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California Restaurant Association Wins Case Against County for Shutting Down In-Person Dining

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Judge Chalfant wrote, "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."

The California Restaurant Association tried to block the county order last month before it took effect. Judge Chalfant denied that request but ultimately ordered the county to submit evidence to support its decision. The restaurant trade group argued that the rule was arbitrary and unfair to businesses that had invested in outdoor dining spaces to weather the pandemic. -GEG

A judge on Tuesday dealt a rebuke to Los Angeles County public health officials racing to control Covid-19's spread, blocking an indefinite ban on outdoor dining announced late last month.

"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," wrote Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James C. Chalfant in a tentative ruling issued Tuesday to a legal challenge from the California Restaurant Association.