SANTA MONICA—On Monday, December 21, the city of Santa Monica announced that an administrative hearing officer ruled in their favor for violations of Santa Monica’s COVID-19 emergency order challenged by DoorDash.
In August 2020, the City’s Code Enforcement Division issued eight citations to DoorDash in violation of the city’s emergency order capping maximum delivery fees a third-party service can charge a restaurant. The citations totaled 23 violations with fines totaling $11,500.
On May 19, 2020, the city issued the Sixteenth Supplement to its local emergency order imposing a 15 percent cap on delivery fees and a 5 percent cap on other fees charged to local restaurants by third-party food delivery companies.
In July 2020 Sushi King, a local restaurant, filed a complaint that DoorDash violated Santa Monica’s emergency order by charging a 20 percent delivery fee. Code Enforcement investigated and confirmed the violations. The city issued citations to DoorDash, which they immediately appealed. DoorDash argued that they had not violated the order and that DoorDash and Sushi Kind agreed “that going forward, a total commission of 20% will be applied to delivery orders placed with Sushi King while Santa Monica’s temporary cap is in place, which combines the 15% cap on delivery fees and the 5% cap on the other fees.”
The hearing officer upheld the citations issued to DoorDash after reviewing the legal and factual arguments presented by DoorDash and the City.
According to Code Enforcement Manager, Sharon Guidry, “The Code Enforcement Division is dedicated to protecting the Santa Monica community through the public health emergency by ensuring our municipal code and emergency orders are understood and followed. We received a complaint, discovered the facts, and in partnership with the City Attorney’s Office, were able to achieve a positive outcome for this business and many others who use third-party food delivery services.”