Honolulu based Judge J. Michael Seabright authored this opinion regarding towing by tow truck drivers operating withing and through San Francisco. The case, CALIFORNIA TOW TRUCK v. CITY OF SAN FRANCISCO 9689, will have an effect on consumers as it will be added expense to towing companies which must be passed on to their customers.
SEABRIGHT, District Judge: In two comprehensive ordinances, the City and County of San Francisco requires tow truck drivers to obtain permits to operate in San Francisco, and towing firms to obtain permits
to conduct business within San Francisco. The ordinances include numerous conditions and prerequisites for obtaining or maintaining towing permits. The California Tow Truck Association (“CTTA”) filed this action seeking to invalidate the two ordinances, primarily arguing that the entire “permit scheme” (as it calls both ordinances) is preempted by federal law. The district court upheld the permit scheme for “nonconsensual” towing, but enjoined enforcement against those doing exclusively “consensual” towing and against tow truck drivers simply “passing through” San Francisco. We now face cross-appeals. The CTTA’s challenge to the entire permit scheme necessarily encompasses all of the permit scheme’s components — each of which may (or may not) be preempted. The district court analyzed the permit scheme in the way the parties presented the scheme, as a whole, but without specifically addressing its individual provisions. In so doing, however, the district court ran afoul of American Trucking Associations v. City of Los Angeles, 559 F.3d 1046 (9th Cir. 2009), which requires “examining the specific provisions” of the permit scheme. Id. at 1057. Accordingly, we vacate and remand for further proceedings.
See the entire opinion at this link below: