United States District Court, C.D. California
WWW.RICARDOPACHECO.COM ET AL.
CITY OF BALDWIN PARK
Present: The Honorable CHRISTINA A. SNYDER
CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL
(IN CHAMBERS) - ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE WHY A PRELIMINARY
INJUNCTION SHOULD NOT ISSUE (Dkt. 21, filed December 27,
Court finds this motion appropriate for decision without oral
argument. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 78; C.D. Cal. L.R.
7-15. Accordingly, the hearing date of May 15, 2017 is
vacated, and the matter is hereby taken under submission.
December 12, 2016, plaintiffs www.RicardoPacheco.com, an
unincorporated association, and Gregory Tuttle filed the
instant action against defendant City of Baldwin Park
(“City”). Dkt. 1 (“Compl.”). The
gravamen of plaintiffs' complaint is that the City has
enforced an allegedly unconstitutional ordinance that
restricts core political speech on private property.
December 14, 2016, plaintiffs filed an ex parte application
for a temporary restraining order (“TRO”) and an
order to show cause why a preliminary injunction should not
issue. Dkt. 9.
December 27, 2016, the Court denied plaintiffs'
application for a temporary restraining order. Dkt. 21. The
Court concluded that plaintiffs were likely to succeed on the
merits of their claim that the City's sign ordinance was
an impermissible content-based restriction on speech.
Id. at 5. The Court further concluded that
plaintiffs had shown that the balance of equities and the
public interest weighed in favor of a TRO. Id. at
6-7. However, because plaintiffs did not allege any exigency,
the Court concluded that the matter was “better decided
on a more complete record and upon a full hearing as to
whether a preliminary injunction should issue.”
Id. at 7.
January 6, 2017, the parties requested a continuance of the
hearing regarding a preliminary injunction because the City
was “considering revising portions of its Zoning Code,
including the portions challenged by Plaintiffs, and in ways
that counsel for the parties believe may resolve some or all
of the issues raised by Plaintiffs' lawsuit.” Dkt.
22 at 1.
April 24, 2017, the City filed an opposition to
plaintiff's request for a preliminary injunction. Dkt. 31
(“Opp'n). Although the City amended its sign
ordinance, “[t]he parties disagree as to the extent to
which the Amended Sign Ordinance satisfies Plaintiff's
complaint.” Id. at 3. Plaintiffs filed a reply
on May 1, 2017. Dkt. 32 (“Reply”).
carefully considered the parties' arguments, the Court
finds and concludes as follows.
The Original Sign Ordinance
Baldwin Park Municipal Code (“BPMC”) §
153.170.030 required individuals to obtain a permit before
displaying a sign within the City, unless the sign is
expressly exempted by § 154.170.040. Compl. ¶ 12.
There was no time limit for deciding whether to grant or deny
a permit. Id. ¶ 23.
§ 153.170.040(C)(11) exempted from the permit
requirement political signs on private property, but only for
those signs related to elections and only for the “45
days prior to [an] election” and no later than
“14 days following the election.” Id.
¶ 13. BPMC §153.170.040(C)(10) exempted
“noncommercial signs on private property, ” but
allowed each property to display only two signs, including
flags, restricting the size of each sign to five square feet
and each flag to six square feet. Id. ¶ 16.