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Food Truck Supporters To File Lawsuit To Overturn Ordinance

By Anthony Todd in Food on Nov 13, 2012 3:00PM

There have been a ton of complaints about the new food truck ordinance; it was probably inevitable that someone would file a lawsuit. The non-profit Institute for Justice announced in a release yesterday that they plan to sue the city on Wednesday on behalf of food truck owners to get the ordinance overturned. Oh, and they made a great Game of Thrones parody video to go along with the lawsuit.

Their primary complaint is the provision in the ordinance that restricts trucks from operating within 200 feet of brick and mortar restaurants, as well as the punishments for violators and the GPS tracking requirement. From the Institute: "The fines for violating the 200-foot rule are up to $2,000—ten times higher than for parking in front of a fire hydrant. Further, the city is forcing food trucks to install GPS tracking devices that broadcast the trucks’ every move."

Two food trucks are named in the release: Schnitzel King and Cupcakes for Courage. The press conference on the lawsuit takes place on Wednesday, but the Chicago lawsuit will be only part of the Institute for Justice's National Street Vending Initiative. The Initiative "works to defeat anti-competitive restrictions that violate the constitutional rights of street vendors to earn an honest living." They also distribute literature on the "myths" of food trucks. The Institute for Justice is a nationwide libertarian public interest law firm, endorsed by the likes of Milton Friedman and devoted to defending school choice and private property. We'll see how many of the city's mobile food vendors want to ally with such an organization - but litigation makes for strange bedfellows.

The Game of Thrones Parody? It's kind of brilliant. "Mobile taverns" are hailed by the masses but opposed by "a few of the landed gentry." It's worth watching, no matter which side of the debate you are on.