Judge Issues Preliminary Injunction Against Los Angeles County Outdoor Dining Ban
Judge Issues Preliminary Injunction Against Los Angeles County Outdoor Dining Ban

Yesterday Judge James Chalfant issued a preliminary injunction against Los Angeles County’s outdoor dining ban on the basis that the county acted arbitrarily and failed to perform the required risk-benefit analysis. The case was brought by the California Restaurant Association and Mark Geragos to challenge the outdoor dining ban imposed by the November 30th Los Angeles County stay-at-home order.

The Court held that L.A. County was required to perform a complete risk-benefit analysis before enacting the ban and that it failed to do so. The Court’s ruling noted that the L.A. County Department of Public Health’s “own data provide no support for the planned shutdown of outdoor restaurant operations.” Ultimately, the Court ruled that the Restaurant Closure Order was not supported by any findings or evidence, and that it was in excess of the County’s jurisdiction.

Unfortunately, the judge’s ruling will not result in immediate resumption of outdoor dining in Los Angeles County but will restrict the county from continuing the ban indefinitely. The county ban will end on December 16, 2020, and it cannot be reimposed until further analysis is completed. Additionally, the state regional ban imposed by California on in-person dining will still apply.

The author would like to gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Joanne Warriner.

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