In most cases, the person being accused of breaking TLC rules will plead guilty to an appropriate charge and pay a fine. If the accused pleads guilty, there will be no hearing and the case will be closed. In the rare event that the accused does not plead guilty, a hearing will be held before the Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings: Taxi and Limousine Tribunal (“OATH TLT”). OATH TLT is a City agency operated independently of the TLC.
You will appear at the hearing by telephone. Either way, a prosecutor from the Consumer Complaint Unit of the TLC will contact you in advance of the hearing date to prepare you for the hearing. The prosecutor will explain the hearing procedures, review the facts of the case and may have questions pertaining to the incident.
The prosecutor will call you on the day of the hearing to confirm your availability. OATH TLT grants a 90-minute grace period for each case, as some may run beyond the scheduled hearing time. You should be prepared to receive the call anywhere between five (5) minutes before, or 60 minutes after, the scheduled hearing time. Hearings usually last 30 to 45 minutes, once testimony begins. A copy of the OATH Hearing Officer's decision will be emailed to you after the hearing.
Please note, up until the start of the hearing, there is a possibility that the accused will plead guilty to an appropriate charge and the hearing will not need to take place.
Hearings will follow the same general process:
OATH Hearing Officer can only make decisions about the TLC rules and only apply penalties as provided for in the TLC rules. They cannot provide arbitration services. The hearing is not an appropriate time or place to make an individual “deal” with the person you filed the complaint against.
It is the TLC’s policy not to disclose any personal information that is in the TLC’s possession, whether that information relates to licensees, witnesses, or any other individuals, except as may be required by law, including a court order or subpoena. Therefore, if you submit a complaint, the TLC will not disclose your identity, address or other personal information to anyone outside the TLC. However, if you agree to testify at a hearing, your identity must be disclosed on the record of the hearing.
You can only file one complaint about an incident. Any other passengers present at the time of the incident can also testify at the same hearing.