Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Ex-Owner of Adult Video Store Sued by Landlord for Back Rent

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Ex-Owner of Adult Video Store Sued by Landlord for Back Rent

Article excerpt

The former owner of a triple-X-rated video store in Orange Park that was quickly shut down by authorities last year is being sued for back rent by his landlord.

But Richard Lehmkuhl, who opened Jax Video Inc. at 203 Blanding Blvd., has filed a counterclaim stating he's not responsible for the lease because the landlord told him local law enforcement's attitude toward adult businesses was "benign."

Clay County detectives shut down the video store June 24, about a month after it opened, and confiscated 800 or more videos. Based on state statutes, they arrested Lehmkuhl on a charge of racketeering in obscene material after a judge determined several of the videos were obscene based on community standards.

Lehmkuhl entered a pre-trial program in December requiring him to pay $10,000 restitution to the Clay County Sheriff's Office.

In March, the landlord, James Davie II, filed a lawsuit against Lehmkuhl in Circuit Court, seeking $36,547 for defaulting on the 5-year lease they signed April 30. Davie wants four months' rent and also future rent minus what he is collecting from the new tenant, according to court documents.

But Lehmkuhl, of Winter Springs, filed a counterclaim April 1 stating that Davie told him "local law enforcement's attitude toward adult businesses was benign and that community standards were such that typical adult videos would not offend those standards."

Lehmkuhl said he relied on Davie's word and claims in his countersuit that Davie fraudulently induced him to lease the store. Lehmkuhl not only wants the judge to dismiss his liability for rent, but is seeking damages, attorneys' fees and a refund of his $3,521 security deposit.

In a telephone interview last week, Davie brushed off Lehmkuhl's counterclaim and said he had no idea Lehmkuhl was going to sell X-rated videos at the store. …

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