Yirenkyi v. Dist. of Columbia Hackers' License, No. 85-1082.

Docket NºNo. 85-1082.
Citation520 A.2d 328
Case DateJanuary 28, 1987
CourtCourt of Appeals of Columbia District
520 A.2d 328
Henry A. YIRENKYI, Petitioner,
v.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HACKERS' LICENSE APPEAL BOARD, Respondent.
No. 85-1082.
District of Columbia Court of Appeals.
Submitted December 2, 1986.
Decided January 28, 1987.

Page 329

Henry A. Yirenkyi filed a brief pro se.

Michele Giuliani, Asst. Corp. Counsel, with whom John H. Suda, Acting Corp. Counsel at the time the brief was filed, and Charles L. Reischel, Deputy Corp. Counsel, were on the brief, for respondent.

Before NEBEKER, TERRY, and STEADMAN, Associate Judges.

TERRY, Associate Judge:


The Public Vehicle Branch of the District of Columbia Department of Transportation denied petitioner's application for renewal of his taxicab driver's license on the ground that he lacked good moral character, in that he was on probation after his second conviction of carrying a pistol without a license1 at the time he filed his application. The Hackers' License Appeal Board, after

Page 330

a hearing, affirmed that denial and ordered petitioner to surrender his hacker's identification card to the Public Vehicle Branch. We affirm the Board's decision.

I

Henry Yirenkyi has been a taxicab driver in the District of Columbia for approximately ten years. In April 1983, and again in July 1984, he was convicted of carrying a pistol without a license in his taxicab. After his first conviction, Mr. Yirenkyi was placed on probation for one year. Upon being convicted a second time, he was fined $1000 and sentenced to serve one year in jail. Execution of the jail sentence was suspended, however, and he was placed on probation for eighteen months.

The Public Vehicle Branch, considering the seriousness of these two convictions, the fact that Mr. Yirenkyi committed the very same offense twice in little more than a year, and the need to protect the public, denied his application for renewal of his hacker's license. In its letter of denial the Branch cited applicable regulations, 15 DCMR §§ 1001.12 through 1001.15 (1986), which limit the eligibility of license applicants. Those regulations provide in pertinent part:

1001.12. The Director shall not issue any license under this chapter to any person who, in the judgment of the Director, is not of good moral character,[2] under the standards laid down in §§ 1001.13 through 1001.15.

1001.13. An applicant shall not be considered of good moral character if he or she is any of the following:

* * * * * *

(c) On parole or probation at the time of the filing of his or her application for a license, except as provided in § 1001.14.

1001.14. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 1001.13, if the parole or probation arose out of a conviction for a crime other than those listed in § 1001.15,[3] the parolee's or probationer's application may be considered for approval by the Director if a letter from the appropriate parole or probation officer is submitted with the application stating that there is no objection to the issuance of a hacker's license.

Mr. Yirenkyi appealed from this decision to the Hackers' License Appeal Board, which unanimously affirmed the ruling of the Public Vehicle Branch. The Board concluded that the seriousness and frequency of the offenses of which he had been convicted, "coupled with the mission of the Branch, which is primarily to protect the public, who frequently ride in Appellant's taxicab," constituted "sufficient cause" to deny the renewal of his license. The Board's order also required him to turn in his hacker's identification card. He petitioned the Board for reconsideration, which was denied for lack of new evidence. He then filed the instant petition for review, of which this court has jurisdiction under D.C. Code § 1-1510(a) (1981).4

II

15 DCMR § 1001.13(c) prohibits any person who is on parole or probation from obtaining a license to drive a taxicab in the District of Columbia. The only exception to that prohibition is found in 15 DCMR § 1001.14, which permits a probationer who has been convicted of a crime other than

