The city of Santa Clarita filed a lawsuit against a street taco vendor for operating illegally after thousands of dollars in unpaid citations.

Lawyers for the city have filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction against Tacos Jacky, “an illegal sidewalk vending operation currently operating within the public right-of-way at various locations,” officials said.

Plans to file the lawsuit come after “exhausting all administrative processes” to address dozens of health and safety violations, officials said. The injunction would force the sidewalk vendor to temporarily cease operations until health and safety standards are met.

Since 2019, officials said Tacos Jacky had been operating without a valid peddler’s license, public health permit or sidewalk vending permit which was in violation of the city’s municipal code.

City staff members conducted 218 site inspections at multiple Tacos Jacky locations. During those inspections, officials allegedly witnessed 74 instances of the vendor operating with “dangerous food safety conditions which posed an immediate health and safety” to residents.

Notices to stop operations immediately went ignored, according to the city, and despite staff providing information on vending requirements, Tacos Jacky did not comply.

  • A ice-cream street vendor pushes his cart in MacArthur Park, Los Angeles on May 21, 2020. (APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Images)
  • A street vendor sells food along Maple Avenue in Los Angeles' Fashion District in this undated photo. (Credit: Los Angeles Times)
  • Street vendors rally against citation enforcement on Hollywood on Aug. 7, 2018. (Credit: KTLA)
  • A woman holds up a sign in support of street vendors in Woodland Hills on Aug. 21, 2022. A rally was held in the same spot where a vendor was attacked by an ax-wielding man (KTLA)
  • Street vendors
  • Supporters celebrate the passage of a law legalizing and regulating street vending in Los Angeles on Nov. 28, 2018. (Credit: KTLA)
  • Benjamin Ramirez, left, with his father, Alex Ramirez, right, serving food from their cart during a rally in Hollywood. (Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)
  • A street vendor sells face masks from a pop up stand on April 15, 2020, in Los Angeles, California. (Rich Fury/Getty Images)
  • Andrew Coronel, center, sells a keychain to Gopal Lalwani, second from left, with Carmine Giordano, at left, both visiting from the East Coast, on Hollywood Boulevard, Nov. 7, 2017. (Credit: Christina House / Los Angeles Times)
  • A rally for Los Angeles street vendors was held in Hollywood on July 27, 2017. (Credit: KTLA)
  • A street vendor sells fruit on a street corner on Feb. 16, 2017, in Los Angeles. (Credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)
  • Street vendors rally in South Los Angeles following a brutal attack on a man who was selling peanuts and other goods in the area, March 28, 2018. (Credit: KTLA)
  • Street vendors

The city has since issued 40 citations to Tacos Jacky operators, totaling about $17,250 in unpaid citations. No further details were released as the issue remains ongoing.

The impending lawsuit follows similar incidents amid the fraught relationship between street vendors and city regulations.

In December 2022, street vendors in Los Angeles filed a lawsuit against the city’s “no vending” zones, especially near popular tourist attractions such as the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The lawsuit seeks to overturn the city’s limits on where vendors can sell food, calling the legislation unlawful and discriminatory.

The lawsuit alleges the anti-vending zones violate S.B. 946, the Safe Sidewalk Vending Act, a 2018 state law that legalized street vending while also decriminalizing it, so long as sellers purchased permits and followed procedures.

The vendors’ lawsuit hopes to overturn the city’s no-vending zones, which prevent food from being sold on the street within 500 feet of certain neighborhoods and attractions, such as the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

“The city of L.A. has implemented no-vending zones in some of its most popular cultural and commercial areas of the city without really providing any evidence or any reason why they banned vending in those areas,” said Brandon Payet, an attorney representing the vendors.

In the lawsuit, vendors argue they have already paid for a permit, which they claim should allow them to sell anywhere in the city. City officials, meanwhile, argue that street vending could worsen congestion or cause overcrowding in some specific areas.

Although Payet noted “there are real safety concerns,” he added that “the city has not done anything to show that those safety concerns are directly related to sidewalk vending and that the restrictions that it has implemented on sidewalk vending are actually going to solve those issues.”

As the suit remains ongoing, the city council voted in March to study and possibly lower the annual fee for sidewalk and park vending permits.

Vendors who have been caught selling in no-vending zones have received expensive tickets, sometimes racking up costs into the thousands of dollars.