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New Bandit Cab Legislation


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Powerpoint presentation regarding recent "bandit cab" legislation.

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New Bandit Cab Legislation

  1. 1. CALIFORNIA’S NEW BANDIT CAB LEGISLATION Paul Marron, Esq. April 17, 2009 Landmark Square 111 West Ocean Blvd, Suite 1925 Long Beach, CA 90802 p.562. 432.7422 f.562.432.8682
  3. 3. THE BANDIT CAB PROBLEM IN CALIFORNIA In 2008 there were approximately 18,000 legally operating taxicabs in California In Los Angeles there were approximately 2,000 legally operating cabs and an equal number of illegally operating cabs.
  4. 4. THE BANDIT CAB PROBLEM IN CALIFORNIA Bandit Cab Operators are Able to Avoid: •Safety Requirements •Drug Testing •Accident Insurance Coverage •Proper Inspections •Taximeter Requirements •Proper Licensing of Their Businesses •Proper Licensing of Their Drivers
  5. 5. THE BANDIT CAB PROBLEM IN CALIFORNIA Police forces and the California Legislature Finally Realize that Bandit Cabs are Unfair and Unsafe. Many Complaints Have Been Received From Bandit Cab Customers Including: •Price Gouging •Robbery •Assault •Sexual Assault
  6. 6. THE BANDIT CAB PROBLEM IN CALIFORNIA In 1999 a bandit driver with two convictions for drunken driving and a suspended licensed raced into a Compton rail crossing and collided with a Metro Blue Line train, killing himself and all five passengers.
  7. 7. THE BANDIT CAB PROBLEM IN CALIFORNIA In 2006, the Los Angeles Taxi Commission instituted a Bandit Taxi Enforcement Program jointly between LAPD and LADOT with high levels of success.
  8. 8. THE BANDIT CAB PROBLEM IN CALIFORNIA Number of Bandit Arrests and Impounds in Los Angeles Before and After Bandit Taxicab Enforcement Program Charter in 2006 1600 1400 1200 1000 Arrests 800 Impounds 600 400 200 0 1997-2005 2006 2007 2008
  10. 10. NEW LEGISLATION California State Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) spearheaded and presented SB1519 in the summer of 2008. This bill passed through the California State Legislature and was signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger on September 30, 2008 to be enacted starting January 1, 2009.
  11. 11. NEW LEGISLATION Supporters of This Bill Include: Taxicab Paratransit Association of California Cabco Yellow (Los Angeles Basin) City of Huntington Park City of Los Angeles Board of Taxicab Commissioners President Bruce Iwasaki City of Sacramento City of San Francisco Taxi Commissioners League of California Cities Luxor Cabs (San Francisco) National Cab Company (San Francisco) United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5 USA Cab Limited (San Diego) Yellow Cab Cooperative (San Francisco) Yellow Checker Cab Company, Incorporated (San Jose)
  12. 12. NEW LEGISLATION Legislative Intent: To implement fines and penalties for bandit cab operators to help enforce municipal regulation and either 1) halt operation of noncompliant cab companies or 2) force bandit cab companies to become licensed and regulated like lawfully operating cab companies. “Bandit cabs are unfair to the law-abiding taxicab companies and taxi drivers who must comply with local regulators and pay local fees. [Bandit Cabs] are also unsafe for the cab riders who unwittingly travel in unregulated taxicabs with unsupervised taxi drivers. These unregulated competitors divert business from regulated taxicab companies and drivers, and do not comply with any city or county mandated safety provisions. “ California Senator Leland Yee
  13. 13. NEW LEGISLATION As of 2008, the Legislature finds and declares that: • Advertising and use of telephone service is essential for a taxicab transportation service to obtain business and conduct intrastate passenger transportation services. • Unlawful advertisements constitute “unfair business practices.” •Termination of telephone service utilized by taxicabs operating without proper authority is essential to ensure public safety and welfare - California Government Code Section 53075.8
  14. 14. NEW LEGISLATION The Legislature Tackled the Following Problems with Enforcement: •Local municipalities power to impound is ineffective, •Local municipalities ability to fine bandit cab operators is not deterrent, •Laws, as of 2008, did not target phone service as a viable means to stopping bandit cab activity.
  15. 15. NEW LEGISLATION Scofflaws may ignore local “ taxicab licenses and regulations, but when their phone lines go down, they’ll lose their main source of business.” Senator Leland Yee Author of SB1519.
  16. 16. CHANGES FOR 2009
