quill.gif (3183 bytes) SARL Côte Radieuse v. Maire de Collioure, decision n° 257971, Conseil d'Etat, 2 juillet 2003, AJDA 2003 Jurisprudence p. 2218

Facts: the mayor of Collioure issued a bill on April 15, 2003 to regulate the pleasure harbor of his city, Collioure. Article 30 of this bill which applied to boats specialized in the transportation of persons provided that the use of the harbor had could be given after the company would have received an authorization from the mayor and that no more than 5 authorizations could be given to the same company. In may 2003 the mayor of Collioure refused to grant such an authorization to the company SARL Côte Radieuse which specialized in the transportation of persons. As a result the company could not let its customers go on and off board from the harbor of Collioure. The company brought a claim to cancel the bill of the mayor on the ground that it infringed on its right to trade.

Holding: the Conseil d'Etat found that the bill was illegal and cancelled it.

Reasoning: pursuant to article L. 2213-22 of the General Code of Territorial Collectivities (code général des collectivités territoriales), a mayor had the power to regulate the traffic and parking in the pleasure harbor of his city. However, he could not derive from that Code the right to set a process of preliminary authorization resulting in forbidding a transportation company to let its customers go on and off board from the harbor of Collioure. Such a decision from the mayor constituted a serious infringement on the right to trade, to have an occupation or profession.

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