Petition to hold the TLC in Contempt



Samuel H. Sloan,

For a Judgment Pursuant to CPLR Article 78

Verified Petition
INDEX NO. 123003/2002

New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission,


Samuel H. Sloan, being duly sworn, deposes and says:

1. I am the petitioner herein. I reside at 39-75 56th Street, Apt. 5A, Woodside, NY 11377. On February 27, 2002, this court issued a judgment in my favor. This judgment was entered, filed and served on the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission on March 4, 2002. Attached hereto as Exhibit A is the cover page showing that the judgment was filed and served with a notice of entry on that date.

2. Since then, more than two months have passed. The TLC has not complied with the order of the court and quite obviously has no intention of ever complying with the order of this court. In my view the order of this court should be read to require the issuance of a hack license. Even if it does not require it, it certainly requires the TLC to process my application. Instead, as discussed below, they have demanded non-existent documents of no relevance to my application and have refused to act.

3. The TLC is taking exactly the same position that it took when I first filed this case back in December, 2001. Their position at that that time was that they have the absolute discretion to decide whether or not to issue a taxi driver's license and they have decided in their discretion not to issue the license. They say the same thing now. It is as if this court never issued a decision dated February 27, 2002. The TLC obviously regards the decision of this court as a meaningless legal nullity, which changes nothing.

4. The TLC has a history of doing exactly this. Many taxi drivers have won court cases against the TLC. In every case of which I am aware, the TLC refused to comply with the court order and the victorious taxi driver had to go back to court again and again to obtain enforcement of his judgment.

5. It is clear that the TLC is carrying out a personal vendetta against me. Not only has the TLC not complied with the order of this court, but it has not done any of the other things it promised to or is legally required to do. It never filed the complete record of the proceedings before the TLC, as it is required to do by Article 78. In addition, in the Article 78 Petition I filed in this court, I complained that the TLC had not responded to my Freedom of Information Law request. (Exhibit R of my petition). In response, the TLC stated: "TLC is currently processing petitioner's FOIL request." (See Verified Answer of the TLC dated December 20, 2001, page 6, paragraph 36).

6. More than four months have since passed. The TLC has still not responded to my Freedom of Information Law request. I have called counsel for the TLC many times to demand compliance and counsel has been non-responsive.

7. More that that, Officials of the TLC have LIED about this. I went to a public meeting of the Business Committee of New York City Counsel on March 15, 2002. I sat in the audience listening to TLC Chairman Matthew W. Daus tell lie after lie about how well things are going at the TLC. I heard Committee Chairman John Liu and other members of the City Counsel compliment and praise Matthew W. Daus about what a fine job he is doing. At the end of the questioning, I stood up and attempted to ask a question of Matthew Daus. The question I was trying to ask was when was he going to comply with the order of this court and give me my taxi license. I was not allowed to ask this question. However, Matthew Daus said that he would answer my questions outside the chambers. Then, Lisa Rana, who is TLC Chief of Staff, went out of the room with me. After she had identified herself and given me her card, I identified myself and asked when was she going to comply with the order of the court by giving me my license. Lisa Rana replied that she did not have to comply with the order of the court because the case had been appealed. By that time, Peter M. Mazer, TLC General Corporate Counsel, had come out of chambers. I told Lisa Rana and Peter Mazer that I had not received a notice of appeal. They both stated that the case had been appealed. Lisa Rana then instructed Peter Mazer not to discuss the case with me because litigation was pending.

8. I later went over to the Supreme Court House at 60 Centre Street and spent more than one hour locating and checking the appeal book. I found out that no notice of appeal had been filed. I then went home and waited several days for the notice of appeal to arrive. I eventually found out that they had not appealed and had no intention of appealing, because in their view the decision of this court dated February 27, 2002 was meaningless and changed nothing.

9. Regarding the lies told to me by Lisa Rana and Peter Mazer when they said that they had appealed when they had not, I have since learned that both Lisa Rana and Peter Mazer were previously administrative law judges of the TLC. This demonstrates a conflict of interest. A judge, even an administrative law judge, is supposed to be independent of the agency he is judging. However, TLC judges, unlike many other administrative law judges, are hired and fired by the TLC. If an administrative law judge decides a case against the TLC, the judge can be fired for this. This explains why TLC judges always decide their cases in favor of the TLC. They do not want to lose their jobs. This is obviously a violation of the constitutional rights of the unfortunate taxi drivers who invariably are found guilty by the TLC judges and are made to pay enormous fines.

10. More than that, part one of this court's order said that there would be a hearing before a special referee for the $280 fine which started this entire situation. That hearing was scheduled for April 24, 2002 in Room 148. The TLC appeared and requested an adjournment until May 14, which was granted. It is obvious that I did appeal on time, which is the only issue to be decided by the Special Referee, plus this court has already ruled that the $280 fine was illegal since I was not a taxi driver on the date in question. Rather than simply refund my $280 (which I desperately need now because I have a five months old baby to feed), the TLC is wasting the New York City taxpayer's money by sending attorneys to court to fight the appeal.

