Dan's victory on behalf of thousands of taxi and FHV drivers whose licenses the TLC suspended on arrest made it possible for drivers to win reinstatement. Since winning that case in federal court, he had developed a track record of success in fighting for the reinstatement of suspended licenses at the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH). These hearings often relate to suspensions based on an arrest. But has also represented drivers who failed drug tests, who were accused of refusing service to passengers.
For more on suspension-on-arrest hearings, CLICK HERE
Dan has a track record of success at the NYC Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH), both in fighting license suspensions and trials where the TLC or other city agencies is seeking a fine, a suspension or even a revocation of a license.
In OATH hearings, Dan has won reinstatement for suspended licensees. He has also won decisions denying penalties where a City agency is demanding revocation of a license.
For details about hearings based on summary suspensions of TLC license, click here.
Examples of decisions where Ackman won reinstatement for a suspended/arrested driver are detailed below:
*In TLC v. D.R., at the end of his trip, the passenger said she had no money to pay, but could get it from a friend inside his apartment. The driver let her go obtain the money, but the passenger left her phone behind. Exactly why she left the phone was in dispute.
When the passenger returned, she still had no money so the driver, following a TLC rule, drove to the nearest police precinct. The passenger held onto the car as the driver drove away--either for a few feet or 200 feet-- apparently injuring herself in the process. As the driver was reporting a crime for which she was the victim, she was herself arrested and originally charged with felony assault. The prosecutor, however, quickly dropped the assault charge, but replaced it with a felony robbery charge, premised on stealing the passenger's phone.
The driver prevailed mainly because the entire theory of the crime was implausible .
* In TLC v. J.D., the OATH tribunal considered the case of a driver arrested for felony assault and for leaving the scene of an accident. This case seemed especially difficult since the alleged assault weapon was the taxi itself so the assault was on-duty as was the alleged leaving the scene of an accident. But the driver prevailed because he credibly testified that he was actually the victim of an assault. Thus, when his taxi came into contact with complainant's bicycle, the driver was fleeing for safety. Almost equally as important as respondent's testimony and photographs, is his lack of contact with the criminal justice system, his flawless driving history, and the absence of passenger complaints over three decades as a licensee. In all respects, respondent's record was spotless, suggesting that his arrest was an aberration rather than evidence of a violent nature
* In TLC v. I.O., the driver was charged with leaving the scene of an accident while off-duty after a woman on an electric bicycle collided with his car. The driver testified that he actually got out of his car and asked the woman if she was OK and the woman cursed at him, but said he was. Of course, if there was no personal injury or property damage a driver is not required to stay at an accident scene. But as the OATH judge cannot adjudicate the underlying crime, the driver's sincerity good character is what carried the day. The OATH judge found, “Respondent impressed me as a sincere and credible witness, who made a good-faith effort to answer each question he was asked. He offered testimony and documentary evidence regarding his employment history and driving record,” both of which were quite good. The driver also presented character testimony. Finally the driver's counsel demonstrated that this driver's case was comparable to other OATH cases where a driver charged with leaving the scene of an accident was reinstated.
* In TLC v. I.C., the OATH tribunal considered a suspension based on an arrest of a driver for or criminal mischief in the third degree and assault in the third degree, both misdemeanors. The arrest followed a spat between I.C. and her husband's mistress. The police, rather than take the driver into custody, issued a desk appearance ticket. The Queens County District Attorney later reduced the charges to criminal mischief in the fourth degree and assault in the third degree, class A misdemeanors, and harassment in the second degree, a violation. Dan Ackman, I.C.'s lawyer, argued that the reduction in the charge and the fact that the police issued a DAT, combined with the drivers excellent record were string reasons to life the suspension.
The OATH judge agreed . He found that in contrast to the criminal complainant's sparse and inconsistent account, I.C. provided more detailed information.
* In TLC v. A.S ., the driver was arrested for assault, criminal mischief and harassment. The OATH judge recommended reinstatement, however, despite the serious nature of the allegations, Ackman pointed out serious discrepancies between the initial charges, the criminal court charges, and the arraignment charges. These disparities diminished the reliability and probative value of the details on the police reports and criminal complaint. The judge also noted the lack of nay injury suffered by the complaining witness and the driver's good record overall.
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Dan has also represented drivers charged with having excessive "points" on their licenses. It's critical to note that the TLC cannot suspend your driver's license. It can (and does) suspend or revoke a TLC (or hack) license, which denies a driver the ability to earn a living. The TLC's standards for suspending or even revoking a licenses is different and lower than the DMV uses for penalizing a driver's license. For example, the TLC claims the right to revoke a license when a driver accumulates 11 points on his license within 15 months. Unlike the DMV, these revocations are mandatory, so it's crucial to understand how points can be reduced. If the TLC seeks revocation anyway, you will need counsel who can challenge how those points are counted.
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Here are the primary ordinances and rules that govern taxi and for-hire vehicle drivers and suspensions.
New York City Administrative Code re the FHV Industry: The NYC ordinances governing the for-hire vehicle industry
TLC Driver Rules: Rules governing taxi and FHV drivers
TLC Adjudication Rules: Rules governing TLC hearings as well as suspensions and revocations of TLC licenses
OATH Rules: Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings Rules of Practice OATH
OATH also holds hearings on summonses that are issued by the following enforcement agencies. The same principles apply at administrative hearings involving these agencies as they do at TLC/OATH hearings.
NYC Department of Sanitation
NYC Department of Buildings
NYC Fire Department
NYC Department of Environmental Protection
NYC Department of Transportation
NYC Department of Parks and Recreation
NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
NYC Department of Consumer Affairs
New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission
New York Police Department (NYPD)
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission
NYC Business Integrity Commission
NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT)
NYC Department of Finance
Mayor's Office of Special Enforcement