At a conference in chambers today, Kristine Holden, Corporate Counsel, who represents the TLC said, "The TLC cannot be held in contempt because we have done everything we were ordered to do by this court. Mr. Sloan's primary complaint, correct me if I am wrong, is that we have not issued to him a Hack license. However, it would clearly be inappropriate for the court to order us to do that."
To this, Judge Lebedeff replied, "That's not quite true. There are certain things that are supposed to be happening. I will give you until Monday to present formal papers in opposition to Mr. Sloan's motion."
This is likely to be the big one. If Judge Lebedeff ultimately accepts the TLC's contention, which is essentially that a court can never order that a TLC license be issued, then Article 78 proceedings against the TLC will be pointless. In fact, the TLC has a long history of ignoring court orders that licenses be issued. Many petitioners have won court judgments against the TLC. None of them have been able to get their licenses issued by the TLC.
So, essentially, the TLC is taking the position that Judge Lebedeff's order dated February 27, 2002 and entered March 4, 2002 is a legal nullity.
Here is the Order to Show Cause which Judge Lebefeff signed today:
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Samuel H. Sloan,
For a Judgment Pursuant to CPLR Article 78
YOUR FAILURE TO APPEAR IN COURT MAY RESULT IN
YOUR IMMEDIATE ARREST AND IMPRISONMENT FOR
CONTEMPT OF COURT
LET the respondents or their attorneys show cause at IAS Part 8, Room 540, of this court to be held at the Courthouse, 60 Centre Street, New York, NY on the 13th day of May 2002 at 9:30 o'clock in the forenoon of that day or as soon thereafter as counsel may be heard why an order should not be made:
1. 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.
2. Directing the respondent to issue TLC License numbers 5081212, 5093363 and 496476.
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 and record of license numbers 496476, 5081212 and 5093363 and any other documents or evidence pertaining to that hearing or to this case.
Sufficient cause appearing therefore, let personal service of a copy of this order, and the verified petition and other papers upon which this order is granted upon the respondents New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission and the Corporation Counsel of the City of New York on or before the ___ day of May, 2002 be deemed good and sufficient. A copy of an affidavit or other proof of service shall be filed with the County Clerk immediately after service and the original thereof shall be presented to this court on the return date directed in the second paragraph of this order, and in the meantime it is
[ORDERED that pending hearing and determination of this application the respondents are directed to issue taxi license numbers 5081212, 5093363 and 496476.] STRICKEN
J. S. C.