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HILTON WASHINGTON CORP. v. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
September 26, 1984
HILTON WASHINGTON CORPORATION T/A THE WASHINGTON HILTON, Plaintiff,
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, et al., Defendants; PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Intervenor-Defendant
The opinion of the court was delivered by: GREEN
This matter is before the Court on defendants' and intervenor-defendant's motion to dismiss; plaintiff's motion for summary judgment; intervenor-defendant's opposition thereto; plaintiff's reply to intervenor-defendant's opposition; supplemental briefing and additional information requested by the Court; oral argument on the motions, and the entire record herein. For the reasons outlined below, summary judgment is granted for defendant and intervenor-defendant.
The material facts in this case are not in dispute. Plaintiff Hilton Washington Corporation brought suit against the District of Columbia, challenging the constitutionality of section 3 of D.C. Law 4-89, Taxicab Act of 1981, and seeking declaratory judgment voiding the effect of said provision.
The provision at issue provides:
It shall be unlawful for any keeper or proprietor or agent acting for the keeper or proprietor of any licensed hotel in the District of Columbia to exclude any District licensed taxicab driver from picking up passengers at any hackstand or other location where taxicabs are regularly allowed to pick up passengers on the hotel premises.
Violation of this provision shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed $300, or imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or both for each violation thereof.
40 D.C. Code § 725 (1984 Supplement).
In 1981, the Council of the District of Columbia enacted the Taxicab Act of 1981 ("the Act"), which became effective on March 31, 1982. Since the effective date of the Act, plaintiff, pursuant to the terms of the statute, has permitted all taxicabs, licensed by the District of Columbia, to enter its property and use the Hotel's taxi stand for the purpose of picking up passengers at the Hotel.
Plaintiff in its complaint states that it has not been satisfied with the quality of service and lack of control over said taxicabs. It states that it has been unable to ensure that its guests and patrons are provided appropriate and quality service.
Unsatisfied with this lack of control over taxicabs that entered its property, the Hotel developed a proposed permit fee system to regulate taxicabs that use plaintiff's taxi stand. A summary of the proposed plan provides:
The system will be governed by three documents which have been drafted by the Hotel: Permit, Agreement and Rules. In order to enter upon Hotel property to pick up passengers, a taxicab operator must have a Permit issued by the Hotel. The Permit is obtained by entering into an Agreement with the Hotel to comply with the Rules and paying a permit fee. The Rules require a reasonable standard of conduct for all operators and of appearance for all taxicabs while on Hotel property. Violation of the Rules may result in cancellation of the Permit. Furthermore, the Rules establish the basic permit fee of $120.00 per year, payable $10.00 per month in advance. This fee can be discounted to $60.00 per year for all cash payment in advance. Additionally, a further discount can be secured by any taxicab company, ...
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