United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
EVGENY FRIEDMAN; DISPATCH TAXI AFFILIATION, INC.; and GREATER CHICAGO TAXI ASSOCIATION, Plaintiffs,
CITY OF CHICAGO DEPARTMENT OF BUSINESS AND CONSUMER PROTECTION and OPEN DOORS ORGANIZATION, Defendants
For Dispatch Taxi Affiliation, Inc., Plaintiff: Saskia Nora Bryan, Latimer LeVay Fyock LLC, Chicago, IL; Jeffrey H. Bunn, Latimer LeVay Fyock, Chicago, IL.
For Evgeny Friedman, Greater Chicago Taxi Association, Plaintiffs: Jeffrey H. Bunn, Latimer LeVay Fyock, Chicago, IL; Saskia Nora Bryan, Latimer LeVay Fyock LLC, Chicago, IL.
For Open Doors Organization, Defendant: Aaron H. Stanton, LEAD ATTORNEY, Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella, PC, Chicago, IL; Alexander David Marks, LEAD ATTORNEY, Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella, P.C., Chicago, IL.
For City of Chicago Department of Business and Consumer Protection, Defendant: Karen M. Dorff, LEAD ATTORNEY, Mary Eileen Cunniff Wells, City of Chicago, Department of Law, Chicago, IL.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
JOHN W. DARRAH, United States District Court Judge.
Plaintiffs have brought this action, purportedly on behalf of various taxicab medallion owners, licensed managers of taxicab medallions and taxicab affiliations that own or manage wheelchair accessible vehicle (" WAV" ) medallions, against Defendants, seeking monetary damages and injunctive relief against the enforcement of recent regulations and fees. In their Complaint, Plaintiffs assert Constitutional violations of the Contracts Clause (Count I), the Commerce Clause (Count III), and the Privileges and Immunities Clause (Count IV), as well as a pendant state law claim for breach of contract (Count II). Defendants have moved, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (12)(b)(6), to
dismiss the Complaint for failure to state a claim.
The following is taken from the Complaint, which is assumed to be true for purposes of a motion to dismiss. See Reger Dev., LLC v. Nat'l City Bank, 592 F.3d 759, 763 (7th Cir. 2010). Plaintiff Evgeny Friedman is a resident of New York and an individual owner of one or more WAV medallions issued by the City of Chicago (" the City" ). Plaintiff Dispatch Taxi Affiliation, Inc. (" DTA" ) is an Illinois corporation and a licensed medallion manager, managing one or more WAV medallions. Plaintiff Greater Chicago Taxi Association is an Illinois member-based advocacy group that represents several City medallion owners, licensed managers and taxicab affiliations, including DTA, Top Cab Association, and 24 Seven Taxi Association, all of which own or manage one or more WAV medallions issued by the City. (Compl. ¶ ¶ 1-3.) Defendant, the City of Chicago Department of Business and Consumer Protection (" BACP" ), is a department of the City that regulates the public taxicab industry in Chicago. Defendant Open Doors Organization (" Open Doors" ) is a disability advocacy 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Chicago and a member of the " Open Taxis" program in Chicago. ( Id. ¶ ¶ 4-5; Ex. C-1 at 6.)
Prior to January 2013, Flash Cab Company, a private third-party entity, operated the centralized dispatch services for WAV taxicabs. (Compl. ¶ ¶ 9-10.) Starting in January 2013, however, the Commissioner of BACP was authorized, pursuant to Section 9-112-570 of the Municipal Code of Chicago, to institute a centralized dispatch system for WAV taxicabs. In late 2012, BACP issued a written request for proposals from third-party entities interested in taking over the task of operating the centralized dispatch service for all WAV taxicabs operating in Chicago. ( Id. ¶ 13.) DTA submitted a proposal to BACP to operate the centralized dispatch system, but was not chosen. ( Id. Ex. B ¶ 2.)
In March 2013, BACP made a preliminary determination to award the work to Open Doors. ( Id. ¶ 14.) DTA then filed suit in the Circuit Court of Cook County seeking to enjoin the City from going forward with the selection of Open Doors. ( Id. ¶ 15; Ex. B.) In June 2013, the City Council approved an ordinance permitting BACP to enter into a contract with Open Doors for the WAV dispatch system. ( Id. ¶ 18.) On June 26, 2013, Open Doors sent a letter to the WAV medallion owners with a related equipment and installation agreement. ( Id. ¶ 22; Ex. E.) In the letter, Open Doors stated that it would use the traditional phone dispatch system, but also would use the " Snag app" technology to permit customers to order cabs. Open Doors also stated that it required WAV medallion owners to purchase electronic tablets with the Snag app for a one-time fee of $700 per vehicle and that the tablets had to be installed by August 1, 2013. ( Id. Ex. E.) Furthermore, WAV medallion owners were required to pay monthly dispatch fees ranging from $50 to $215 depending on the number of vehicles, plus a monthly fee of $20 for data usage. ( Id. )
On July 15, 2013, BACP also informed the WAV medallion owners that they were required to participate in the new centralized dispatch service, called " Open Taxis" and operated by Open Doors. ( Id. ¶ ...