LMP Services, Inc. v. City of Chicago, 052319 ILSC, 123123

Docket Nº:123123
Opinion Judge:BURKE, JUSTICE
Party Name:LMP SERVICES, INC., et al. v. THE CITY OF CHICAGO, Appellee LMP Services, Inc., Appellant.
Judge Panel:JUSTICE BURKE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Chief Justice Karmeier and Justices Thomas, Kilbride, Garman, Theis, and Neville concurred in the judgment and opinion.
Case Date:May 23, 2019
Court:Supreme Court of Illinois
 
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2019 IL 123123

LMP SERVICES, INC., et al.

v.

THE CITY OF CHICAGO, Appellee

LMP Services, Inc., Appellant.

No. 123123

Supreme Court of Illinois

May 23, 2019

JUSTICE BURKE delivered the judgment of the court, with opinion. Chief Justice Karmeier and Justices Thomas, Kilbride, Garman, Theis, and Neville concurred in the judgment and opinion.

OPINION

BURKE, JUSTICE

¶ 1 Plaintiff, LMP Services, Inc. (LMP), filed a complaint against the City of Chicago (City) 1 alleging that sections 7-38-115(f) and 7-38-115(l) of the Municipal Code of Chicago (Code) (Chicago Municipal Code § 7-39-115(f), (l) (amended July 25, 2012)) are constitutionally invalid. Section 7-38-115(f) prohibits food trucks from parking within 200 feet of the entrance of a ground-floor restaurant (200-foot rule), and section 7-38-115(l) requires food truck owners to permanently install on their vehicles a global positioning system (GPS) device that transmits location information to a GPS service (GPS requirement).

¶ 2 The circuit court of Cook County granted the City's motion for summary judgment, upholding the constitutional validity of the two provisions. The appellate court affirmed that ruling. 2017 IL App (1st) 163390. We granted LMP's petition for leave to appeal. Ill. S.Ct. R. 315 (eff. July 1, 2017). For the reasons that follow, we affirm the judgment of the appellate court.

¶ 3 BACKGROUND

¶ 4 In July 2012, the Chicago City Council passed Ordinance 2012-4489. Chi. City Clerk J. Proc. 31326 (July 25, 2012), https://chicityclerk.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs


public/document_uploads/journals-proceedings/2012/072512.pdf [https://perma. cc/CHN8-KNZU]. The ordinance amended some provisions and added others to chapters 4-8 and 7-38 of the Code regarding the regulation of mobile food vehicles (food trucks) within the City. The ordinance kept in place section 7-38-115(f), a proximity restriction known as "the 200-foot rule" that had been in effect since September 1991. This provision states that "[n]o operator of a mobile food vehicle shall park or stand such vehicle within 200 feet of any principal customer entrance to a restaurant which is located on the street level." Chicago Municipal Code § 7-38-115(f) (amended July 25, 2012). The provision also defines "restaurant" as "any public place at a fixed location kept, used, maintained, advertised and held out to the public as a place where food and drink is prepared and served for the public for consumption on or off the premises pursuant to the required licenses." Id. The restriction applies regardless of whether the food truck is parked on private or public property.

¶ 5 Although Ordinance 2012-4489 did not amend section 7-38-115(f) itself, the ordinance added or amended other provisions of the Code that affect section 7-38-115(f). For example, Ordinance 2012-4489 amended section 7-38-128(d) to increase the minimum fine for any violation of section 7-38-115 to $1000, quadrupling the previous minimum fine amount. See id. § 7-38-128(d) ("Any person who violates sections 7-38-115 and 7-38-117 of this chapter shall be fined not less than $1, 000.00 and not more than $2, 000.00 for each offense. Each day that the violation occurs shall be considered a separate and distinct offense.").

¶ 6 The ordinance also added section 7-38-117 to the Code. This new provision established a "mobile food vehicle stands program" whereby the City reserved a number of designated areas on the public way where a certain number of food trucks are permitted to operate without being subject to the 200-foot rule. Id. § 7-38-117(c).

¶ 7 Another new provision that was added to the Code by the ordinance is section 7-38-115(l). This provision established a "GPS requirement" that compels food truck owners to install on their food trucks a permanent GPS device "which sends real-time data to any service that has a publicly-accessible application programming interface (API)." Id. § 7-38-115(l).

¶ 8 Soon after the passage of Ordinance 2012-4489, a complaint was filed against the City by LMP, a corporation owned by Laura Pekarik, who began operating the food truck "Cupcakes for Courage" throughout the Chicagoland area in 2011. In the complaint, LMP alleged that sections 7-38-115(f) and 7-38-115(l) of the Code are constitutionally invalid. Specifically, LMP alleged the 200-foot rule contained in subsection (f) violates the equal protection and due process clauses in article I, section 2, of the Illinois Constitution (Ill. Const. 1970, art. I, § 2) because it is protectionist and unreasonably favors brick-and-mortar restaurants over food trucks. LMP further alleged that the GPS requirement in subsection (l) is unconstitutional because it constitutes a continuous, unreasonable, warrantless search of food trucks in violation of article I, section 6, of the Illinois Constitution (Ill. Const. 1970, art. I, § 6).

¶ 9 The circuit court dismissed LMP's equal protection claim but allowed the remainder of the claims to go forward. Following discovery, both parties moved for summary judgment, and the circuit court granted the City's motion. The circuit court held that plaintiff's substantive due process challenge to the 200-foot rule failed because the rule satisfies the rational basis test. The court concluded that the 200-foot rule balances the needs of both restaurants and food trucks and serves to protect a legitimate City interest in reducing pedestrian traffic. Therefore, the court held that the 200-foot rule does not violate due process and is constitutionally valid.

¶ 10 The circuit court also upheld the constitutionality of the GPS requirement, finding that it was not a search because the State did not physically trespass upon plaintiff's property to install the GPS unit on the food truck. The circuit court also held that, even if the GPS requirement constituted a search, it was not unreasonable. Citing New York v. Burger, 482 U.S. 691 (1987), the court held that warrantless inspections of closely regulated businesses, such as food services, must meet three criteria to be constitutionally valid: (1) there must be a substantial governmental interest that informs the regulatory scheme permitting the warrantless inspection, (2) the warrantless inspection must be necessary to further the purpose of the regulatory scheme, and (3) the regulatory scheme must provide a constitutionally adequate substitute for a warrant. The circuit court held the GPS requirement satisfied the Burger test because the City has a substantial interest in ensuring food safety and must know the location of food trucks to be able to make inspections. Further, the court held that food trucks have no expectation of privacy as to their location and, therefore, there is no reason why the City could not make compliance with the GPS requirement a condition of plaintiff's licensure.

¶ 11 The appellate court affirmed the circuit court's grant of summary judgment. 2017 IL App (1st) 163390. Addressing plaintiff's substantive due process challenge to the 200-foot rule, the appellate court held that a food truck owner's right to conduct its business on public property, i.e., the streets of Chicago, is not a...

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