People v. Jabaar

CourtNew York Villiage Court
Citation163 Misc.2d 1045,623 N.Y.S.2d 500
PartiesThe PEOPLE of the State of New York, Plaintiff, v. Al-Munin A. JABAAR, et al., Defendants.
Decision Date01 November 1994

Page 500

623 N.Y.S.2d 500
163 Misc.2d 1045
The PEOPLE of the State of New York, Plaintiff,
v.
Al-Munin A. JABAAR, et al., Defendants.
Justice Court, Village of Westbury,
Nassau County.
Nov. 1, 1994.

Page 501

[163 Misc.2d 1046] Stephen K. Malone, Village Atty., for the People.

Anthony Mastroianni, Westbury, for defendants.

THOMAS F. LIOTTI, Village Justice, Presiding.

The defendant in the case at bar has been charged with violating § 40-7 of the Village Code of the Village of Westbury, known as the "Taxicab Law." The law states:

"A. No person shall operate or permit to be operated any vehicle as a taxicab on any street, highway or public place located within the village without first having obtained and having then in force, a village owner's license therefor, issued as herein provided. The fact that a vehicle is being operated as a taxicab shall be presumptive evidence that such operation is with the permission of the owner of the vehicle.

"B. No person shall drive a taxicab and no owner shall permit another person to drive a taxicab owned by or under the control of such person on any street, highway or public place located within the village without such driver's first having obtained and having then in force and conspicuously displayed within such vehicle a village driver's license, issued as herein provided.

"C. It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a taxicab on any street, highway or public place located within the village unless such person shall have been duly licensed as a [163 Misc.2d 1047] taxicab owner, as herein provided." § 40-7 of the Village Code.

The Code defines "operate" as:

"The picking up and conveyance by taxicab of a passenger for hire within the village, whether such passenger is discharged at a destination within or outside the village. Nothing in this chapter shall apply to, abridge, limit or regulate the right of any person not licensed hereunder to convey passengers by taxicab from points of origin outside the village to points of destination within the village or through the village." § 40-2 of the Village Code.

On April 7, 1994, the defendant brought an Order to Show Cause which was in the nature of a dismissal application pending before the Court. On April 7, 1994, the attorney for

Page 502

the defendant argued that a Temporary Restraining Order should be granted, enjoining the Nassau County Police Department from enforcing the Village Taxicab Law against the defendant.

All Seasons Taxicab Company employs all the named defendants in the instant action. All Seasons has sixteen (16) cabs and twenty (20) full- and part-time drivers. The defendant has received a total of seventeen (17) summonses and at least one of his drivers was arrested and taken away in handcuffs.

The defendant's attorney stated that they had applied for four licenses. He also stated that the applications had already been authorized by the Board of Trustees on November 12, 1993. (Tr. 12). However, on February 17, 1994 the Taxi Commission denied the defendant's license applications.

In March, 1994, one of the defendant's drivers was arrested, placed in handcuffs and brought to the Third Precinct. His vehicle was impounded on the basis that he lacked a taxi license. (Tr. 14). The defendant claims that the Village is persecuting his drivers and he cannot secure drivers because they fear being arrested.

The attorney for the defendant claims that the local Taxicab Law is an unreasonable exercise of the Village's police powers. The defendant challenges the constitutionality of the Taxicab Law, stating that it is an unreasonable interference with interstate commerce because the Village Code requires a license for the mere picking up of passengers within the Village, regardless of the passenger's destination. In essence, the defendant claims that the Village Code restricts persons from going through the Village. The result is an unconstitutional[163 Misc.2d 1048] restraint of trade or business. The attorney for the defendant cited the Commerce Clause by arguing that no state or municipality can make laws to regulate interstate commerce.

The defendant challenges the local law, because he argues that the Village is attempting to regulate taxis outside of its boundaries. The attorney for the defendant correctly states that the Village requires the entire world to be licensed in order to pick up customers within the Village of Westbury. However, the defendant admits that there can be no question regarding the power of the municipality to regulate the operation of taxicabs within its boundaries.

The Village of Westbury is authorized to pass a regulation that regulates taxicabs. General Municipal Law § 181, Ordinances to regulate taxicabs and limousines, states that:

"The municipal officers and boards in the several cities, towns and villages of this state now having the authority to enact ordinances, may adopt ordinances regulating:

"1. The registration and licensing of taxicabs and may limit the number of taxicabs to be licensed and the County of Westchester may adopt ordinances regulating the registration and licensing of taxicabs and limousines and may limit the number to be licensed.

