The American Trucking Associations' legal challenge to certain aspects of the Port of Los Angeles' Clean Truck Program will remain in legal limbo until late spring or summer.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit denied a request by the American Trucking Associations for an expedited hearing, according to published reports. The court said there is no need for an expedited hearing, since a preliminary injunction has been issued prohibiting the port from implementing its program until the case is decided.

ATA had claimed irreparable harm to its members who would have had to begin hiring drivers next year in order to meet the port's Dec. 31, 2011 deadline to begin phasing in employee drivers.

This injunction issued last last month puts a stop to the port's plan to start phasing in its driver employee requirement next year, pending the review by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit that ATA is seeking.

The port had planned to require drayage companies to convert to an all employee workforce over three years: 20 percent by the end of next year, 66 percent by the end of 2012 and 100 percent by the end of 2013. Right now approximately 90 percent of drivers working at the port are independents.