Chapter 5.90
ESCORT SERVICE

Sections:

5.90.005    Findings and Purpose.

5.90.010    Definitions.

5.90.015    Escort Service Permit Required.

5.90.020    Application for Escort Service Permit.

5.90.025    Escort Service Permit Issuance and Denial.

5.90.030    Employee Permit Required.

5.90.035    Application for Employee Permit.

5.90.040    Employee Permit Issuance and Denial.

5.90.045    Change of Business.

5.90.050    Fees.

5.90.055    Existing Escort Services.

5.90.060    Transfer and Duration of Permits.

5.90.065    Employment of Persons Under the Age of Eighteen Prohibited.

5.90.070    Age of Customer.

5.90.075    Inspection.

5.90.080    Daily Register.

5.90.085    Prohibited Activities.

5.90.090    Suspension, Revocation, Denial, Appeal, and Call for Review.

5.90.095    Applications Barred for One Year.

5.90.100    Violation and Penalty.

5.90.105    Severability.

5.90.005 Findings and Purpose.

The City Council finds and declares as follows:

A.    The permit requirements and restrictions imposed by this chapter are necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Newport Beach; and

B.    There has been an increase in the incidence of acts of prostitution, pimping and pandering and robbery by use of debilitating narcotics in escort services and the establishment of standards for issuance of permits and restriction on operation would serve to reduce the risk of illegal activity; and

C.    The restrictions and requirements contained in this chapter reduce the burden on the police department and permit the deployment of the police personnel such that more serious crimes may be prevented and more important laws be enforced; and

D.    The regulations and restrictions contained in this chapter tend to discourage escort services from degenerating into houses of prostitution and the means utilized in this chapter bear a reasonable and rational relationship to the goals sought to be achieved. (Ord. 88-35 § 1 (part), 1988)

5.90.010 Definitions.

For the purpose of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall mean and include:

A.    Chief of Police: Chief of Police of the City of Newport Beach or his or her designee.

B.    City Manager: City Manager of the City of Newport Beach or his or her designee.

C.    Employee: Any and all persons who work in or about or render any services whatsoever to the patrons or customers of an escort service.

D.    Escort: Any person who, for a fee, commission, hire, reward or profit, accompanies other persons to or about social affairs, entertainments or places of amusement or consorts with others about any place of public resort or within any private quarters. Excluded from this definition are any persons employed by any business, agency or person excluded from the definitions of “escort service” below.

E.    Escort service: Any business, agency or person who, for a fee, commission, hire, reward or profit, furnishes or offers to furnish names of persons, or who introduces, furnishes or arranges for persons, who may accompany other persons to or about social affairs, entertainments or places of amusements, or who may consort with others about any place of public resort or within any private quarters. Excluded from this definition are any businesses, agencies or persons which provide escort services for older persons as defined in California Welfare and Institutions Code Section 9406, when such services are provided as part of a social welfare and health program for such older persons.

F.    Operator: Any person operating an escort service, including but not limited to the owner or proprietor of the premises upon which it is located, and the lessee, sublessee, or mortgagee in possession.

G.    Person: An individual, firm, partnership, joint venture, association, social club, fraternal, organization, joint stock company, corporation, estate, trust, business trust, receiver, trustee, syndicate, or any other group or combination acting as a unit, excepting the United States of America, the State of California, and any political subdivision thereof. (Ord. 88-35 § 1 (part), 1988)

5.90.015 Escort Service Permit Required.

No person shall operate an escort service within the City of Newport Beach without first having obtained an escort service permit pursuant to Sections 5.90.020 and 5.90.025 of this chapter and securing the necessary business license as required by this Code. (Ord. 88-35 § 1 (part), 1988)

5.90.020 Application for Escort Service Permit.

A.    Any person desiring an escort service permit shall file a written application on the required form with the City Manager who shall refer all such applications to the Chief of Police for an investigation. The applicant shall accompany the application with the appropriate filing fee as established by resolution of the City Council.

