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In Play: Ridesharing, Short-Term Lawsuit Double Header

Council member and policy group sue for an unfettered sharing economy, more or less

Last Friday’s news dump brought word via the Austin-American Statesman that Austin City Council Member Don Zimmerman, who represents District 6, has filed a lawsuit against Mayor Steve Adler over the city’s May 7 electoral defeat of a Proposition 1, a measure that would have rolled back some current local regulations on ride-hailing companies such as Uber and Lyft. After the defeat heard round the world, Uber and Lyft both ceased operations in the city.

Zimmerman’s suit charges that the ballot language for the vote, “misled the voters and omitted chief features of the amendment,” according to the Statesman. It’s a charge made before the vote, as well, both in advertisements by Prop. 1 support group Ridesharing Works for Austin and in an failed attempt to get the Texas Supreme Court to hear a similar case.

The Statesman added that the mayor said he stands by the language, but supports somewhat Zimmerman taking it to court to get a “full and fair hearing.”

In other worrying news for Austin’s attempts to regulate so-called “sharing economy” companies, KXAN-TV is reported Monday that the The Texas Public Policy Foundation has a lawsuit against the city, charging that its regulations violate short-term rental owners’ constitutional rights.

Some specifics of the Foundations complaint include the charge that the city’s cap on the number of people who can stay in a rental at the same time violates the right to free assembly, as does the ordinance’s curfew of 10 p.m. for more than six people being in a short-term rental’s yard, reported KXAN. The suit also alleges that the ability of code officers to inspect rental compliance unannounced violates protections against unlawful search and seizure, the story added.

Lawsuit: Austin’s short term rental ordinance is ‘illegal’ [KXAN]

Latest on Uber, Lyft: Council member sues mayor to void Prop 1 vote [AAS]

Uber, Stay Gold Manager Take City Ballot to Court [Curbed Austin]