184 S.E.2d 144 (Ga. 1971), 26612, 1024 Peachtree Corp. v. Slaton

Docket Nº:26612.
Citation:184 S.E.2d 144, 228 Ga. 102
Opinion Judge:ALMAND, Chief Justice.
Party Name:1024 PEACHTREE CORPORATION, d/b/a Metro Theatre, et al. v. Lewis R. SLATON, District Attorney, et al.
Attorney:appellants by the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Federal Constitution. 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.
Case Date:October 07, 1971
Court:Supreme Court of Georgia
 
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Page 144

184 S.E.2d 144 (Ga. 1971)

228 Ga. 102

1024 PEACHTREE CORPORATION, d/b/a Metro Theatre, et al.

v.

Lewis R. SLATON, District Attorney, et al.

No. 26612.

Supreme Court of Georgia.

October 7, 1971

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

Page 145

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 [228 Ga. 103] 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 [228 Ga. 104] 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...

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