B.    For purposes of this section, applicant shall mean the owner of the proposed escort service, if a sole proprietorship; one general partner, if a partnership; one officer or director, if a corporation; and one participant, if a joint venture.

C.    The application shall contain or be accompanied by the following information:

1.    The type of ownership of the business, i.e., whether by individual, partnership, corporation or otherwise.

2.    The precise name under which the escort service is to be conducted.

3.    The complete address and all telephone numbers of the escort service.

4.    A complete list of the names and resident addresses of all proposed employees in the escort service and the names and resident address of the manager or managing employee proposed to be principally in charge of the operation of the escort service.

5.    The following personal information concerning the applicant:

a.    Name and complete residence address.

b.    Two previous addresses immediately prior to the present address.

c.    Written proof of age.

d.    Height, weight, color of hair, eyes and sex.

e.    Two front faced portrait photographs at least two inches by two inches in size taken by the City Manager.

f.    The escort service or similar business history and experience of the applicant, including but not limited to, whether or not such person in previously operating an escort service or similar business in this city or other city under license or permit, has had such license or permit denied, revoked, or suspended and the reasons therefor.

g.    All criminal convictions, except minor traffic violations, including date and place of each such conviction and reasons therefor.

h.    A complete set of fingerprints taken by the Police Department.

6.    Authorization for the City, its agents and employees to seek verification of the information contained in the application.

7.    Such other information and identification as deemed necessary by the Chief of Police.

8.    A statement in writing signed and dated by the applicant that he or she certifies under penalty of perjury that all of the information contained in the application is true and correct. (Ord. 88-35 § 1 (part), 1988)

5.90.025 Escort Service Permit Issuance and Denial.

A.    Upon receipt of a written application for a permit, the Chief of Police shall conduct an investigation in such a manner as he or she deems appropriate in order to ascertain whether such permit should be issued as requested. The Chief of Police shall recommend approval, conditional approval, or denial of the application to the City Manager within forty-five (45) days of filing of the application. Said forty-five (45) day period may be continued for an additional thirty (30) days if necessitated by occurrence of events beyond the control of the Chief of Police. The City Manager may issue such permit as requested unless the City Manager makes any of the following findings:

1.    Any person that will be directly engaged or employed in the escort service has been convicted of a violation of Health and Safety Code Section 11550 or a violation of Penal Code Sections 266i, 315, 316, 318 or 647(b), or has been convicted in any other State of any offense which, if committed or attempted in this State, would have been punishable as one or more of the above-mentioned offenses, or that any such person is required to register under the provisions of Penal Code Section 290.

2.    Any person that will be directly engaged or employed in the escort service has been convicted of any offense involving the sale of a controlled substance specified in Health and Safety Code Sections 11054, 11055, 11056, 11057 or 11058 or the possession for sale and/or possession of a controlled substance specified in the Health and Safety Code Sections 11054, 11055, 11056, 11057 or 11058 either in an escort service or while employed by an escort service or has been convicted in any other State of any offense which, would have been punishable as one or more of the above-mentioned offenses.

3.    Any person that will be directly engaged or employed in the escort service, has committed an act which, if done by a permittee under the chapter, would be grounds for suspension or revocation of the permit.

4.    Any person that will be directly engaged or employed in the escort service has had a permit or license to operate an escort service business revoked by the granting authority.

5.    Any person that will be directly engaged or employed in the escort service has been convicted of any act involving dishonesty, fraud, or deceit with the intent to substantially benefit himself, herself or another or substantially injure another or an act of violence, which act or acts are substantially related to the qualifications, functions or duties of the escort service.

6.    The operations of the escort service would, if allowed, constitute a public nuisance.

7.    The applicant has knowingly made a false, misleading or fraudulent statement of fact to the City in the permit application process.

