Lawsuit to Be Filed in Hialeah Street Vendor Battle

Street vendor fighting restrictions on sales in Hialeah

By Brian Hamacher
|  Thursday, Oct 13, 2011  |  Updated 11:58 AM EDT
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A local legal group says it's set to file a lawsuit Thursday to repeal restrictions imposed on roadside vendors in Hialeah.

A local legal group says it's set to file a lawsuit Thursday to repeal restrictions imposed on roadside vendors in Hialeah.

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A local legal group says it's set to file a lawsuit Thursday to repeal restrictions imposed on roadside vendors in Hialeah.

The Institute for Justice Florida Chapter is filing the lawsuit on behalf of Silvio Membreno, a flower vendor who they say is one of many whose livelihood is being hurt by the City of Hialeah.

While street vending is legal in Hialeah, the restrictions prevent vendors from selling within 100 yards of stores that sell similar merchandise.

Institute for Justice officials say the restrictions infringe on the vendors' constitutional rights.

"The government cannot arbitrarily use its power to protect politically powerful private businesses—such as brick-and-mortar stores—from competition," Institute for Justice VP of communications John Kramer said in a statement. "Yet that is exactly what the city of Hialeah is doing with its vending laws."

Hialeah city attorney William Grodnick said he knew nothing about the lawsuit and wouldn't be able to comment until it was filed.

Kramer also said the restrictions force the vendors to stay on the move to sell their goods, making it less safe to do business.

The lawsuit is expected to be filed at 10:30 a.m.

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