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Judge Backs Santa Ana Vendors

Times Staff Writer

An Orange County Superior Court judge issued a preliminary injunction Monday to stop Santa Ana from enforcing a new city ordinance requiring food truck vendors to move every 90 minutes.

The decision by Judge W. Michael Hayes allows vendors to park in neighborhoods to sell fruit, soda and candy.

Hayes’ preliminary injunction continues the effect of a temporary restraining order issued March 3 by U.S. District Judge David O. Carter in a separate legal case that targets the same ordinance on different grounds.

“My clients are very happy. This will keep them in business,” said Randy Guritzky, who represented three of an estimated 200 street vendors who filed a state lawsuit to block the new law. “It’s a good sign this will become permanent.”

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For years, the vendors have parked in the same spots day after day.

City officials say vendors have multiplied in recent years, becoming an eyesore and representing a safety hazard. Vendors alleged in their state lawsuit that they had the right to do business on city streets.

In his decision, Hayes wrote, “The court cannot find ... that requiring the vending vehicle to move every 90 minutes ... increases the safety of citizens ... it seems that requiring the movement of vehicles every 90 minutes would actually increase the danger level to pedestrians in the area.”

City Atty. Joseph Fletcher could not be reached for comment.

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The injunction will remain in effect until a decision on the state lawsuit is made. That could take four to five months, Guritzky said.

The decision was the second court order to challenge the ordinance. The other was filed in federal court, and a temporary restraining order was granted there as well. That lawsuit filed by 66 other vendors is being considered in federal court because it contends that the law violates the civil rights of Latino vendors.


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