8.    The application does not contain the information required by Section 5.90.020.

9.    The applicant has not satisfied the requirements of this chapter.

10.    The premises where the escort service business will be conducted does not comply with all applicable laws, including but not limited to, the building, planning, housing and fire codes of the City of Newport Beach.

B.    All escort service permit holders shall comply with the following conditions and any other conditions specified by the City Manager on issuance of the escort service permit:

1.    No person granted a permit as herein provided shall operate under any name or conduct business under any designation not specified in his or her permit.

2.    The escort service permit holder shall only employ persons who have obtained and then possess a valid employee permit issued pursuant to this chapter. Every escort service permit holder shall report to the City Manager and the Chief of Police any change of employees, whether by new or renewed employment, discharge or termination, the report to contain the name of the employee and the date of the change. The report shall be made within five days of the change. The escort service permittee shall take all reasonable steps to ensure the return to the City Manager of the employee permit of all employees no longer employed at the escort service.

3.    The escort service permit holder shall conspicuously display the escort service permit in an easily accessible public place within the escort service.

4.    The escort service shall not refuse service on the basis of a customer’s sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin or other arbitrary factor prescribed by the Unruh Civil Rights Act, Civil Code Section 51, et seq.

5.    The escort service shall have a manager on the premises at all times during when the escort service is open. The operator of each escort service shall file a statement with the Chief of Police and City Manager designating the person or persons with power to act as a manager at the operator’s escort service. Whenever the escort service is open and the operator is absent, the designated manager(s) shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with Sections 5.90.025(B)(1), and of this chapter. The manager of each escort service shall take necessary steps to ensure that copies of the employee permit for each on-duty employee shall be conspicuously displayed in an easily accessible public place within the escort service.

6.    The escort service shall comply with all provisions of this chapter and the applicable provisions of the Newport Beach Municipal Code. (Ord. 88-35 § 1 (part), 1988)

5.90.030 Employee Permit Required.

No person shall work in or about an escort service in the City of Newport Beach or perform any services in the City of Newport Beach for a customer of an escort service wherever located without first securing an employee permit issued pursuant to Sections 5.90.035 and 5.90.040 of this chapter. (Ord. 88-35 § 1 (part), 1988)

5.90.035 Application for Employee Permit.

A.    Any person desiring an employee permit shall file a written application on the required form with the Director of Finance who shall refer all such applications to the Chief of Police for investigation. The applicant shall accompany the application with the appropriate filing fee set by resolution of the City Council.

B.    The application shall contain or be accompanied by the following information:

1.    A statement of the exact location of which the applicant will be working as an employee of an escort service, including the full street address and all telephone numbers associated with said location, and the name and address of the escort service.

2.    The following personal information concerning the applicant:

a.    Name, complete residence address and telephone number;

b.    Previous addresses immediately prior to the present address of the applicant;

c.    Written proof of age;

d.    Height, weight, color of hair, eyes and sex;

e.    Two front-faced portrait photos at least two inches by two inches in size taken by the City Manager; and

f.    The escort service or similar business history experience of the applicant, including but not limited to whether or not such person, in previously performing escort services or being employed by an escort service or similar business in this city or other city under license or permit, has had such license or permit denied, revoked or suspended and the reasons therefor.

3.    All criminal convictions, except minor traffic violations, including date and place of each such conviction and reasons therefor.

4.    A complete set of fingerprints taken by the Police Department.

5.    Authorization for the City, its agents and employees to seek verification of the information contained in the application.

6.    A statement in writing signed and dated by the applicant that he or she certifies that under penalty of perjury that all information contained in the application is true and correct.

