Nnebe v. Daus, 06 civ. 4991 (RJS) – AND –​
Stallworth v. Joshi, 17 civ. 7119 (RJS) SDNY


These twin actions challenge the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission’s practice of suspending the license of any taxi drivers who has been arrested, but who has been convicted of nothing. After the suspension, the TLC offers the cabbie a putative “hearing” to determine whether that suspension should be continued based on a driver’s continued licensure being a direct and substantial threat to public safety. In fact, the hearing process is an elaborate farce that has never resulted in even a single driver being reinstated regardless of the facts and circumstance and whatever the driver’s record. After 13 years of litigation, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 60-page unanimous opinion by Judge Lynch reversing the district court, concluded that the TLC hearings are “meaningless” and the TLC practice amounts to a denial of Due Process of Law. The Court concluded: “A lengthy deprivation of property, based on an arrest without a judicial determination of probable cause and without a deeper inquiry into whether the deprivation is appropriate, violates the Constitution’s guarantee of procedural due process.” The case is now in its remedy phase.

​Padberg v. McGrath-McKechnie, 00 civ 3355 (RJD) EDNY

 This federal class action successfully challenged a policy instigated by Mayor Giuliani—dubbed Operation Refusal— by which the TLC suspended hack licenses without hearings, confiscated taxicabs and sought license revocations—all for a single alleged service refusal offense. At least 100 drivers had their licenses revoked; more than 500 were summarily suspended. Judge Dearie held the hearing procedure unconstitutional and a denial of Due Process. Following a ruling signaling that the revocation policy would likely be found illegal as well, the city agreed to a settlement on the eve of trial. By that settlement, the cabdrivers received $121.50 per day for each day they suffered an unconstitutional suspension. Cabbies whose licenses were revoked received an additional $26,000 and were eligible for expedited reinstatement.  

Calvo v. City of New York, 14 civ 7246 (VEC) – and –
DeCastro v. City of New York, 16 civ 03850 (RA) SDNY​

For years, the City of New York and the TLC routinely seized automobiles that it suspected were operating for-hire without a license. They did so without a warrant, without a pre-seizure hearing, and  without judicial imprimatur of any kind. It would then hold the vehicles effectively for ransom until the owner pleaded guilty and paid a fine posted a cash bond insuring they could pay a fine if found in violation of the City law. On a motion for summary judgment, Judge Caproni held that the City’s practice violated the Fourth Amendment and denied the vehicle owners  due process of law.  


​​Rothenberg v. Daus, 08 civ 00567 (SHS) SDNY

Rothenberg v. Daus challenged the TLC’s practice of automatically revoking the license of any taxi driver are convicted of an off-duty crimes or who fails a drug tests, despite the absence of any evidence, or even allegation, that the driver harmed or threatened harm to any passenger or was ever impaired while on duty. In June 2012, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a district court decision dismissing the case and remanded it back to the lower court, which led ultimately to a financial settlement for some of the drivers whose licenses had been revoked. 

El Boutary v. City of New York, 18 civ 3996 (ARR) EDNY

After a lesbian couple accused an Uber driver of evicting them from his car and after they posted a video of their berating the driver on social media, the story was reported around the world, leading to the TLC summarily suspending the driver without any investigation whatsoever. After a ruling that strongly suggested that the TLC’s actions were unconstitutional, the TLC agreed to a settlement that restored his license and more than compensated the driver for his lost income and paid his attorney’s fees.

Summary Judgment Brief, 2018​
​District Court Decision on Summary Judgment, CITE​​