Politics

REPORT: Appeals Court Rules That Los Angeles Outdoor Dining Ban Can Stay Through February

(Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

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California’s Second District Court of Appeals reportedly ruled Tuesday that Los Angeles County’s outdoor dining ban can remain in place through February.

A three-judge panel set a Feb. 10 hearing during which L.A. County Superior Court Judge James Chalfant will have to justify his earlier decision to block the ban, which limits eateries to drive-through, take-out and delivery services only, according to Fox Business.

Earlier in December, Chalfant issued a tentative ruling that said the county “failed to perform the required risk-benefit analysis” before instituting the outdoor dining ban after the California Restaurant Association and Mark Geragos, an attorney who owns a restaurant in downtown Los Angeles, sued the county over the ban, arguing it was unconstitutional, according to NBC 4.

“By failing to weigh the benefits of an outdoor dining restriction against its costs, the county acted arbitrarily and its decision lacks a rational relationship to a legitimate end,” Chalfant wrote in his ruling. (RELATED: California Restaurant Owner Starts Fund To Help Laid Off Restaurant Workers)

People eat take-out food outdoors at a "public parklet" due to Covid-19 restrictions on restaurant outdoor dining in Manhattan Beach, California, December 12, 2020. - According to California health officials, ICU bed capacity in the Southern California region has dropped to 5.3% as more restrictive orders are imposed to prevent hospitals from being overrun. (Photo by Patrick T. Fallon / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

People eat take-out food outdoors at a “public parklet” due to Covid-19 restrictions on restaurant outdoor dining in Manhattan Beach, California, December 12, 2020. – (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

While Chalfant declined to lift the ban, he limited the ban to three weeks and ordered the county to provide evidence that outdoor dining contributes to a rise in coronavirus cases, according to the report.

The appeals court had previously prevented Chalfant’s order to block the ban from taking effect, according to Fox Business. Tuesday’s decision will allow Chalfant to justify his earlier decision to block the ban, according to the report. The court also ruled that the county does not need to conduct Chalfant’s risk-benefit analysis, according to Eater Los Angeles.

Director of Communications for the county health department Brett Morrow applauded the decision, according to KTLA 5.

“The law is on the side of protecting public health and safety, and we are grateful for the court’s decision,” Morrow said.