Case Files

Taxi & Limousine Comm’n v. Saini

February 2024

The Taxi and Limousine Commission sought to revoke Raj Saini's taxi driver's license and even his vehicle license when it learned of his 2015 conviction for indecent assault in Pennsylvania pursuant to TLC Rule 68-14(a)(3). The driver argued that that Rule 68-14(a)(3) does not apply to his Pennsylvania conviction, and that the TLC should instead focus on the the fact that in more than ten years as a TLC licensee, Saini had never assaulted or been accused of assaulting or threatening a passenger. 

The TLC argued that revocation was warranted under Rule 68-14(a)(3) because Saini's conviction for indecent assault was the “functional equivalent” of a conviction for sexual abuse in the third degree, which, if Saini had been convicted of in New York currently, could have resulted in his revocation. The ALJ rejected this argument.

"The issue before me is not whether 18 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 3126(a)(1) is the functional equivalent of Penal Law section 130.55. That the two offenses contain the same essential elements is not in dispute. Indeed, the specific elements of each offense were neither discussed at trial nor submitted into evidence by either party. The issue before me, rather, is whether respondent violated Rule 68-14(a)(3). I find that he did not....

[D]ue process requires that petitioner prove the charges contained in the petition by a preponderance of the evidence. Petitioner failed to prove that respondent violated Rule 6814(a)(3), and petitioner did not accuse respondent of violating Rule 68-14(a)(1), the rule more aligned with these facts. I decline to amend the charges sua sponte to conform to the evidence. See 48 RCNY § 1-25 (Lexis 2024); Dep't of Correction v. Jenkins, OATH Index No. 3070/09 at 13-14 (Dec. 16. 2009); Murray v. Murphy, 24 N.Y.2d 150, 157 (1968) (“[N]o person may lose substantial rights because of wrongdoing shown by the evidence, but not charged.”) Petitioner has not met its burden, and respondent's TLC driver's license and TLC vehicle license thus cannot be revoked via this petition.

Practice area(s): Administrative Law

Daniel Ackman

D​​an Ackman focuses on civil rights, administrative and constitutional class action litigation. Perhaps best known for representing New York City's taxi drivers in a series of civil rights class action lawsuits, Ackman's cases have resulted in a half dozen City practices being declared unconstitutional.