Judge Rules Against Chicago Food Truck Owner in Lawsuit Aimed at Reducing Restrictions

A Cook County judge on Monday ruled in favor of the city in a years-long lawsuit regarding two provisions of Chicago's food truck laws.

Judge Anna Helen Demacopoulos announced the Chicago food truck ordinance will remain as is, meaning the city’s ban on operating a food truck within 200 feet of a brick-and-mortar restaurant and its requirement that food trucks install GPS tracking devices that broadcast their every move stands. 

"We are pleased with the ruling, which reaffirms that the ordinance strikes the right balance between the interests of food trucks and those of restaurants," Bill McCaffrey, Chicago's law department spokesman, said in a statement.

Cupcakes for Courage owner Laura Pekarik, who filed the lawsuit aiming to loosen restrictions on mobile food trucks, and attorneys from The Institute for Justice said they plan to appeal the judge's decision. 

"I think the evidence is in our favor," Pekarik said.

"More trucks have been going out of business because they can't compete and succeed... and it's all because of these rules," said attorney Robert Frommer with The Institute for Justice.

The lawsuit was filed in 2012 in an effort to remove the city's ban on the operation of a food truck within 200 feet of a brick-and-mortar restaurant and a requirement to install GPS devices so their whereabouts can be tracked.

"If food trucks could park anywhere they wanted to, just like a car, it would be a lot easier," Pekarik said at the time.

Some traditional restaurant owners oppose the food trucks because they're competing with businesses that don't have to pay property taxes.

Contact Us