Illegal car seizures violated drivers’ constitutional rights: judge
Original Article Featured on The New York Post
The city Taxi & Limousine Commission violated the constitutional rights of drivers by illegally seizing their cars, a Manhattan federal judge ruled Thursday.
The TLC officers have been taking the cars of drivers they believed were acting as cabbies without a hack’s license, as well as the cars of Uber drivers suspected of driving outside the scope of their licenses.
The vehicles were held until the owners either pleaded guilty and paid a fine or posted a bond equal to the highest possible penalty.
In her ruling, Judge Valerie Caproni said grabbing drivers’ cars violated their 14th and Fourth amendment rights to due process and freedom from unreasonable seizure.
Five car owners sued TLC Commissioner Meera Joshi, Deputy Commissioner Raymond Scanlon and the city last fall after their cars were seized. They are just a fraction of the up to 8,000 cars the TLC seizes per year.
“It’s a whole scam,” said Uber driver Michael Krepak, whose car was seized at Kennedy Airport last month. “They are doing it to hundreds of people a day and taking advantage of working people.”
TLC officials said they have instructed their officers to immediately stop seizing cars while the agency ponders its next move.
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