7.    Such other information and identification as deemed necessary by the Chief of Police. (Ord. 88-35 § 1 (part), 1988)

5.90.040 Employee Permit Issuance and Denial.

A.    Upon receipt of a written application for a permit, the Chief of Police shall conduct an investigation in such manner as he or she deems appropriate in order to ascertain whether such permit should be issued as requested. The Chief of Police shall make or recommend approval, conditional approval or denial of the application within forty-five (45) days of filing of an application to the City Manager. Said forty-five (45) day period may be continued for an additional thirty (30) days if necessitated by the occurrence of events beyond the control of the Chief of Police. The City Manager shall issue such permit as requested unless the City Manager makes any of the following findings:

1.    The applicant has been convicted of a violation of Health and Safety Code Section 11550 or a violation of Penal Code Sections 2661, 315, 316, 318 or 647(b), or has been convicted in any other State of any offense which, if committed or attempted in this State, would have been punished as one or more of the above-mentioned offenses or that the applicant is required to register under the provisions of Penal Code Section 290.

2.    The applicant has been convicted of any offense involving the sale of a controlled substance specified in Health and Safety Code Sections 11054, 11055, 11056, 11057, or 11058, or the possession for sale and/or possession of a controlled substance specified in the Health and Safety Code Sections 11054, 11055, 11056, 11057, or 11058 either in an escort service or while employed by an escort service has been convicted in any other State of any offense which, if committed or attempted in this State, would have been punishable as one or more of the above-mentioned offenses.

3.    The applicant has committed an act, which, if done by a permittee under this chapter, would be grounds for suspension or revocation.

4.    The applicant has had a permit license to operate an escort service or to work in or about an escort service revoked by the granting authority.

5.    The applicant has been convicted of an act involving dishonesty, fraud, or deceit with the intent to substantially benefit himself, herself or another or substantially injure another or an act of violence, which act or acts are substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of an employee of the escort service.

6.    The applicant has knowingly made a false, misleading, or fraudulent statement of fact to the City in the permit application process.

7.    The application does not contain the information required by Section 5.90.035.

8.    The applicant has not satisfied the requirements of this chapter.

B.    All employees of the escort service shall comply with the following conditions and any other conditions specified by the City Manager on issuance of the employee permit.

1.    No person granted a permit as herein provided shall operate under any name or conduct business under any designation not specified in his or her permit.

2.    The employee of the escort service shall carry a photo identification card prepared and issued by the City Manager on the person when working pursuant to permit. If an employee changes his or her business address, he or she shall, within seven days after such change occurs, obtain from the City Manager a new photo identification card and advise the Police Department, in writing, of the new business address.

3.    Every employee shall conspicuously display the employee permit in an easily accessible public place within the escort service. (Ord. 88-35 § 1 (part), 1988)

5.90.045 Change of Business.

Every escort service permit holder shall report immediately to the Chief of Police any and all changes of ownership or management of the escort service including but not limited to changes of manager or other persons principally in charge, stock holders holding more than ten percent of the stock of the corporation, officers, directors, and partners, any and all changes of name, style or designation under which the business is to be conducted, and all changes of address or telephone numbers of the escort service business. A change of location of any premises may be approved by the Chief of Police and the Director of Finance provided that there is compliance with all applicable regulations of the City of Newport Beach. (Ord. 88-35 § 1 (part), 1988)

5.90.050 Fees.

The City Council shall establish by resolution, and from time to time, amend fees for the administration of this chapter. Fees required by this chapter shall be in addition to any required under any other chapter of this Code. (Ord. 88-35 § 1 (part), 1988)

5.90.055 Existing Escort Services.

A.    Commencing on the date of adoption of this chapter, permits are to be issued in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. Existing escort services may continue in effect until one hundred and eighty (180) days after adoption of this chapter. Within one hundred and eighty (180) days, existing escort services shall apply for an escort service permit pursuant to Sections 5.90.015 and 5.90.020 of this chapter.

B.    Persons currently employed by an escort service may remain in such employment until one hundred and eighty (180) days from the date of adoption of this chapter. Within one hundred and eighty (180) days, each such person shall apply for an employee permit pursuant to Sections 5.90.030 and 5.90.035 of this chapter.

