The City of Huntington Park’s application process for its medical marijuana business permits violated constitutional rights by unlawfully restricting applicants petitioning city council members about their applications, a federal judge has ruled.

The city violated the First Amendment by imposing such speech restrictions and were unconstitutionally vague, U.S. District Judge S. James Otero of Los Angeles ruled.

The lawsuit, filed by several marijuana-related businesses, alleges civil conspiracy, racketeering and other alleged violations.

Otero dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims against several city officials, ruling the officials had qualified immunity from those causes of action.

“The City’s ordinance violated the constitutional rights of honest, law-abiding citizens to the benefit of government insiders’ special interests,” said David Welch, a partner at DR Welch, which represented the plaintiffs.

A telephone message left with the city was not immediately returned.

Real estate reporter Ciaran McEvoy can be reached at cmcevoy@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 556-8337.