Everett appeals court’s ban on dress code for bikini baristas

The baristas say they seek to protect their civil rights. The case is on hold pending the appeal.

EVERETT — The city of Everett is appealing a federal judge’s temporary ban on its dress code for bikini baristas.

The baristas’ lawsuit to get the city’s rules permanently thrown out has been put on hold, pending the results of the appeal, according to court records.

No new hearing dates have been scheduled. That means it could be months or longer before Everett’s leaders know whether they’ll be able to regulate skimpy clothing at coffee stands and to what degree.

The city did not provide comment about the appeal. In a prepared statement, the baristas’ lawyer, Derek Newman, said the plaintiffs expect to prevail.

The city adopted the new ordinances in August. Among other restrictions, Everett sought to require employees at fast food restaurants, food trucks and coffee stands to wear a minimum of tank tops and shorts.

The next month, a group of baristas and bikini stand owners filed a lawsuit in federal court, saying the regulations violated their civil rights, including freedom of expression. The city voluntarily halted enforcement.

Both sides made arguments in U.S. District Court in November.

That prompted Judge Marsha Pechman to issue a preliminary injunction, forbidding Everett from putting the rules into play while the court case continues. The judge said the city’s ordinances are likely too vague to withstand legal scrutiny.

The city notified the judge of the appeal on Dec. 22 In January, the judge agreed to stay the case, a move that was supported by both parties.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @rikkiking.

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