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.