1024 Peachtree Corp. v. Slaton

Decision Date07 October 1971
Docket NumberNo. 26612,26612
Citation228 Ga. 102,184 S.E.2d 144
Parties1024 PEACHTREE CORPORATION, d/b/a Metro Theatre, et al. v. Lewis R. SLATON, District Attorney, et al.
CourtGeorgia Supreme Court

Syllabus by the Court

1. The trial judge's ruling that there is probable cause to believe the motion picture 'Sandra-The Making of a Woman' is obscene is amply supported by the evidence.

2. The procedure employed in the adversary hearing, resulting in a preliminary injunction against exhibiting the film, was proper and violated no rights guaranteed

appellants by the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Federal Constitution.

3. Appellants' additional enumerations of error are without merit.

Heiskell, Donelson, Adams, Williams & Wall, Frierson M. Graves, Jr., Memphis, Tenn., for appellants.

Hinson McAuliffe, Sol., Thomas E. Moran, Tony H. Hight, W. Baer Endictor, Thomas R. Moran, Atlanta, for appellees.

ALMAND, Chief Justice.

This case was commenced as a civil action by the District Attorney of the Atlanta Judicial Circuit and the Solicitor General of the Criminal Court of Fulton County alleging that the appellants (the defendants below) were exhibiting to the general public a motion picture film entitled 'Sandra-The Making of a Woman', which was obscene within the meaning of Code Ann. § 26-2101. Named as defendants were 1024 Peachtree Corporation which operates the Metro Theater in Atlanta, Georgia, and six individuals who were identified as officers of the corporation or employees of the theater. The complaint alleged that the appellants were in joint control and possession of the film 'Sandra-The Making of a Woman,' that they had advertised in the local Atlanta newspapers the showing of the film to the public on a fee basis, and that they were showing the film to members of the general public. The complaint further alleged that the exhibition of the film constituted a violation of Code Ann. § 26-2101, 'in that the dominant theme of the motion picture film * * * considered as a whole, and applying contemporary community standards, appeals to the prurient interest in sex and nudity, and that the said motion picture film is utterly without any redeeming social value whatsoever, and transgresses beyond customary limits of candor in describing and discussing sexual matters.' There followed a description of the sexual activities depicted in the film. Finally, the complaint alleged that under the law applied to such matters an adversary hearing to determine the question of obscenity must be had prior to the seizure of the film and the destruction thereof. The prayers were for service on the appellants; the issuance of a rule nisi; that the film be declared obscene and subject to seizure; and that the appellants be temporarily and permanently enjoined from exhibiting the film within the jurisdiction of the court. The complaint was filed on October 21, 1970, and on the same day a judge of the Fulton County Superior Court signed an order requiring the defendants to show cause before him two days thereafter why the prayers of the complaint should not be granted. The matter came on for a hearing on October 23, 1970, and was continued from time to time, with portions of the hearing being conducted on five separate days, and ended on November 23, 1970. On that day the trial judge, having viewed the film and heard the testimony of four witnesses for the appellants, ruled that he found probable cause to believe the film 'Sandra-The Making of a Woman' was obscene as a matter of fact and as a matter of law. He ordered one copy of the film seized and preliminarily restrained and enjoined the defendants from distributing or exhibiting the film within the jurisdiction of the court. The order was certified for immediate review and the defendants appeal therefrom.

1. Appellants enumerate as error the finding of 'probable cause' as the basis for the trial court's order. The film was viewed by the trial judge who found that sexual conduct was 'graphically demonstrated in the close up camera shots and scenes of Sandra, while completely nude, having sexual intercourse with nude men on numerous occasions throughout the entire film, and the cunnilingal act of Phil on Sandra, and Sandra masturbating.' This, the court said, gave it 'probable cause to believe that the picture film 'Sandra-The Making of a Woman' is obscene as a matter of fact and as a matter of law * * *'

We have viewed the film ourselves, and the trial judge's description of the movie and of the sexual conduct portrayed therein is accurate. Although the film has a plot and it does contain some non-sexual footage, the plot obviously is nothing but a contrivance to link together the various sexual experiences of Sandra, the principal character. Practically from the first frame, the film is dominated by nudity and sex, and we are unable to perceive how its appeal could be to anything but the prurient interests of its viewers.

Although we regard 'Sandra' as hardcore pornography, the ruling we review here is not an order finding the film obscene, but merely a finding of probable cause. We view the finding of probable cause as tantamount to a determination that the district attorney had made out a prima facie case, since the finding and the resultant order did nothing more than preserve for a jury the ultimate question of whether 'Sandra' is obscene. 'A 'prima facie case' is that state of facts which entitles the party to have the case go to the jury.' Criswell Baking Company v. Milligan, 77 Ga.App. 861, 870, 50 S.E.2d 136, 143; 33 A Words and Phrases, p. 170. We agree with the trial judge that a jury should now decide whether this film is obscene.

2. Appellants contend that the trial court...

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10 cases
  • Paris Adult Theatre v. Slaton 8212 1051
    • United States
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • June 21, 1973
    ...1 L.Ed.2d 1498 (1957). Georgia case law permits a civil injunction of the exhibition of obscene materials. See 1024 Peachtree Corp. v. Slaton, 228 Ga. 102, 184 S.E.2d 144 (1971); Walter v. Slaton, 227 Ga. 676, 182 S.E.2d 464 (1971); Evans Theatre Corp. v. Slaton, 227 Ga. 377, 180 S.E.2d 712......
  • State v. Aiuppa
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • May 1, 1974
    ...('actual sexual activity, both natural and unnatural,' including sexual intercourse, fellatio and cunnilingus); 1024 Peachtree Corp. v. Slaton, 228 Ga. 102, 184 S.E.2d 144 (1971) (similar description of the material involved); and Slaton v. Paris Adult Theatre, I, 228 Ga. 343, 185 S.E.2d 76......
  • Slaton v. Paris Adult Theatre I
    • United States
    • Georgia Supreme Court
    • October 30, 1973
    ...which included sexual intercourse, fellatio and cunnilingus. For a similar description of obscene material, see 1024 Peachtree Corp. v. Slaton, 228 Ga. 102, 184 S.E.2d 144 (1971). These decisions are, in effect, interpretations of that portion of the Georgia statutory definition providing t......
  • Good v. State
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • December 4, 1972
    ...U.S. 717, 81 S.Ct. 1708, 6 L.Ed.2d 1127; Kingsley Books, Inc. v. Brown, 354 U.S. 436, 77 S.Ct. 1325, 1 L.Ed.2d 1469; Metro Theater v. Slaton, 228 Ga. 102, 184 S.E.2d 144; Walter v. Slaton, 227 Ga. 676, 182 S.E.2d 464; Evans Theater Corp. v. Slaton, 227 Ga. 377, 180 S.E.2d 712, all of which ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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