Lone Star Sec. & Video v. City of Los Angeles, No. 14-55014 (9th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
In these consolidated appeals, appellants challenged the constitutionality of five city ordinances that regulate mobile billboards. One of the ordinances limits the type of sign that may be affixed to motor vehicles parked or left standing on public streets; the other ordinances prohibit non-motorized, “mobile billboard advertising displays” within city limits. Unlike the Supreme Court's recent decision in Reed v. Town of Gilbert, the mobile billboard ordinances in this case do not single out a specific subject matter for differential treatment, nor is any kind of mobile billboard exempted from regulation based on its content. The court explained that an officer seeking to enforce the non-motorized billboard ordinances must decide only whether an offending vehicle constitutes a prohibited “advertising display” because its primary purpose is to display messages, as opposed to transporting passengers or carrying cargo. Therefore, the court concluded that the district court appropriately found the ordinances to be content neutral. The court also concluded that none of the ordinances are substantially broader than necessary to accomplish the cities' goals of eliminating visual blight and promoting the safe and convenient flow of traffic. Furthermore, the mobile billboard ordinances leave open adequate alternative opportunities for advertising. Because the mobile billboard ordinances are content neutral, narrowly tailored to serve the government's significant aesthetic and safety interests, and leave open ample alternative channels of communication, the court affirmed the judgment.