"2. Parking and passenger pick-up and discharge by taxicabs, limousines and livery vehicles. Establishment of such ordinances and regulations regulating parking and passenger pick-up and discharges may be based upon recommendations from municipal planning officials or other public entities and may address and take into consideration such factors, including, but not limited to, geographic areas, vehicle type, limiting the number of parked vehicles and activities undertaken while parked, and periods of idling."

There can be no question that the Village is authorized to regulate the taxicab industry within its borders. Municipalities may regulate and control traffic. Unless its acts are arbitrary and capricious, courts will not interfere. Aero Drive-In v. Town of Cheektowaga, 140 A.D.2d 932, 529 N.Y.S.2d 613 (4th Dept.1988). There is a strong public interest in regulating taxicabs, which includes preventing congestion on the streets, insuring traffic safety, providing its citizens with safe and reasonably priced service and preventing unsafe driving and insuring that competent people are servicing its citizens. See, Howell v. Benson, 90 A.D.2d 903, 456 N.Y.S.2d 864 (3d Dept.1982); Vecchio v. Griffin, 143 A.D.2d 1003, 533 N.Y.S.2d 634 (2d Dept.1988).

Page 503

[163 Misc.2d 1049] A Village may pass an ordinance as long...

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7 practice notes
  • People v. Abram
    • United States
    • New York City Court
    • September 9, 1998
    ...predicated on impermissible and unacceptable standards" such as "arbitrary classifications." People v. Jabaar, 163 Misc.2d 1045, 1052, 623 N.Y.S.2d The statute in this case applies to all persons operating a motor vehicle on a public highway who are found to be intoxicated. T......
  • Arena v. Plandome Taxi Inc., 12 CV 1078 (DRH)(WDW)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • April 14, 2014
    ...that reason, Congress[, when enacting the Motor Carrier Act of 1935,] left the field largely to the states."); People v. Jabaar, 163 Misc. 2d 1045, 1049 (Justice Ct. Nassau Co. 1994) ("Congress has explicitly exempted taxicabs from Federal regulation because taxicabs are local in ......
  • People of Inc. Vill. of Westbury v. Gray
    • United States
    • New York Justice Court
    • June 15, 2017
    ...than mere hyperbole. See People v. Herbert Rogers, (Nassau County Court, 1990) N.Y.L.J. at 28, col. 3 and People v. Al Munin A. Jabaar, 163 Misc.2d 1045, 623 N.Y.S.2d 500 (1994).The defendant attaches to his motion papers his own affidavit contending that the search of his home was illegal ......
  • G & C Transp. Inc. v. Mcgrane
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • June 24, 2011
    ...competent people are servicing its citizens. Vecchio v. Griffin, 143 A.D.2d 1003, 533 N.Y.S.2d 634 (2nd Dept., 1988); People v. Jabaar, 163 Misc.2d 1045,1048, 623 N.Y.S.2d 500 (Westbury Vill. Ct., 1994). Against this backdrop and applying these well settled principles, the court will addres......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
7 cases
  • People v. Abram
    • United States
    • New York City Court
    • September 9, 1998
    ...predicated on impermissible and unacceptable standards" such as "arbitrary classifications." People v. Jabaar, 163 Misc.2d 1045, 1052, 623 N.Y.S.2d The statute in this case applies to all persons operating a motor vehicle on a public highway who are found to be intoxicated. T......
  • Arena v. Plandome Taxi Inc., 12 CV 1078 (DRH)(WDW)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of New York)
    • April 14, 2014
    ...that reason, Congress[, when enacting the Motor Carrier Act of 1935,] left the field largely to the states."); People v. Jabaar, 163 Misc. 2d 1045, 1049 (Justice Ct. Nassau Co. 1994) ("Congress has explicitly exempted taxicabs from Federal regulation because taxicabs are local in ......
  • People of Inc. Vill. of Westbury v. Gray
    • United States
    • New York Justice Court
    • June 15, 2017
    ...than mere hyperbole. See People v. Herbert Rogers, (Nassau County Court, 1990) N.Y.L.J. at 28, col. 3 and People v. Al Munin A. Jabaar, 163 Misc.2d 1045, 623 N.Y.S.2d 500 (1994).The defendant attaches to his motion papers his own affidavit contending that the search of his home was illegal ......
  • G & C Transp. Inc. v. Mcgrane
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • June 24, 2011
    ...competent people are servicing its citizens. Vecchio v. Griffin, 143 A.D.2d 1003, 533 N.Y.S.2d 634 (2nd Dept., 1988); People v. Jabaar, 163 Misc.2d 1045,1048, 623 N.Y.S.2d 500 (Westbury Vill. Ct., 1994). Against this backdrop and applying these well settled principles, the court will addres......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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