CTTA v. City & Cnty. of San Francisco, No. 13-15614 (9th Cir. 2015)Annotate this Case
CTTA filed suit challenging Articles 30 and 30.1 of the San Francisco Police Code (the “Permit Scheme”), which comprehensively regulate the towing industry within the city and provide a number of conditions and requirements concerning the towing permits. CTTA claimed that the Permit Scheme was preempted by the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994 (FAAAA), 49 U.S.C. 14501. On remand, the district court upheld nearly all of the Permit Scheme. The court concluded that the FAAAA’s safety exception does not, as CTTA contends, limit the set of valid safety rationales in this context to those concerned only with the safe physical operation of the tow trucks themselves; the permit requirements of sections 3000 and 3050 are “genuinely responsive” to the set of real safety concerns that underlay enactment of the Permit Scheme, fall within the Act’s safety exception, and are exempted from preemption; the application requirements, including the criminal history disclosure requirements, fall within the scope of section 14501(c)(2)(A), and are therefore not preempted; the fee and penalty provisions fall under the safety exception and are not preempted; the possession and display requirements are not preempted; the business plan requirement is preempted by the FAAAA, but the requirement is severable from the valid complaint requirement contained in section 3052(4), and from the Permit Scheme more generally; and the recordkeeping and brochure requirements fall within the FAAAA’s safety exception, and are therefore saved from preemption. Accordingly, the court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.