C.    Reasonable extensions of the time period specified above shall be granted by the City Manager upon a proper showing and upon a timely request therefor. (Ord. 88-35 § 1 (part), 1988)

5.90.060 Transfer and Duration of Permits.

A.    No permit issued hereunder shall be transferrable to any other person or establishment; provided, however, an additional location or change of location of an escort service will be allowed upon thirty (30) days prior written notice to the Chief of Police and City Manager and the payment of the appropriate transfer fee.

B.    All escort service permits and employee permits shall be issued for a period of twelve (12) months and shall expire twelve (12) months from its issuance.

C.    Applications for the next insuring permit shall be filed with the City Manager before the expiration of the existing permit. Such renewal applications must be filed no later than thirty (30) days prior to the expiration of the permit to permit a lapse of the permit.

D.    Each applicant for renewal shall file such information as may be required by the Chief of Police to update the information required for his or her original permit application. The applicant shall accompany the application for renewal with the appropriate filing fee. (Ord. 88-35 § 1 (part), 1988)

5.90.065 Employment of Persons Under the Age of Eighteen Prohibited.

It shall be unlawful for any owner, proprietor, manager or other person in charge of any escort service to employ any person who is not at least eighteen (18) years of age. (Ord. 88-35 § 1 (part), 1988)

5.90.070 Age of Customer.

It shall be unlawful for any owner, proprietor, manager or other person in charge of an escort service to allow any person under the age of eighteen (18) years to patronize an escort service as a customer or patron. (Ord. 88-35 § 1 (part), 1988)

5.90.075 Inspection.

The Police Department may, from time to time during business hours, inspect each escort service that operates within the City of Newport Beach for the purposes of determining that there is compliance with the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 88-35 § 1 (part), 1988)

5.90.080 Daily Register.

Every person who engages in, conducts, or carries on the operation of an escort service shall keep a daily register, approved as to form by the Police Department, containing the following information:

A.    The identification of all employees employed by such establishment together with a duplicate of each of the employee permits of each employee;

B.    The hours of employment of each employee for each day; and

C.    The names of all patrons, including true full names, residential addresses, including street, City and State, hours of employment of escort service, name of escort or employee providing escort services, location and place where escort services took place and fee charged.

Said daily register shall at all times during business hours be subject to inspection by the Police Department only for the limited purpose of determining that said daily registers are being maintained in compliance with the provisions of this section and shall be kept on file for two years on the premises. Any evidence so obtained shall not be admissible for any purpose other than proof of compliance or noncompliance with this section. The Police Department is authorized to inspect said daily registers for other purposes or to obtain information therefrom only if they have first obtained a warrant. (Ord. 88-35 § 1 (part), 1988)

5.90.085 Prohibited Activities.

No person who is a patron of an escort service shall place or cause to be placed in the daily register a false name or address. (Ord. 88-35 § 1 (part), 1988)

5.90.090 Suspension, Revocation, Denial, Appeal, and Call for Review.

The City Manager may refuse to renew a permit or may revoke or suspend an existing permit on the grounds that the applicant or permit holder has failed to comply with the permit conditions or other requirements of this chapter. No suspended permit may be renewed. If a suspended permit lapses during the suspension period, a new application must be made at the end of the suspension period. In any such case, the applicant or permit holder shall have the right to appeal to the City Council or a member of the City Council may call an item for review in the time and manner set forth in this section.

When the City Manager concludes that grounds for suspension, revocation or refusal to renew a permit exist, the City Manager shall serve the applicant or permit holder, either personally or by certified mail addressed to the business address of applicant or permit holder, with a notice of intent to suspend, revoke or refuse to renew permit. This notice shall state the reasons for the proposed revocation, the effective date of the revocation if no appeal is filed by applicant or permit holder, and the right of the applicant or permit holder to appeal to the City Council and the decision of the City Manager to suspend, revoke or refuse to renew the permit. A member of the City Council, in their official capacity, may call for review any action of the City Manager under this chapter for the purpose of bringing the matter in front of the entire body for review. A call for review shall be filed with the City Clerk on a form provided by the Clerk. The right to appeal to the City Council or call an item for review shall terminate upon the expiration of fifteen (15) days following the personal service or deposit of the notice of intent to suspend, revoke, or refuse to renew permit in the United States mail, whichever shall occur first.

