City Defeats First Amendment Retaliation Claim Made by Tin Horn Flats
Burbank, CA (November 13, 2023) – In March 2021, the City of Burbank filed a lawsuit against Tin Horn Flats after the restaurant refused to cease operations despite the revocation of its required health and zoning permits. Despite the lawsuit and orders from a Los Angeles Superior Court judge, Tin Horn Flats continued to operate without the required permits until a preliminary injunction was issued in late April 2021. The restaurant was eventually evicted from its Magnolia Boulevard location by the building’s owner and the building was later sold.
In response to the City’s lawsuit, Tin Horn Flats filed their own lawsuit against the City alleging that its enforcement efforts during 2021 were not permit-related but instead were made in retaliation to the restaurant’s opposition to the COVID-19 shutdown orders. The City denied these allegations.
On November 7, 2023, in response to a motion filed by the City, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Armen Tamzarian issued an order dismissing Tin Horn Flats’ First Amendment retaliation lawsuit against the City based on the Court’s finding of a lack of objective evidence that the City acted with retaliatory animus when enforcing its health and zoning laws. The Court’s order also dismissed the City’s lawsuit as moot due to Tin Horn Flats’ closure and the sale of the property, bringing the litigation to an end. With this decision, all trial-related dates were taken off the Court’s calendar and there are currently no further hearing dates scheduled.