11. It is very important to point out here that had the TLC complied with my FOIL Request which I made in October 2001 and which in December they said that they were processing, the documents which they would have been required to produce would have included my notice of appeal. This their non-compliance with my FOIL Request is part of their scheme to unlawfully deprive me of my taxi license and my money.

12. On March 15, 2002, top officials of the TLC refused to discuss the case with me because, they said, litigation was pending. I told them that litigation was not pending because I won the case and a final judgment had been entered.

13. Meanwhile, while refusing to obey the order of the court, while asking for adjournments of the hearing before the Special Referee and while not complying with my FOIL request, they have sent me a barrage of letters and demands. Rather than repeat and reiterate which has been said in this exchange of correspondence, I have attached it as an exhibit. They have not responded to any of my letters to them.

14. The bottom line is that the TLC has refused to obey the order of this court which stated on page 11: "Accordingly, the petition is granted to the extent it seeks to annul the determination of the respondent denying the application for TLC License number 5081212 and the matter remanded to the agency for further administrative action on such application."

15. The clear intent of this order was that I should be issued my license. They have not done so or even scheduled a hearing on this matter. Instead, they stick to their untenable position that the decision to grant or not to grant a license is purely discretionary with the TLC and, in their infinite discretion, they have chosen not to issue me a license.

16. I need to explain that on the day after I filed the Article 78 Petition in this case, I received a call from Marc Hardekopf who stated that the hearing then set for December 13, 2001 was being postponed. The reason he gave was not that this case had been filed (he did not seem to be aware of the existence of this case) but that none of the judges of the TLC were willing to hear this case because they all knew ALJ Michelle Manzione personally and this had become a case of me against ALJ Manzione. Mr. Hardekopf stated that since no TLC ALJ had been found to hear this case, that a request was bring made of the Office of Administrative Law Judges to provide a judge for this case.

17. It is apparent that no judge of the Office of Administrative Law Judges would be willing to decide this case in a manner favorable to the TLC, so they are simply writing letters refusing to hear or consider either my hack licenses or my FHV license.

18. It is to be recalled that when I first filed this case, I named as defendants Michelle Manzione, Charles Tortorici, Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Diane McGrath-McKechnie, Elias Arout, Harry Giannoulis, Marvin Greenberg, Harry Rubinstein, Elliott G. Sander, Alberto Torres, Ramona M. Whaley, Matthew W. Daus, Bin K. Huang, Valerie Greaves, Roger Morgan, Cici Pulyam, Jeanmarie Ariola, and Marc T. Hardekopf. As I stated at the time, the reason I took this unusual action was that I was aware that the TLC had a history of non-compliance with court orders. It is also impossible to put the City of New York in Jail. However, individual defendants can be put in jail. I therefore request that the personally named defendants be reinstated in this case and be confined to New York City Jail until they have complied with the order of this court.

19. In addition, this problem started because the TLC refused to renew my original license, number 496476, when I applied for renewal in December 1999. This court may have felt that it made no difference whether the TLC was ordered to reinstate the old license number 496476 or to issue a new license number 5081212. However, it is now apparent that there is a difference, and so I request that this court order the TLC to reinstate license number 496476.

20. This entire case has been going on for more than one year. It all started because of improper actions of members of the TLC staff. Meanwhile, I have been prevented from working. What the TLC needs is a nice jail sentence because nothing less will have any meaning for them. All of the grounds they provided previously for denying me a taxi license have been rejected by this court. They had a so-called "hearing" and the results have been reversed by this court. They cannot be allowed infinite time to come up with an infinite number of reasons to deny me a taxi license.

21. No prior application has been made for the relief requested herein.

22. Rights of petitioner have been impeded, impaired, prejudiced and defeated.

WHEREFORE, I respectfully pray for an order:

1. Directing the respondent to issue TLC Licenses numbered 5081212 and 5093363 and 496476.

2. Holding Respondents in Contempt of Court for Disobedience of an order of this court dated February 27, 2002 and filed and served March 4, 2002 which annulled the determination of the respondent denying the application for TLC License Number 50812121 and remanded the matter to the agency for further administrative action on such application.

3. Directing full refund of all the moneys and school fees paid by petitioner for the issuance of TLC Licenses, both license number 5081212 and 5093363, because petitioner should have been allowed to renew license number 496476.

4. Requiring the respondents to produce for copying the entire file of license numbers 496476, 5081212 and 5093363 and any other documents or evidence pertaining to this case.

Respectfully Submitted,

Samuel H. Sloan

Sworn to before me this 6th
Day of May, 2002

______________________ NOTARY PUBLIC

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