Page 331

one of those listed in 15 DCMR § 1001.155 to submit a letter from his or her probation officer "stating that there is no objection to the issuance of a hacker's license." Although petitioner did submit a letter from his probation officer, the letter merely recited the facts surrounding the two convictions, reiterated petitioner's arguments for renewal of his license, and stated that his "overall adjustment [had] been positive concerning reporting to this office when requested." Even though the Public Vehicle Branch construed this letter as "favorable," it did not meet the requirements of section 1001.14 because the probation officer failed to state that he had no objection to the issuance of a license. In any event, the mere fact that petitioner submitted a letter from his probation officer did not mean that the Director of the Branch was obliged to issue him a license. The regulation states that a probationer's application "may be considered for approval" if a letter is submitted, but it does not require approval. The final decision on petitioner's application remained at all times within the sound discretion of the Public Vehicle Branch, which was free to deny it despite the probation officer's letter, subject to appellate review by the Hackers' License Appeal Board and, ultimately, this court. Thus the only issue for us to decide in this case is whether the Public Vehicle Branch and the Hackers' License Appeal Board abused their discretion in refusing to renew petitioner's license to drive a taxicab.

The regulations at issue here implement the governing statute, D.C.Code § 47-2829(e) (1981), which limits the issuance of hackers' licenses to persons of "good moral character." Whatever that term may mean in other contexts,6 it surely excludes from consideration for a license any person, such as petitioner, who has been twice convicted of an offense against the...

To continue reading

Request your trial
3 practice notes
  • State v. Fisher, No. 2004AP2989-CR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • 17 Mayo 2006
    ...672 (1997); State v. Lutters, 270 Conn. 198, 853 A.2d 434, 439-47 (2004); Yirenkyi v. District of Columbia Hackers' License Appeal Bd., 520 A.2d 328, 332 (D.C.1987); People v. Cosby, 118 Ill.App.2d 169, 255 N.E.2d 54, 57 (1969); People v. Brooks, 87 Mich.App. 515, 275 N.W.2d 26, 27 10. Havi......
  • In re Mintz, No. 92-SP-222.
    • United States
    • District of Columbia Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • 24 Junio 1993
    ...other illnesses that have substantially contributed to their infractions. See, e.g., Peek, 565 A.2d at 634 (chronic depression); Kersey, 520 A.2d at 328 (alcoholism). Moreover, it seems to me that some of these probationary requirements would also be desirable in certain cases in which atto......
  • In re Temple, No. 90-SP-297.
    • United States
    • District of Columbia Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • 12 Agosto 1993
    ...was substantially affected by alcoholism, disbarment was stayed pending his satisfactory completion of a five year period of probation. 520 A.2d at 328. In Kersey, we made the following observations which are pertinent to consideration of discipline in this These cases are necessarily decid......
3 cases
  • State v. Fisher, No. 2004AP2989-CR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • 17 Mayo 2006
    ...672 (1997); State v. Lutters, 270 Conn. 198, 853 A.2d 434, 439-47 (2004); Yirenkyi v. District of Columbia Hackers' License Appeal Bd., 520 A.2d 328, 332 (D.C.1987); People v. Cosby, 118 Ill.App.2d 169, 255 N.E.2d 54, 57 (1969); People v. Brooks, 87 Mich.App. 515, 275 N.W.2d 26, 27 10. Havi......
  • In re Mintz, No. 92-SP-222.
    • United States
    • District of Columbia Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • 24 Junio 1993
    ...other illnesses that have substantially contributed to their infractions. See, e.g., Peek, 565 A.2d at 634 (chronic depression); Kersey, 520 A.2d at 328 (alcoholism). Moreover, it seems to me that some of these probationary requirements would also be desirable in certain cases in which atto......
  • In re Temple, No. 90-SP-297.
    • United States
    • District of Columbia Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • 12 Agosto 1993
    ...was substantially affected by alcoholism, disbarment was stayed pending his satisfactory completion of a five year period of probation. 520 A.2d at 328. In Kersey, we made the following observations which are pertinent to consideration of discipline in this These cases are necessarily decid......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT