United States District Court, C.D. California
COLUMBIA SUSSEX MANAGEMENT LLC, and CW HOTEL LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, individually and on behalf of all other hotel owners and managers operating hotels in Santa Monica, California, Plaintiffs,
CITY OF SANTA MONICA, Defendant.
ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION 
AND VACATING DECEMBER 23 HEARING
D. WRIGHT, II, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Columbia Sussex Management, LLC, and CW Hotel Limited
Partnership (“Plaintiffs”) sued the City of Santa
Monica (“City”) seeking a finding that Santa
Monica Municipal Code (“SMMC”) Chapter
4.67.030(a) (the “Ordinance”) is
unconstitutional, invalid, and preempted. (First Am. Compl.
(“FAC”) ¶ 4, ECF No. 4.) Plaintiffs move
with expedited briefing for a preliminary injunction to
prevent the Ordinance from taking effect
(“Motion”). (See Mot. Prelim. Inj.
(“Mot.”), ECF No. 24.) For the reasons below, the
Court DENIES Plaintiffs'
September 10, 2019, the Santa Monica City Council adopted
Chapter 4.67, including the Ordinance, with the stated
purpose “to Enhance Protection of Hotel Workers in the
Local Hospitality Industry.” (FAC ¶ 18.) Entitled
“Measures to Provide Fair Compensation for Workload,
” the Ordinance limits hotel employees who clean guest
rooms (“Room Attendants”) from cleaning more than
a specified square footage of floor space during their
scheduled shift. (Mot. 1; FAC ¶ 20 (quoting the
Ordinance).) At hotels with fewer than forty rooms, Room
Attendants may not be required to clean more than 4000 square
feet in an eight-hour workday. SMMC § 4.67.030(a). At
hotels with forty or more rooms, Room Attendants may not be
required to clean more than 3500 square feet in an eight-hour
workday. Id. If a Room Attendant is required to
exceed these limits, the hotel employer must compensate the
Room Attendant at twice the regular rate of pay for all hours
worked in that workday. Id. The Ordinance may be
waived “pursuant to a bona fide collective bargaining
agreement.” Id. § 4.67.110. As relevant
here, Chapter 4.67 will take effect on January 1, 2020.
Id. § 4.67.130.
November 21, 2019, Plaintiffs filed this class action lawsuit
on behalf of “all of the other 40 hotels located within
Santa Monica.” (See Compl., ECF No. 1; FAC
¶ 45.) Plaintiffs seek declaratory and injunctive
relief, including findings that the Ordinance is
unconstitutional, invalid, and preempted. (FAC ¶¶
47-66.) On November 27, 2019, the parties stipulated to an
expedited briefing schedule for Plaintiffs' Motion.
(Stipulation, ECF No. 17.) Accordingly, on December 2, 2019,
Plaintiffs moved for a preliminary injunction to prevent the
Ordinance from going into effect as scheduled. (See
Mot.) The City opposed and Plaintiffs replied. (Opp'n to
Mot. (“Opp'n”), ECF No. 26; Reply, ECF No.
32.) The Court now addresses Plaintiffs' Motion.
preliminary injunction is an “extraordinary remedy that
may only be awarded upon a clear showing that the plaintiff
is entitled to such relief.” Winter v. Nat. Res.
Def. Council, 555 U.S. 7, 22 (2008); see Earth
Island Inst. v. Carlton, 626 F.3d 462, 469 (9th Cir.
2010) (discussing that plaintiffs “face a difficult
task in proving that they are entitled to this
‘extraordinary remedy'”). Pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 65, a court may grant preliminary
injunctive relief to prevent “immediate and irreparable
injury.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(b). To obtain this relief, a
plaintiff must establish the “Winter”
factors: (1) “he is likely to succeed on the
merits”; (2) “he is likely to suffer irreparable
harm in the absence of preliminary relief”; (3)
“the balance of equities tips in his favor”; and
(4) “an injunction is in the public interest.”
Am. Trucking Ass'ns, Inc. v. City of Los
Angeles, 559 F.3d 1046, 1052 (9th Cir. 2009) (quoting
Winter, 555 U.S. at 20).
