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Vons follows Albertsons, files suit against signature collectors

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Yet another national grocery store chain has filed a lawsuit against individuals collecting signatures outside its San Luis Obispo County locations.

Safeway Inc., parent company for Vons, filed a civil lawsuit in SLO County Superior Court Feb. 16 claiming that unknown individuals were trespassing on its property and harassing customers while attempting to collect signatures outside Vons locations in South SLO County. The lawsuit was filed less than a month after Albertsons filed a similar suit against petitioners collecting signatures in North County.

PESKY PETITONERS Safeway became the company this year to file a lawsuit against unknown petitioners collecting signatures outside SLO County Grocery stores, claiming they are trespassing and harassing customers. - PHOTO VIA COURT RECORDS
  • Photo Via Court Records
  • PESKY PETITONERS Safeway became the company this year to file a lawsuit against unknown petitioners collecting signatures outside SLO County Grocery stores, claiming they are trespassing and harassing customers.

Safeway claims that the unidentified petitioners began showing up at Vons locations in Grover Beach and Nipomo beginning Feb. 2, and refused to leave when asked by store staff.

"Defendants have delayed, distracted, impeded, annoyed, and harassed Safeway's customers and thereby have interfered with Safeway's business," stated the lawsuit, filed by the San Francisco-based law firm of Dillingham and Murphy LLP.

The lawsuit is asking that the court grant a temporary restraining order, as well as a permanent injunction to prohibit further trespassing on its stores' premises.

On Jan. 9, Albertsons LLC filed a lawsuit claiming that unknown signature gathers were harassing customers at its Paso Robles location. They, too, asked for restraining orders and injunctions. Court records show that case is ongoing.

Both lawsuits were filed as California prepares for the 2018 elections. As part of those elections, various individuals and groups are seeking to collect signatures in order to place various measure on the ballot. Current petitions being circulated include measures to repeal the recently approved gas tax increase, and placing limits on resources that California law enforcement agencies can use to assist federal officials with immigration enforcement activities, among others. Δ


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