by this article has not been paid.
(e) 
An applicant of the proposed establishment is in violation of or is not in compliance with any of the provisions of this article.
(f) 
The applicant has been convicted of an offense under RSA 632-a.
(4) 
Fees. The annual fee for an adult bookstore/video store business license is provided in the City Fee Schedule.
(5) 
Expiration.
(a) 
Each license shall expire one year from the date of issuance and may be renewed only by making application as provided in this section. Application for renewal should be made at least 30 days before the expiration date, and when made less than 30 days before the expiration date, the expiration of the license will not be affected.
(b) 
When the Dover Licensing Board denies renewal of a license, the applicant shall not be issued a license for one year from the date of denial. If, subsequent to denial, the Dover Licensing Board finds that the basis for denial of the renewal license has been corrected or abated, the applicant may be granted a license if at least 90 days have elapsed since the date denial became final.
(6) 
Suspension. The Dover Licensing Board shall suspend a license for a period not to exceed 30 days if it determines that a licensee or an employee of a licensee has violated or is not in compliance with any section of this article.
(7) 
Revocation.
(a) 
The Dover Licensing Board shall revoke a license if a cause of suspension in § 41-4B(6) occurs and the license has been suspended within the preceding 12 months.
(b) 
The Dover Licensing Board shall revoke a license if it determines that:
[1] 
A licensee gave false or misleading information in the material submitted to the Licensing Board during the application process.
[2] 
A licensee or an employee has knowingly allowed possession, use, or sale of controlled substances on the premises.
[3] 
A licensee or an employee has knowingly allowed minors to access the enclosed area on more than one occasion.
[4] 
A licensee or an employee has knowingly operated the sexually oriented business during a period of time when the licensee's license was suspended.
[5] 
A licensee or an employee has knowingly allowed any act of sexual intercourse, sodomy, oral copulation, masturbation, or other sexual conduct to occur in or on the licensed premises.
(c) 
When the Dover Licensing Board revokes a license, the revocation shall continue for one year, and the licensee shall not be issued a sexually oriented business license for one year from the date revocation became effective. If, subsequent to revocation, the Dover Licensing Board finds that the basis for the revocation has been corrected or abated, the applicant may be granted a license if at least 90 days have elapsed since the date the revocation became effective.
(d) 
After denial of an application, or denial of a renewal of an application, or suspension or revocation of a license, the applicant or licensee may seek prompt judicial review of such administrative action in any court of competent jurisdiction. The administrative action shall be promptly reviewed by the court.
(8) 
Transfer of license. A licensee shall not transfer his license to another, nor shall a licensee operate a sexually oriented business under the authority of a license at any place other than the address designated in the application.
[Amended 2-12-2020 by Ord. No. 2020.01.08-001]
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to knowingly display any adult book, magazine or video in a manner inconsistent with the provisions of § 41-3 of this article. In any enforcement action in any provision of this article, it shall not be necessary for the City to negate any exception, excuse, proviso, or exemption contained herein, and the burden of proof of any exception, excuse, proviso, or exemption shall be on the defendant. Any section of this article which does not specifically address or permit the display requirements as set forth by §§ 41-1 through 41-4 would require a two-thirds vote of approval by the City Council prior to an issuance of a license.
[Amended 2-12-2020 by Ord. No. 2020.01.08-001]
Any person, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of this article shall be guilty of a violation and subject to a fine as provided in the City Fine Schedule, no portion of which may be suspended. The store's license shall be subject to suspension for the first offense and revocation for a subsequent conviction.
If any section, subsection, or clause of this article shall be deemed to be unconstitutional or otherwise invalid, the validity of the remaining sections, subsections, and clauses shall not be affected thereby.
[Adopted 11-13-2013 by Ord. No. 2013.10.09-013 as Ch. 132 of the 2013 Code.]
It is declared to be the purpose and intent of this article to prohibit any commercial enterprise from presenting or engaging in any obscene exhibitions for profit, to protect the public health, safety, welfare and morals of the community, to promote the stability of property values, and impose restrictions upon those activities which increase crime and violence and are contrary to the morals of the community. In recognition of the protections afforded to the citizens under the First and Fourteenth Amendments, it is not the intent of this article to inhibit freedom of speech or the press, rather to protect the public order recognizing that those parts of a community which become centers of immoral conduct frequently become places of rowdiness, criminality, and indecent behavior.
It is unlawful for any person or commercial enterprise to engage in, solicit, permit, promote or assist in any commercial enterprise for an obscene exhibition.
As used in this article, the following terms mean:
COMMERCIAL ENTERPRISE
Any business, corporation, association or natural person established for pecuniary gain other than a theater.
ENGAGE IN
To solicit, produce, direct, finance, physically participate in, compensate others for, further the interest of, or be otherwise involved with the proscribed conduct.
EXHIBITION
Any aural, visual or tactile performance, dramatization, show or display which includes any amount of human, animal or animated conduct, whether presented live or by way of mechanical reproduction, sound recording, audio-visual cassette or tape, silhouette depiction or by any other means.
OBSCENE
Any conduct of a sexual nature which:
A. 
To the average individual applying contemporary community standards, considered as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest;
B. 
Presents in a patently offensive manner actual or simulated ultimate sexual acts, sodomy, bestiality, excretory functions, masturbation, direct physical stimulation of unclothed genitals, flagellation or torture in context of ultimate sexual acts, exhibition of the human male or female genitals, pubic area, buttocks or the female breast below the top of the nipple; and
C. 
Considered as a whole lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.
PRESENT
To show, reveal, display or expose to any person.
A. 
Any building or hall designed primarily for showing motion pictures, having a permanent movie screen and permanently fixed seats arranged in such fashion as to allow spectators an unobstructed view of the screen.
B. 
An open-air theater designed primarily for showing motion pictures, having a permanent movie screen and permanent devices for broadcasting movie soundtracks in motor vehicles.
C. 
Any playhouse, hall, or similar structure designed primarily for legitimate artistic expression.
[Amended 2-12-2020 by Ord. No. 2020.01.08-001]
Any person, firm or corporation violating any provision of this article shall be fined as provided in the City Fine Schedule. A separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues.