Chicago food truck case goes to state Supreme Court
CHICAGO (AP) – A lawsuit that challenges the rigidity of Chicago’s restrictions on mobile food vendors will go before the Illinois Supreme Court.
The state Supreme Court agreed on May 30 to hear Laura Pekarik’s case, The Chicago Tribune reported.
Pekarik owns LMP Services Inc. and runs a food truck called Cupcakes for Courage. She sued Chicago in 2012 shortly after the city’s food truck regulations were introduced.
Those rules require food trucks to be at least 200 feet away from businesses that serve food and have a city-monitored GPS device to help facilitate health inspections.
Pekarik’s lawsuit contends that the restrictions make most of downtown Chicago off-limits to food trucks. Other food truck owners have said the restrictions unfairly favor restaurants and have caused many mobile vendors to close their businesses.
The lawsuit doesn’t challenge the ordinance’s third mandate, which says food trucks can’t be parked in a space for more than two hours.
Chicago officials have said the city has the right to “balance the interests of food trucks and those of restaurants.”
The regulations create an environment where both food trucks and restaurants can flourish, said Bill McCaffrey, a spokesman for the Chicago Law Department.
A Cook County Circuit Court judge ruled in favor of the city in 2016. An Appellate Court upheld that decision in December.
The high court likely won’t hear the case until November, said Chris Bonjean, a spokesman for the state Supreme Court.