Two independent newspaper distributors have filed suit in federal court to overturn Glendale's newly enforced news rack ordinance, alleging that the measure is unconstitutional and discriminatory.
The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles by Federico Franco of Pacoima and Ralph Fishel of North Hollywood after Glendale seized 47 racks and issued warning citations against hundreds of others--including those containing the New York Times, USA Today, Investor's Daily and other national publications.
The 1975 ordinance, designed to reduce clutter on city streets, was revised last November after a similar ordinance in Arcadia was upheld as constitutional by the state courts. The law regulates the type of news racks permitted and the number allowed in any one location. Priority is given to general circulation newspapers.
Donald Cook, an attorney for the two distributors, said the ordinance "could drive my clients out of town" because their racks do not comply with the rules and the weekly and biweekly publications they distribute, including some that are sexually oriented, have the lowest priority.
Glendale City Atty. Frank Manzano said he will ask the court to reject the suit because the outcome "already has been determined and finalized by the state courts."