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Thread: Institute for Justice

  1. #1

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    Type in www.ij.org . Proceed to cases. Select economic Liberty. View the Las Vegas Limousines case.

    Dean Schuler
    Dean Schuler

  2. #2
    Senior Member Limo Padawan
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Clinton, NJ
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    397

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    Great article Dean!

    I figured I'd copy and paste it to save some folks the time of sorting through the links, Here it is:

    Case Summary
    Las Vegas Limousines

    John West, an experienced auto mechanic who worked on limousines in Las Vegas, saw an opportunity to build a better life for himself and his family. He would start his own limousine service. He never envisioned his pursuit of honest enterprise would nearly bankrupt him and force him to move out of state to support is family.

    To drive a limousine in Nevada, operators must secure a "certificate of public convenience and necessity" from the State. But rather than granting or denying applications based on objective standards (such as merely requiring that operators possess a valid license, pass a background check, and drive an insured, inspected vehicle) Nevada’s Transportation Services Authority (TSA) commissioners instead use their own arbitrary "judgment." To make matters worse, they also allow existing limousine companies—would-be competitors for anyone seeking a license—to intervene in the application process and demand of applicants detailed, irrelevant information on finances and other matters (thereby driving up the cost of pursuing an application to prohibitive amounts) as well as lists of prospective clients (thereby allowing the existing companies to take away their client base.) In Nevada, it is the government and existing companies—and not the market—who decide what limousine services are "convenient" and "necessary." (Standing the free market on its head, the TSA can reject applicants if it appears the new service will have an "unreasonable and adverse effect" on existing companies - in other words, if the new company looks like it might compete effectively with established limousine services.)

    In April 1998, the Institute for Justice filed suit on behalf of West and three other independent limousine entrepreneurs seeking to break open the Las Vegas limousine cartel. As an agency that is beholden to the small handful of established limousine companies in Las Vegas, the TSA refuses to follow constitutional requirements or common decency. The TSA held up John’s application for more than a year, allowing the intervenors to drive up the cost of his application with endless data and document requests. Then, one week before it was to rule on West’s application, the TSA simply dismissed it without ever considering the application on its merits.

    Similarly, by permitting established limousine companies to intervene in Ed Wheeler’s limousine application and run roughshod over the entire process, the TSA ensured that the time and the expense of the application process was more than Wheeler could bear - he was forced to withdraw his application after spending over $4000 on a single day of hearings before the TSA. Rey Vinole, who applied for a limousine license last year, saw the handwriting on the wall as soon as the established limousine companies were permitted to intervene in his application and simply pulled out of the process before those companies could bleed him dry, as they had done to other applicants so many times before.

    Countless other limousine applicants were subjected to identical treatment, whereby the TSA simply turned over the application process to existing companies and allowed to turn what should have been a simple administrative process into a gauntlet of harassment, delay, and intimidation. Existing companies routinely used their deep pockets and political pull either to break new applicants altogether or to force them into accepting operating restrictions that would render them totally noncompetitive. In the words of the TSA’s own Chairman, Paul Christensen, applicants were faced with a process in which their only choice was to knuckle under to the demands of existing companies or to be "run to death in the paper mill" of a contested application proceeding.

    With help from their friends at the Institute for Justice, however, independent limousine operators fought back. Following a week-and-a-half long trial in Las Vegas, the independent operators won a major victory. Clark County District Court Judge Ron Parraguirre ruled on May 16, 2001 that, "The Court finds the combined actions of Defendants TSA, Ambassador, Bell Trans and Star . . . violated Plaintiffs Rey Vinole, John West and Ed Wheeler’s Due Process rights under the 14th Amendment and the Nevada Constitution . . . . The right to earn a living in one’s chosen profession is a liberty interest protected by the due process clauses of both the U.S. and Nevada constitutions."

    Directly tracking the Institute’s theory regarding the improper role of intervening companies in the application process, Judge Parraguirre explained that "[T]he intervention process amounted to an onerous and unduly burdensome process by which the applicants were forced to either withdraw their applications, agree to limit the operational scope of their proposed [Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity], or incur increasing litigation fees and costs in order to comply with the numerous financial information and disclosure demands made by the TSA as well as the intervening carriers." Finding that the TSA’s failure to prevent this misconduct amounted to a violation of Wheeler, West, and Vinole’s civil rights, Judge Parraguirre sent a clear and emphatic message to the TSA and the big, established limousine companies that he would no longer tolerate business as usual.

    The next step will be for Wheeler, Vinole and others to go back to the TSA and reapply for limousine licenses under the new system. But this time the established limousine companies have been put on notice that the limousine industry does not belong to them and they will no longer be allowed to hijack the regulatory process to exclude competitors.



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    See Related Information


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    [NOTE: To arrange interviews on this subject, journalists may call John Kramer, the Institute for Justice's Vice President for Communications, at (202) 955-1300 or in the evening/weekend at (703) 527-8730.]

    Matt Harrison
    AAA Guaranteed On-Time Limousine, Clinton NJ
    Matt Harrison
    AAA Guaranteed On-Time Limousine, Clinton NJ

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 1999
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    1,305

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    Wow, I knew Vegas was bad ... this is pretty sick and unfair. Glad to see it is being challenged.

    The Redondo Beach School of Numbers
    A graduate with full honors ...

  4. #4

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    New Orleans makes Vegas look like a "piker" with all the corruption that goes down here. The FBI will sort it out in Beirut on the Bayou.

    Dean Schuler
    Dean Schuler

  5. #5

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    Surprises are coming soon for the merchants of malfeasance.......critical mass is being reached in this battle-the Third Battle of Beirut on the Bayou. Will New Orleans and Louisiana join the United States, or be permanently branded as a Third World "Country" ? If I was a betting man-my money hands down would go to the reformers. They have the evidence and Federal law on their side. Stay tuned for the brutal downfall of the cretins of commonness. There is no place in the Book of Livery for cheating papers or the "lackeys of losing ". Tilting the table means that one admits one cannot compete. Always remember the definition of a "Food-Stamp Livery "- service so poor, it should apply for welfare.

    Dean Schuler
    Dean Schuler

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