OCEAN CITY — While the civil suit challenging Ocean City’s topless ordinance moves through the court system, the plaintiffs in the case late last week filed a motion seeking a preliminary injunction allowing women to immediately go bare-chested in the same public areas where men can.
A little over a year ago, the Ocean City Mayor and Council passed an emergency ordinance prohibiting women from going topless in certain public areas including the beach and Boardwalk where men are allowed to go shirtless. The ordinance was passed in response to a request from Chelsea Eline to the Town of Ocean City, the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Maryland Attorney General’s Office for clarification of the existing state laws prohibiting female toplessness in certain public areas.
Last week, with the suit filed in U.S. District Court plodding through the court system and the calendar flipping to July, the attorney for the named plaintiffs filed a motion seeking a preliminary injunction which, if granted, would enjoin the town from enforcing the topless ordinance.
Noted civil rights attorney Devon Jacob, who represents Eline and the other named plaintiffs, filed the motion for a preliminary injunction on Friday. Jacob said he asked the town to consider not enforcing the topless ordinance voluntarily until a decision is reached in the federal case but the request was denied.