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Office of Administrative Hearings
 

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Department of For-Hire Vehicles

Through its Hack Inspectors and other law enforcement personnel, the Department of For-Hire Vehicles issues Notices of Infraction to taxicab operators for violating various regulations, such as those involving carriage of passengers and maintenance of the vehicle. The Department of For-Hire Vehicles can issue proposed or immediate notices to suspend a taxicab operator’s license.  Complaints from members of the public can also result in the issuance of a Notice of Infraction.

As the instructions on the Notices of Infraction may vary depending on how the Notice is issued, please pay close attention to the instructions on the Notices.  They explain that you can “admit” (take responsibility and pay the fine), “admit with explanation” (take responsibility but offer an explanation that the administrative law judge might take into account in deciding a fine) or “deny” (take no responsibility).  If you “admit with explanation,” the Department of For-Hire Vehicles will be given a chance to respond to your explanation and then the OAH administrative law judge will decide the case based on the papers submitted.  If you “deny,” an in-person hearing is scheduled at OAH during which the Department of For-Hire Vehicles and you can present evidence.

Online options

To admit and pay online by credit card Click Here.

To (1) deny and request a hearing OR to (2) admit with explanation online Click Here.

Mail options

To admit and pay by mail (check or money order only):

OAH/DFHV Cases 
PO Box 2014 
Washington, DC 20013

To (1) deny and request a hearing OR to (2) admit with explanation by mail to:

OAH/DFHV Cases 
PO Box 37135 
Washington, DC 20013

To submit documents or other filings by mail:

OAH/DFHV Cases 
PO Box 37135 
Washington, DC 20013

Hearings

All hearings concerning Notices of Infraction issued for violations of the Taxicab Regulations will be held at the Office of Administrative Hearings.  If you are scheduled for a hearing, please note the following:

Attendance Required:  If you are absent or late, you may lose your case.  If you are absent, you will be subject to a penalty equal to the amount of the fine.

Directions:  The nearest Metro stop is Judiciary Square on the Red Line.  Paid parking is very limited.  You will need photo identification to enter the building. 

Lawyers and Other Representatives:  You may appear at the hearing with or without a lawyer or other permitted representative.  A list of free legal service providers and information about the Office of Administrative Hearings Resource Center is available.

Use of documents and other items at the hearing:  You may use documents or other items (photos, business records, videotape, etc.) as evidence to explain your case at the hearing.  At least three (3) business days before the hearing, you must file with this office copies of all documents and other items you want to use as evidence.  You must do this even if you think the other party already has copies.  You can do this through the OAH website, by mail, or in person.  Items you submit will not be returned. 

Witnesses:  You may testify at the hearing yourself and have witnesses testify for you.  At least three (3) business days before the hearing, you must file with this office a list of all witnesses.  You can do this through the OAH website, by mail, or in person.  You are responsible for making sure your witnesses show up.  If a witness tells you he or she will not show up, you can get a subpoena ordering the witness to appear by coming in person to the OAH office.  You must give the subpoena to the witness at least two calendar days before your hearing.

Changing Hearing Date or Time:  We discourage this because we want to resolve your case quickly.  If you have a good reason for making such a request, you must first try to contact the Taxicab Commission and see if it will agree.  Then file your request in writing through the OAH website, by mail, or in person.  Your request should explain your reason, suggest new dates or times, state when and how you tried to contact the Department of For-Hire Vehicles, and state whether that it agreed.

Participation by Telephone:  You may ask to participate by telephone, if you have a good reason.  You may also ask that a witness participate by telephone, if there is a good reason.  Lawyers and other representatives must usually appear in person.  If you wish to request participation by telephone, you must first try to contact the Department of For-Hire Vehicles to see if it will agree. Then file your request in writing with this office through the OAH website, by mail, or in person.  Your request should explain your reason, state when and how you tried to contact the Department of For-Hire Vehicles, and state whether it agreed. 

Accessibility:  Please contact the Clerk’s Office at (202) 442-9094 for information about interpreters and other accessibility services.

Court Rules and Information:  Court rules, forms, and other information about your upcoming hearing may be found on this website, by calling (202) 442-9094, or by visiting the OAH Resource Center.

 

Sample Decisions

Sample Decisions

Administrative law judges issue a written decision for every case that is contested. The decisions below are examples of some issues raised in Office of Administrative Hearings’ cases involving this agency. You can review these decisions to get a sense of how prior cases were decided.

Please note that the facts of each case are different. These cases should be used for informational purposes only.

  • D.C. Taxicab Comm’n v. Bogale, January 30, 2012 (finding Respondent liable for Notice of Infraction for failing to provide service on demand to any person (31 DCMR 819.4))
  • D.C. Taxicab Comm’n v. Giorgis, September 12, 2011 (dismissing a Notice of Infraction alleging Respondent overcharged a passenger (31 DCMR 801.6))
  • D.C. Taxicab Comm’n v. Wordofa, February 6, 2012 (finding Respondent liable for Notice of Infraction for failing to provide service on demand to any person (31 DCMR 819.4))
  • D.C. Taxicab Comm’n v. Afework, May 25, 2012 (finding Respondent not liable for refusal to carry a passenger (31 DCMR 819.4) and liable for failing to display his identification card (31 DCMR 814.3)and failing to provide his manifest (31 DCMR 823.4))

Agency LawAgency Law

Administrative law judges base their decisions upon many sources of law, chief among them the District of Columbia laws (DC Official Code) and the District of Columbia regulations (DCMR). Depending on the type of case, federal law (US Code) and federal regulations (CFR) may also be relevant. Cases decided on the issues in other courts, especially the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, are relevant.

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