September 7, 2016
Law360, New York (September 7, 2016, 5:52 PM ET) — Airbnb Inc. and Inc. urged a California federal judge on Tuesday to put a hold on the city of San Francisco’s enforcement of an ordinance requiring vacation rental websites to remove listings from unregistered rentals, arguing that the sites’ pending lawsuit will likely succeed. The vacation rental websites asked U.S. District Judge James Donato for a preliminary injunction barring both the city and county of San Francisco from enforcing the ordinance that imposes criminal and civil liability on hosting platforms for unregistered short-term rentals listings and that requires them to verify that a rental is lawfully registered at the time it is rented. Airbnb and HomeAway argued they are likely to succeed on the merits of their claims because the ordinance violates both the First Amendment and the Communications Decency Act. The ordinance is a content-based restriction on speech that is subject to heightened judicial scrutiny and the Communications Decency Act provides broad immunity to websites for third-party content, the websites said. The suit marks the first time, by the company’s own admission, that Airbnb has sued a municipality over an ordinance or legislation. It asks the court to issue an injunction preventing the city from enforcing its ordinance as well as fees, costs and other unspecified damages…..