February 28, 2024 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Judge Allows Taxi Franchise to Proceed: Racially tinged lawsuit may be the city’s first

Although a temporary restraining order technically remains in place following an Armenian taxicab association’s lawsuit against the City of Santa Monica, a Los Angeles County judge is allowing City officials to proceed with implementing their new franchise system for taxi cabs.

Judge Robert O’Brien has set a Jan. 19 hearing date for the lawsuit, which pits the City against an association that counts more than 300 cab drivers of Armenian descent among its members.

Santa Monica’s City Council approved the implementation of a taxicab franchise system in November 2010 to reduce the number of companies operating in the city from 44 to five: Bell Cab Company, Independent Taxi Owners Association, the Yellow Cab Company, Metro Cab Company, and Taxi Taxi.

In December 2010, the council also voted to increase the number of allowable taxicabs in the city from 250 to 300 for the five approved companies. Thirteen additional cabs each were allocated to the Santa Monica-based Metro Cab Company and Taxi Taxi, while eight additional cabs were approved for each of the remaining companies.

In the court documents filed Dec. 21, attorney Tamar Arminak of the high-profile law firm Geragos and Geragos argues that the City’s action were in violation of the drivers’ constitutional rights and civil code. By denying the group’s members permits to work in the city through the new franchise system, Arminak argues discrimination took place and that Armenian taxicab drivers lost money in preparation for the franchise application.

The race and ethnicity dimension of the lawsuit doesn’t have a precedent in Santa Monica in recent memory, according to a City official.

“I am not aware of any recent lawsuits where there have been claims of racial discrimination,” said Meishya Young, deputy City attorney. “The City remains optimistic. We’re more comfortable in our legal position [and] feel everything was handled appropriately.”

In their 20-page complaint, Arminak and the cab drivers explain that prior to the City’s recent adoption of a franchising system, 35 of 44 taxicab companies operating in Santa Monica were Armenian-owned and operated. With the franchise system opening up, five of the 13 applications came from Armenian companies, yet none were granted a franchise permit.

Thus, the central argument of the case is that the companies were “effectively run out of the city,” according to the complaint. Santa Monica officials announced the five franchises in June 2010.

The complaint further states that the City’s actions set the Armenian cab drivers back financially.

“Most of the Armenian taxi drivers updated their vehicles, updated their dispatch systems, hired legal counsel and effected other changes to their businesses in order to ensure that they would be granted licenses by the City,” the document stated.

in News
Related Posts

Iconic Venice Beach Sculpture and Landmark to be Removed, Returned to Artist’s Property

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

Since the Money, Effort or Desire to Purchase the Piece Appears to Not Be There, the Artist Wants It Back...

(Video) Heartfelt candlelight vigils in Westchester and West Hollywood for Nex Benedict

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

The non-binary 16 year old student with Choctaw ancestry died in Owasso, Oklahoma after being beaten by three older high...

Sweet Lady Jane Sparks Hope of Return – Popular Bakery Hints at Reopening Across LA

February 27, 2024

February 27, 2024

After Abrupt Closures, Beloved Bakery Hints at a Comeback, Leaving Fans Intrigued  Sweet Lady Jane, a Los Angeles cake bakery...

Waymo’s LA Expansion Hits Roadblock: CPUC Temporarily Halts Self-Driving Company’s Plans

February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

California Public Utilities Commission suspends Waymo’s service expansion for 120 days. California’s Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has put a temporary...

Real Estate Giant Funds LAPD Union Fund to Sway L.A. City Council Election in March

February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

Santa Monica Company Responsible for LA’s Largest Mass Eviction Gives $400,000 Santa Monica-based Real estate investment trust company Douglas Emmett...

Santa Monica College Unveils 2024 Spring Jazz Series Lineup

February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

Tickets for each concert are priced at $10 and can be purchased in advance The Santa Monica College Music Department...

Downtown Wellness Center Bridges Gap Between Psychedelics and Meditation

February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

The Center Has Partnered With Local Agencies and Gave Free Sessions to Around 500 Veterans in Two Years By Zach...

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Calls Special Board of Education Meeting

February 26, 2024

February 26, 2024

SMMUSD Gathers to Address Time-Sensitive Resolutions In a press release sent on Saturday, February 24, The Santa Monica-Malibu School District...

 39th Independent Spirit Awards Celebrates Independent Cinema in Santa Monica

February 25, 2024

February 25, 2024

Santa Monica Pier Hosts Annual Awards Ceremony Amid Pro-Palestinian Protest The 39th Independent Spirit Awards ceremony, another precursor to the...

U.S. Supreme Court Refuses to Consider Landlords’ Challenge to Rent-Control Laws

February 25, 2024

February 25, 2024

New York Landlords’ Bid to Challenge Rent-Control Laws Fails The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a significant property rights...

Ocean Park Triplex Hits Market Again After 36 Years at $1.6M

February 25, 2024

February 25, 2024

The property presents an enticing opportunity for owner-users or developers For the first time in over 36 years, this triplex,...

Cher Drops Price of Her Seven-Bedroom Malibu Mansion by $10M

February 25, 2024

February 25, 2024

The legendary singer bought the parcel for $2.95 million over 30 years ago By Zach Armstrong Music icon Cher has...

(Video) Baltaire’s DJ Brunch is Ready to Make Your Weekend Fabulous

February 23, 2024

February 23, 2024

Baltaire is America’s Favorite Neighborhood Steakhouse. A Contemporary Restaurant in Brentwood With Classic Genes, Baltaire Is Where to Enjoy Brunch...

During Lean Times for the City, Certain Staff Members Slated to Get Hefty Raises

February 23, 2024

February 23, 2024

Proposed Equity Adjustments Raise Questions Amid Budgetary Concerns The next Santa Monica City Council Meeting will be held on Tuesday,...

Blue Bus Seeks Input on How to Improve Service

February 22, 2024

February 22, 2024

Through Brighter Blue, Big Blue Bus Aims to Develop a Strategic Plan for Implementing System Enhancements Over Five Years Santa...