The state Court of Appeals has agreed to hear on direct appeal a ruling that blocked the Bloomberg administration's plan to expand taxi service in New York City. The city's Corporation Counsel sought the expedited review of an August ruling by Acting Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron, who decided that the taxi legislation violated a provision of the state Constitution. Engoron ruled that the City Council did not send the Legislature the proper "home rule" authorization to approve the Street Hail Livery Law before it adopted the bill earlier this year (NYLJ, Aug. 20). The measure would allow the city to auction up to 2,000 more medallions for wheelchair-accessible yellow cabs and to issue 18,000 new "hail licenses" for northern Manhattan and the outer boroughs. The plan would raise an estimated $1 billion more for cash-strapped city coffers.
The Court of Appeals infrequently bypasses the Appellate Division to accept direct appeals. Such cases must solely involve questions of the constitutionality of statutes. The litigation involves three cases challenging the expansion plan, Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade v. Bloomberg, Taxicab Services Assoc. v. State of New York and Greater New York Taxicab Assoc. v. State of New York. The court is set to hear arguments during the April-May session, which begins April 23.
@|Joel Stashenko can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.