U.B.A. Inc. v. New York City Taxi & Limousine Com'n

Decision Date03 May 1990
Citation554 N.Y.S.2d 588,161 A.D.2d 202
CourtNew York Supreme Court — Appellate Division
PartiesU.B.A. INC., et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. NEW YORK CITY TAXI & LIMOUSINE COMMISSION, Defendant-Respondent.

A. Alter, for plaintiffs-appellants.

M. Kallus, New York City, for defendant-respondent.



Order, Supreme Court, New York County (Diane Lebedeff, J.) entered April 3, 1989, which granted defendant's motion to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a cause of action, unanimously reversed, on the law, and the complaint reinstated, without costs.

Plaintiffs are UBA, Inc., the professional organization of licensed taxicab brokers in New York City, and several individual brokers. The defendant New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission regulates taxicab brokers. In 1988 the defendant Commission promulgated new rules and regulations governing taxicab brokers. These new regulations radically increased the schedule of penalties and fines, by way of vastly higher monetary fines, mandatory license suspension provisions for certain infractions, and a minimum 30-day period for any license suspension, for essentially the same offenses that had been governed by the old rules.

Plaintiffs commenced this action seeking a declaratory judgment declaring the new penalty schedule void as unreasonable and arbitrary. The defendant did not answer the complaint, but instead moved pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(7) to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a cause of action. The motion was supported by an attorney's affirmation which argued the ultimate merits of the case and claimed that the new regulations were not arbitrary or unreasonable as alleged in the complaint, and could not be overturned since the defendant's promulgation of the new rules was in accordance with its authority and not ultra vires.

The IAS Court accepted the City's position and granted the motion to dismiss the complaint pursuant to CPLR 3211(a) (7), and in so doing reached out to determine the merits of the complaint.

However, as the City concedes, the Court utilized an improper standard on the CPLR 3211(a)(7) motion. On such a motion, the sole criterion is whether the complaint states a cause of action, and if, from the four corners of the complaint, factual allegations are discerned which taken together manifest any cause of action cognizable at law, a motion for dismissal will fail (e.g., Guggenheimer v. Ginzburg, 43 N.Y.2d 268, 275, 401 N.Y.S.2d 182, 372 N.E.2d 17). A complaint should not be dismissed on a pleading motion so long as, when the plaintiff is given the benefit of every possible favorable inference, a cause of action exists. (Rovello v. Orofino Realty Co., 40 N.Y.2d 633, 389 N.Y.S.2d 314, 357 N.E.2d 970.)

Judged by this standard, the complaint sufficiently sets forth a cognizable cause of action. Plaintiffs allege a number of facts from which it can be...

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2 cases
  • Maurillo v. Park Slope U-Haul
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court — Appellate Division
    • December 27, 1993
    ...fail (see, Guggenheimer v. Ginzburg, 43 N.Y.2d 268, 275, 401 N.Y.S.2d 182, 372 N.E.2d 17; see also, U.B.A., Inc. v. New York City Taxi & Limousine Comm., 161 A.D.2d 202, 554 N.Y.S.2d 588; Fleming v. Allstate Ins. Co., 106 A.D.2d 426, 482 N.Y.S.2d 519, aff'd, 66 N.Y.2d 838, 498 N.Y.S.2d 365,......
  • People v. Reyes
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court — Appellate Division
    • May 3, 1990
    ... ... The PEOPLE of the State of New York, Respondent, ... Ray REYES, Defendant-Appellant ... ...

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