  17. 17. NEW LEGISLATION Old Law New Law Now additionally local agencies are Every city or county is required to : required to adopt an •Receive complaints regarding bandit cab activity; ordinance or •Investigate the complaints; resolution regarding •Determine which businesses (if taxicab transportation any) are legal competitors; •Inform the bandit cab operators of service. (California their violation; Government Code •Within 60 days of informing the bandit cab operators, institute civil Section 53075.5) or criminal proceedings. (California Government Code Section 53075.7)
  18. 18. NEW LEGISLATION Old Law New Law 1)False Advertising Law Additionally, new changes to (California Business and the Government Code Professions Code Section requires every taxicab 17500) transportation service to 2)Advertising a business for include the number of its which a license is required certificate, license, or permit without a license is a in every written or oral misdemeanor (California advertisement (California Business and Professions Government Code Section Code Section 16240.) 53075.9(c ).)
  19. 19. NEW LEGISLATION Old Law New Law These same provisions apply. State Law allows peace officers to arrest operators and impound taxicabs for operating without a valid local permit at or near public airports or within two miles of the Mexican border. (California Government Code Section 53075.6) Local regulators can impound illegally operating taxicabs. (California Government Code Section 53075.6-53075.61)
  20. 20. NEW LEGISLATION Old Law New Law Misdemeanor offense Fines up to $5,000 per (California Business and violation for any violation Professions Code Section of licensing or advertising 16240.) restrictions (California Government Code Section 53075.9 (a).)
  21. 21. NEW LEGISLATION Old Law New Law No authority to target Local Agencies are phone lines. now authorized to terminate telephone service utilized by taxicabs operating without proper authority. (California Government Code Section 53075.8)
  23. 23. MARRON & ASSOCIATES APPROACH TO BANDIT CAB LIT. Interference Interference Contractual Intentional Relations with city with contracts, franc hises, and business licenses Possible Causes of Action Law (Cal. Bus. Prof. 17500) Advertising False Misleading Advertisements Cybersquatting Law (15 USC Trademark Trademark 1125) Dilution Tradedress Infringement Trademark/ Tradename Infringement Fraudulent Practices (Cal. Conduct Bus. Prof. Business 17200) Unfair Unfair Conduct Illegal Conduct
  24. 24. MARRON & ASSOCIATES’ APPROACH TO BANDIT CAB LIT. Lifecycle of Bandit Cab Litigation Identify New Bandit Cab Company Support via Seek Photographs Permanent and Injunction Declarations File Contempt File Complaint Charges File Temporary Restraining Order/ Preliminary Injunction
  25. 25. MARRON & ASSOCIATES APPROACH TO BANDIT CAB LIT. Recently we have received a preliminary injunction and a hearing for a contempt order against a Los Angeles Bandit Cab company.
  27. 27. IMPACTS AND BENEFITS OF NEW LEGISLATION Reinvigoration of Local Agencies Los Angeles Taxi Cities Business License Commission Bandit Cab Departments know about Enforcement Program the new legislation. (BTEP) targets for 2009. Over 90% of Effective bandit Target for Jan 2009 All defendants 2009 Limos Ex: City of Cudahy working with LADOT and Vehicles are plead and Black local Police forces to target bandit cabs. Impounded guilty. 95% Car for 30 Days conviction Companies. rate.
  28. 28. IMPACTS AND BENEFITS OF NEW LEGISLATION Whether 2009 will mark the increased enforcement of Bandit Cab legislation, or a deterrent to Bandit Cab operators remains to be seen. Room for improvement: •Institute a private right of action allowing legal competitors to cut off phone service to Bandit Cabs. •Minimum days for impound. •Allowing immediate removal of Bandit Cab websites.
  29. 29. MARRON & ASSOCIATES Marron & Associates 111 Ocean Blvd Suite 1925 Long Beach, California 90802 (562) 432-7422 (562) 432-8682 fax Marron & Associates is a California-based law firm with a national practice focusing on the interests of on-demand transit operators and issues such as bandit cab litigation resulting in injunctions and contempt orders; wage and hour lawsuits; classification of drivers/employees and independent contractors/employees; and political and regulatory issues affecting the industry, such as union- or otherwise- backed efforts to organize drivers, regulatory agency investigations, serious accident/OSHA matters, insurance coverage, and regulatory audits from state employment departments, workers’ compensation and taxing authorities. Our national practice includes representation of clients in such diverse areas as Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Denver.