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Azam v. District of Columbia Taxicab Comm'n

United States District Court, D. Columbia.

June 2, 2014

CHOUDHARY M. AZAM, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA TAXICAB COMMISSION, et al., Defendants

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For CHOUDHARY M. AZAM, MOHAMMED AKRAM, AHMED DJEBBOUR, WALEED A. MOHAMMED, TARIQ MAHMOOD, Plaintiffs: Billy L. Ponds, LEAD ATTORNEY, PONDS LAW FIRM, Washington, DC.

For BENJAMIN P. STEWART, MOHAMMED SALEEM SYED, PER KRISTIAN HOEL, Plaintiffs: Billy L. Ponds, PONDS LAW FIRM, Washington, DC.

For RONALD LINTON, Chairman, District of Columbia Taxicab Commission, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Defendants: Douglas Stuart Rosenbloom, LEAD ATTORNEY, OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Public Interest Division, Washington, DC.

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MEMORANDUM OPINION

ELLEN SEGAL HUVELLE, United States District Judge.

Plaintiffs, individuals who are either licensed to operate taxicabs in the District of Columbia or who utilize taxicabs as passengers, bring this action against Ronald Linton, Chairman of the District of Columbia Taxicab Commission, and the District of Columbia, challenging various regulations enacted by the Commission as violating the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the United States Constitution, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (" ADA" ), 42 U.S.C. § 12132, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (" ADEA" ). ( See 2d Am. Compl., Nov. 23, 2014 [ECF No. 17] (" 2AC" ).) Before the Court are plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction (Pls.' Mot. for Preliminary Injunction, Nov. 23, 2013 [ECF No. 18] (" PI Mot." )) and defendants' motion to dismiss or, in the alternative, for summary judgment. (Defs.' Mot. to Dismiss Pls.' Second Am. Compl. or, in the Alternative, for Summary Judgment, Jan. 17, 2014 [ECF No. 19] (" Defs.' MTD/SJ Mot." ).) For the reasons stated herein, defendants' motion to dismiss will be granted. Plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction and defendants' motion for summary judgment will be denied as moot.

BACKGROUND

In 2012, the D.C. Council enacted the Taxicab Service Improvement Amendment Act of 2012 (" Improvement Act" ). 2012 District of Columbia Laws 19-184 (Act 19-437). One section of the Improvement Act addressed the " modernization of taxicabs" in the District, giving the District of Columbia Taxicab Commission [1] " one year from October 22, 2012, to modernize the taxicab fleet and make vehicle and equipment improvements, including installation of meter systems that would accept non-cash payment of fares and electronically collect trip-sheet data through the use of GPS technology" and installation of " [u]niform cruising lights that clearly display a taxicab's identification number, as well as identify when a taxicab is occupied, on-call, off-duty, or available to accept a fare." See D.C. Code § 50-326(a)(1)-(2). The Act further authorized the Taxicab Commission to collect a " passenger surcharge" for

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each ride " in an amount not to exceed 50 cents" to help fund the Commission. D.C. Code § § 50-303, 50-320

Pursuant to the Improvement Act, the Taxicab Commission issued implementing regulations, which, in relevant part, provide for the collection of a $0.25 passenger surcharge for each trip, 31 D.C. Mun. Regs. § 1103; require licensed taxicab drivers to install a " modern taximeter system" (" MTS" ); see 31 D.C. Mun. Regs. § 603 (" MTS Regulation" ), and require drivers to install a new standardized dome light, 31 D.C. Mun. Regs. § 605 (" Dome Light Regulation" ).[2] The aspects of the MTS Regulation and Dome Light Regulation that are at issue in the present litigation are summarized below.

MTS Regulation

The MTS Regulation requires drivers to acquire an MTS from an approved " payment service provider" (" PSP" ). The MTS includes a taximeter, a global positioning system, and a payment processing unit. The MTS is turned on when a driver begins a shift and turned off when the shift ends. When it is on, the MTS connects to the PSP, which then receives and processes payment information for each trip in real time. Through the PSP, the MTS is also connected to the Taxicab Commission's Taxicab Information System (" TCIS" ).[3] Every 24 hours, the MTS transmits data to the TCIS, including:

(1) The date;
(2) The operator identification (Face Card) number and PVIN, reported in a unique and anonymous manner allowing the PSP to maintain a retrievable record of the operator and vehicle;
(3) The name of the taxicab company, association, or fleet if applicable;
(4) The PSP-assigned tour ID number and time at beginning of tour of duty;
(5) The time and mileage of each trip;
(6) The time of pickup and drop-off of each trip;
(7) The geospatially-recorded place of pickup and drop-off of each trip which may be generalized to census tract level;
(8) The number of passengers;
(9) The unique trip number assigned by the PSP;
(10) The taximeter fare and an itemization of the rates and charges ...

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