United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
Boston Taxi Owners Association, Inc., Steven Goldberg and Joseph Pierre Plaintiffs,
City of Boston and Boston Police Commissioner William Evans Defendants.
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
NATHANIEL M. GORTON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Taxi Owners Association, Inc. and taxi medallion holders,
Steven Goldberg and Joseph Pierre (collectively,
“plaintiffs”), allege that the City of Boston and
Boston Police Commissioner William Evans
(“defendants”) violated their equal protection
rights by not applying the same regulatory framework to
taxicabs and so-called transportation network companies
have filed a motion 1) to dismiss plaintiffs' claims for
declaratory and injunctive relief and 2) for judgment on the
pleadings with respect to the equal protection and monetary
relief claims. For the following reasons, defendants'
motion will be allowed.
months have elapsed since this Court denied plaintiffs'
second motion for a preliminary injunction. Since then, the
General Court has enacted and the Governor of Massachusetts
has signed into law a comprehensive statute, M.G.L. ch.
159A½ (“the Act”), regulating TNCs at the
defines a TNC as
a corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship or other
entity that uses a digital network to connect riders to
drivers to pre-arrange and provide transportation.
Id. § 1. The Act also delegates regulation of
TNCs to a new state “division” within the
Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities. Id.
§ 2. That division implements insurance requirements,
monitors fare estimates, ensures the safety and annual
inspection of TNC vehicles and monitors the accommodation of
riders with special needs. Id. The division also
issues permits, which are annually renewed, to TNCs and it
has the power to conduct hearings and impose penalties on
TNCs which are noncompliant with the Act. Id.
§§ 3, 6.
the Act ostensibly removes TNCs from local regulation.
Section 10 provides, in part:
[N]o municipality or other local or state entity, except the
Massachusetts Port Authority . . . may subject a [TNC] to the
municipality's or other local or state entity's rate
or other requirements . . . .
M.G.L. ch. 159A½, § 10. The Act does not,
however, prevent municipalities from regulating
“traffic flow and traffic patterns to ensure public
safety and convenience.” Id.
July, 2016, plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint, in
which they allege one substantive claim for “due
process/equal protection” violations (Count IV).
So-called Counts I (declaratory judgment), II (injunctive
relief) and III (damages) simply describe plaintiffs'
to an order of this Court (Docket No. 66), defendants filed a
status report in September, 2016, explaining that they are
now precluded from regulating TNCs. Shortly thereafter,
plaintiffs filed their own status report and, for a third
time, moved for a preliminary injunction. Defendants
responded by filing a motion 1) to dismiss and 2) for
judgment on the pleadings.
facts underlying this case were summarized extensively in
prior orders of this Court and will not be repeated here.
Instead, the Court will assume familiarity with that record
and will incorporate and/or supplement additional facts where