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Bird Is Suing the City of Beverly Hills Over Its E-Scooter Ban

Scooter sharing service Bird is suing the city of Beverly Hills over the city council’s temporary ban on e-scooters, which resulted in the impounding of more than 1,000 of the company’s vehicles, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Bird’s lawsuit, filed Nov. 1, claims the city’s ban is unlawful, as it was decided in a “hasty and deceptive proceeding riddled with violations of California’s open-meeting, public participation, and environmental laws,” according to Business Insider.

The council ordered a six-month ban on e-scooters at a July meeting, citing safety concerns. Following the ban, the Beverly Hills Police Department began impounding any e-scooter found on city streets. Retrieving the vehicles cost Bird more than $100,000 in fines, according to the Los Angeles Times.

In the lawsuit, Bird says the city failed to follow the California Vehicle Code, which outlines the rights of operators of motorized scooters and explicitly promotes the use of “alternative low-emission or no-emission transportation,” like Bird’s scooters.

“The Beverly Hills ban on e-scooters has robbed local residents and workers who need to travel into the city of an affordable and environmentally friendly transit choice they are entitled to under California law,” David Estrada, Chief Legal Officer and Head of Government Partnerships at Bird, said in a statement. “The ban directly contravenes California’s explicit goals of putting more electric vehicles on the road to help reduce carbon emissions.”

The suit also claims the city council broke with the California Environmental Quality Act by failing to review the environmental consequences of banning a zero-emission transportation option like e-scooters.

Finally, Bird claims the company’s right to due process and statutory civil rights was violated when the city impounded its vehicles without warning and posed “unconstitutionally excessive” fines.

The company is seeking a reverse of the ban, reimbursement of impounding fees, costs of the lawsuit, and damages. A hearing is set for February 2019, Business Insider reports.