Ninth Circuit, the Winter factors may be evaluated
on a sliding scale: “serious questions going to the
merits, and a balance of hardships that tips sharply towards
the plaintiff can support issuance of a preliminary
injunction, so long as the plaintiff also shows that there is
a likelihood of irreparable injury and that the injunction is
in the public interest.” All. for the Wild Rockies
v. Cottrell, 632 F.3d 1127, 1135 (9th Cir. 2011)
(internal quotation marks omitted). Thus, “[r]egardless
of how the test for a preliminary injunction is phrased, the
moving party must demonstrate irreparable harm.”
Am. Passage Media Corp. v. Cass Commc'ns, Inc.,
750 F.2d 1470, 1473 (9th Cir. 1985). “The court may
issue a preliminary injunction or a temporary restraining
order only if the movant gives security in an amount that the
court considers proper to pay the costs and damages sustained
by any party found to have been wrongfully enjoined or
restrained.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 65(c).
REQUESTS FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE
preliminary matter, both parties request that the Court take
judicial notice of various documents. Federal Rule of
Evidence 201 allows a court to take judicial notice of a fact
that “is not subject to reasonable dispute because it:
(1) is generally known within the trial court's
territorial jurisdiction; or (2) can be accurately and
readily determined from sources whose accuracy cannot
reasonably be questioned.” Fed.R.Evid. 201(b);
United States v. Ritchie, 342 F.3d 903, 909 (9th
request judicial notice of four documents but provide no
support for the authenticity of the documents or the
propriety of judicial notice. (See Pls.' Req.
for Judicial Notice (“RJN”), ECF No. 24-3.)
Accordingly, the Court DENIES
Plaintiffs' request. The City requests judicial notice of
SMMC Chapter 4.63 and California Code of Regulation, title 8,
section 3345. (City's RJN, ECF No. 27.) The Court
DENIES the City's request as moot
because “the Court need not judicially notice these
authorities in order to consider them.” Otero v.
Zeltiq Aesthetics, Inc., No. CV 17-3994-DMG (MWRx), 2018
WL 3012942, at *1 (C.D. Cal. June 11, 2018.)
move for a preliminary injunction to prevent the challenged
portions of the Ordinance from taking effect on January 1,
2020. (Mot. 1-2.) Plaintiffs challenge only section
4.67.030(a) (“Ordinance” or “Workload
Limitation”) and its corresponding collective
bargaining waiver provision, section 4.67.110
(“Waiver”); Plaintiffs challenge no other part of
the Chapter. (Mot. 1 n.1.) Plaintiffs contend the putative
class of Santa Monica hotel owners and operators will be
irreparably harmed if these provisions are permitted to take
effect on January 1, 2020. (Mot. 2.) They argue the Ordinance
is (1) preempted by the National Labor Relations Act, 29
U.S.C. § 151 et seq. (“NLRA”) under
Machinists preemption; (2) invalid under the dormant
Commerce Clause (“DCC”); and (3) preempted by the
California Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1973, Cal.
Lab. Code § 6300 et seq.
(“CalOSHA”). (Mot. 2.)
seeking preliminary injunctive relief [must] demonstrate that
irreparable injury is likely in the absence of an
injunction.” Winter, 555 U.S. at 22. A mere
possibility of irreparable harm is insufficient. Id.
“[A] party is not entitled to a preliminary injunction
unless he or she can demonstrate more than simply damages of
a pecuniary nature.” Regents of Univ. of Cal. v.
Am. Broad. Cos., 747 F.2d 511, 519 (9th Cir. 1984)
(citing Los Angeles Mem. Coliseum Comm'n v. NFL,
634 F.2d 1197, 1202 (9th Cir. 1980)); but see Herb Reed
Enters., LLC v. Florida Entm't Mgmt., 736
F.3d 1239, 1250 (9th Cir. 2013) (discussing, in the trademark
context, that “[e]vidence of loss of control over
business reputation and damage to goodwill could constitute
irreparable harm”). “[P]laintiff must demonstrate
potential harm which cannot be redressed by a legal or an
equitable remedy following a trial. The preliminary
injunction must be the only way of protecting the
plaintiff from the harm.” Campbell Soup Co. v.
ConAgra, Inc., 977 F.2d 86, 91 (3d Cir. 1992).
argue they will suffer irreparable harm because they will
have to pay their current Room Attendants double their
current rate, or hire and pay additional Room Attendants,
because their Room Attendants currently clean more than the
permitted square footage under the Ordinance. (Mot. 6.) They
contend that additional administrative costs will also result
from the need to track Room Attendants' assigned square
footage. (Mot. 7.) Plaintiffs argue this additional cost may
result in loss of customers and customer ...