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Lone Star Security & Video, Inc. v. City of Los Angeles.

United States District Court, C.D. California

December 20, 2013

LONE STAR SECURITY & VIDEO, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF LOS ANGELES; CITY OF SANTA CLARITA; CITY OF RANCHO CUCAMONGA; CITY OF LOMA LINDA, Defendants

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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For Lone Star Security and Video, Inc., a California corporation, Plaintiff: George M Wallace, Jr., Wallace Brown and Schwartz, Pasadena, CA.

For City of Los Angeles, Defendant: Kimberly Anne Erickson, LEAD ATTORNEY, Los Angeles City Attorneys Office, Los Angeles, CA; Laurie Rittenberg, LEAD ATTORNEY, Los Angeles City Attorney's Office, City Hall East, Los Angeles, CA.

For Santa Clarita City of, Defendant: Brian A Pierik, Joseph P Buchman, Burke Williams and Sorensen LLP, Los Angeles, CA; Kimberly Anne Erickson, Los Angeles City Attorneys Office, Los Angeles, CA.

For Rancho Cucamonga City of, Defendant: Kevin M Osterberg, LEAD ATTORNEY, Haight Brown & Bonesteel, Riverside, CA; Kimberly Anne Erickson, Los Angeles City Attorneys Office, Los Angeles, CA; Melinda M Carrido, Haight Brown and Bonesteel, Los Angeles, CA.

For Loma Linda City of, Defendant: Richard Holdaway, LEAD ATTORNEY, Robbins & Holdaway, Chino, CA; Kimberly Anne Erickson, Los Angeles City Attorneys Office, Los Angeles, CA.

OPINION

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ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF LONE STAR SECURITY'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [78] AND GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT [82]

OTIS D. WRIGHT, II, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

I. INTRODUCTION

The present Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment ask this Court to determine the constitutionality of four city ordinances that prohibit the parking of " mobile billboard advertising displays" on city streets. The four ordinances are virtually identical and mirror the language of the state legislative act granting municipalities across California the authority to pass these ordinances. Plaintiff Lone Star Security and Video, Inc. (" Lone Star" ) is pursuing only a facial challenge to the ordinances, arguing that they should be struck down for violating the First Amendment. The parties have stipulated to the facts in this case, so only questions of law remain. [1] ( See Stipulated Facts (" Stip." ), ECF No. 80.) Having considered all arguments in support of and in opposition to the present Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment, the Court finds that the ordinances at issue are constitutional as content-neutral reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions on speech. Accordingly, the Court hereby DENIES Lone Star's Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 78) and GRANTS Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment (ECF No. 82).

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

On August 25, 2010, the California Legislature passed Assembly Bill (" AB" ) 2756, which took effect on January 1, 2011. (Stip. ¶ 1.) AB 2756 amended portions of the California Vehicle Code to explicitly authorize cities and counties to regulate " mobile billboard advertising displays." (Stip. Ex. 1.) A " mobile billboard advertising display" is defined as " an advertising display that is attached to a wheeled, mobile, nonmotorized vehicle, that carries,

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pulls, or transports a sign or billboard, and is for the primary purpose of advertising." ( Id. ) In enacting AB 2756, the California Legislature stated that communities across the state were " experiencing a surge in mobile billboards" and that vehicles and trailers carrying mobile billboards were being parked on city streets for long periods of time, sometimes for several days. ( Id. ) In addition, the California Legislature included the following findings:

Not only are mobile billboards a visual blight, but they pose a significant safety hazard when motorists are forced to veer around them into the next lane of traffic. Mobile billboards also reduce available on-street parking and impair the visibility of pedestrians and drivers.

( Id. ) Defendants in this case--the Cities of Los Angeles, Santa Clarita, Rancho Cucamonga, and Loma Linda (" Cities" )--all passed ordinances in direct response to AB 2756.

The Los Angeles City Council passed Ordinance No. 181495 on December 17, 2010. (Stip. ¶ 3.) The ordinance created new Los Angeles Municipal Code section 87.53. ( Id. ) Section 87.53 incorporates by reference the California Legislature's amendments to the Vehicle Code under AB 2756. The ordinance makes it " unlawful for any person to park a mobile billboard advertising display, as defined under Section 395.5 of the California Vehicle Code, on any public street or public lands in the City of Los Angeles." (Stip. ¶ 4, Ex. 2.) Penalties for parking mobile billboard advertising on city streets mirror those authorized by the California Legislature. (Stip. Exs. 1-2.)

On April 12, 2011, the City of Santa Clarita adopted Ordinance No. 11-7, creating new section 12.84 of the Santa Clarita Municipal Code. (Stip. ¶ 5.) The ordinance states, " It shall be unlawful for any person to park a Mobile Billboard Advertising Display on any public street or public lands in the City of Santa Clarita." (Stip. ¶ 6, Ex. 3.) Like the City of Los Angeles, Santa Clarita's ordinance incorporates by reference the California Legislature's amendments to the Vehicle Code including penalties and the definition of " mobile billboard advertising display." ( Id. )

The City of Rancho Cucamonga passed Ordinance No. 839 on April 6, 2011. (Stip. ¶ 7.) The ordinance created new section 10.52.080 of the Rancho Cucamonga Municipal Code, making it " unlawful for any person to park, stand, or otherwise allow to remain upon any City street, any mobile billboard advertising display." (Stip. ¶ 8, Ex. 4.) Once again, the city incorporated by reference the California Legislature's authorized penalties and definition of a " mobile billboard advertising display." ( Id. )

On May 10, 2011, the City of Loma Linda adopted Ordinance No. 704, which created new section 10.36.070 of the Loma Linda Municipal Code. (Stip. ¶ 9.) Loma Linda's ordinance states, " It is unlawful for any person to park, stand, or otherwise allow to remain upon any City street, any mobile billboard advertising display." (Stip. ¶ 10, Ex. 5.) As with the other three city ordinances, the amendments to the California Vehicle Code are explicitly referenced including penalties and definitions. ( Id. )

Lone Star filed suit on March 11, 2011, challenging the City of Los Angeles ordinance on both federal and California constitutional grounds. (ECF No. 1.) The Complaint was amended on June 6, 2011, to add the Cities of Santa Clarita, Rancho Cucamonga, and Loma Linda as defendants. (ECF No. 17.) Lone Star is a corporation that operates a fleet of mobile billboards, and has been subject ...


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