The City Council of the City of Newport Beach may preside over the hearing on appeal or, in the alternative, appoint a hearing officer to conduct the hearing, receive relevant evidence and to submit to the City Council findings and recommendations to be considered by the City Council of the City of Newport Beach. The City Council shall preside over a hearing for a call for review. The City Council shall render its decision within forty-five (45) days from the date of the hearing or, in the event that a hearing officer has been appointed, within forty-five (45) days from the date on which the City Council receives the findings and recommendations of the hearing officer. The decision of the City Council shall be final. (Ord. 2015-9 § 11, 2015: Ord. 88-35 § 1 (part), 1988)

5.90.095 Applications Barred for One Year.

A.    Whenever any application is filed for a permit under this chapter and said application has been denied by the City Manager, or a permit issued under this chapter has been revoked, and no appeal has been taken to the City Council or when any appeal from such denial or revocation has been taken to the City Council and said City Council has concurred in the judgment or order of denial or revocation, said application for said permit, or for a like permit for the same location or by the same applicant shall not be heard by the City Manager until the expiration of one year from the date of the previous denial or revocation of said permit or application.

B.    There shall be no appeal to said City Council for failure or refusal to hear any such application or appeal within said one year.

C.    For the purposes of this section, “same applicant” shall mean a corporation having substantially the same shareholders as a prior corporate applicant, or a partnership having substantially the same membership as a prior partnership applicant. “Same applicant” shall also mean any officer, director, shareholder or partner of a prior corporate or partnership applicant.

D.    When any permit is denied solely by reason of Sections 5.90.025(A)(8), 5.90.025(A)(10) or 5.90.040(A)(7) preventing the granting of said permit, and the requirements of said sections are subsequently satisfied, the one year prohibition against reapplication will not apply. (Ord. 88-35 § 1 (part), 1988)

5.90.100 Violation and Penalty.

A.    Every person, whether acting as an individual, owner, employee of the owner, operator or employee of the operator, or whether acting as a mere helper for the owner, employee or operator or whether acting and a participant or worker in any way who operates an escort service within the City without first obtaining a permit and paying for a license to do so from the City or violating any provision of this chapter, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

B.    Any owner, operator, manager or permittee in charge or in control of the escort service who knowingly employs a person who is not in possession of a valid employee permit as an employee of the escort service is guilty of a misdemeanor.

C.    Any escort service operated, conducted, or maintained contrary to the provisions of this chapter shall be, and the same is hereby declared to be unlawful and a public nuisance and the City may, in addition to or in lieu of prosecuting a criminal action hereunder, commence an action, or proceeding for the abatement, removal and enjoinment thereof in the manner provided by law. The City may take such other steps and apply to such courts as may have jurisdiction to grant such relief as well as abate or remove such escort service and restrain and enjoin any person from operating, conducting or maintaining an escort service contrary to the provisions of this chapter. (Ord. 88-35 § 1 (part), 1988)

5.90.105 Severability.

If any section, subsection, subdivision, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase of this chapter, or application thereof to any person or circumstances, is for any reason held to be unconstitutional or invalid or ineffective by any court of competent jurisdiction, such decision shall not affect the validity or effectiveness of the remaining portions of this chapter or any part thereof. The City Council hereby declares that it would have passed such section, subsection, subdivision, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase thereof, irrespective of the fact that any one or more sections, subsections, subdivisions, paragraphs, sentences, clauses or phrases be declared unconstitutional or invalid or ineffective. (Ord. 88-35 § 1 (part), 1988)