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COURT OF APPEAL, FOURTH APPELLATE DISTRICT - page 28 / 29

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and tenuous.  Under the circumstances, we conclude the lien sale preparation fee regulation does not fall within the purview of the FAAAA's general preemption provision.

Defendant seeks to distinguish Mendonca, claiming the court's heavy reliance on California Div. of Labor Standards Enforcement v. Dillingham Construction (1997) 519 U.S. 316, involving an ERISA preemption challenge to CPWL, is "inapplicable" here because the law at issue in that case, ERISA, contains "no indication whatsoever that Congress intended to preempt state laws."  We are not persuaded.  First, Mendonca's analysis does not rely solely on Dillingham.  (Mendonca, supra, 152 F.3d at p. 1188, citing New York State Conference of Blue Cross & Blue Shield Plans v. Travelers Ins. Co. (1995) 514 U.S. 645, 668.)  Second, defendant is simply wrong about ERISA, which as the Dillingham court observed contains a preemption clause providing that ERISA "shall supersede any and all State laws insofar as they may now or hereafter relate to any employee benefit plan described in section 1003(a) of this title and not exempt under section 1003(b) of this title."  (Dillingham, supra, 519 U.S. at p. 323, fn. 3, citing 29 U.S.C. § 1144(a).)  

Defendant further argues that regulations affecting lien sales have a "direct effect on a towing company's business."  (Emphasis added.)  This analysis is misplaced.  The FAAAA only preempts state laws relating to a tow company's price, route or service, and we have already concluded that any possible relation of section 22518.12 is simply too indirect to satisfy this criteria.

DISPOSITION

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