Do you need to make an appeal? A Taxi licence revocation can cause a great deal of hardship to a cab driver. In this situation, many taxi drivers simply don’t know who to turn to for assistance. The difficulty faced by cab drivers is that once a local council has decided that you have failed to comply in some way with the regulations of a ‘fit and proper person’ test, a series of events are triggered which can lead to a taxi driver becoming bankrupt or perhaps something worse.
It is a sad reality in these times that bureaucrats and spurious individuals making public carriage office complaints can mean that the status of a particular driver as a ‘fit and proper person’ can be easily called into question.
We have even found people being deemed not a “fit and proper person” due to misunderstanding over the complex Covid rules.
Taxi drivers in these circumstances are at great risk of losing their only source of income due to misunderstandings or unjust evaluations by those enforcing the regulations.
The Home Office set out circumstances in which a revocation or suspension may be issued.
Revocation / Suspension of a Licence
According to the Home Office there is a clear process for the process of recovation or suspension of a taxi licence. Local councils can suspend or revoke taxi licences on a number of grounds, e.g. convictions for dishonesty, indecency or violence.
‘If we judge it necessary to revoke a licence we will write to the licence holder, providing the basis for our decision and inviting them to supply further information. They will then have 21 days from the date on our revocation letter to provide a response. Their response may address any factual errors in our assessment (for example, an error concerning identity, or an error in assessing their competence or criminal history). We may also invite them to provide mitigating information if their criminality does not place them in the automatic refusal category.”
At this stage you will receive a letter with a notification that a taxi licence might be revoked. There is a 21 day window to turn around the process by providing mitigating circumstances or correcting factual errors. Contacting our taxi defence barristers even at this earliest of points gives you an increased chance of preventing your licence from being revoked.
“If we do not receive a response from the licence holder within the 21 days the decision to revoke their licence will automatically take effect. We will not write again to confirm this. Once the decision to revoke their licence takes effect they will have 21 days in which to exercise a right of appeal to a Magistrates’ Court or Sheriff Court.”
If the period where a driver could have supplied a mitigation or challenged the circumstances of the complaint another letter is produced which confirms that no reply has been forthcoming. This then moves the process to the stage where there is a 21 day period where a taxi driver would have been notified that there has been a decision made to revoke their taxi licence.
At this stage taxi licence revoked appeal can be mounted at the Magistrates’ Court or the Sherriff Court. Taxi Driver Defence Barristers are specialists at such appeals and engaging our services to assist at this stage gives you a greatly increased chance of successfully defending your licence.
“If the licence holder does send in a response we will give it due consideration, and we will write to them to inform them of our final decision. If we decide it is still necessary to revoke their licence they will then have 21 days from the date of this second decision letter in which to exercise a right of appeal to a Magistrates’ Court or Sheriff Court.”
If a licence holder has not responded with the previous time windows, a third period of 21 days commences after the licence holder has been informed of that final decision. At this stage a licence holder is still able to act to launch a taxi licence revoked appeal to a Magistrates’ Court or Sheriff Court. Whilst not ideal, you can still engage legal assistance to try to defend your license at this stage.
Once our decision is made we have no power to revisit that decision, no matter how good the mitigation or obvious the factual error, without the direction of a court. If the licence holder appeals against the revocation their licence remains valid during the appeal process and they can continue to work while the appeal is pending.’
At this last stage, there are no more opportunities for delay. If an appeal has not been launched at this stage, a direction from the court is required if the ruling to revoke a taxi licence has been made. If you wish to defend your taxi licence, you MUST act to prevent its’ revocation at this point.
With a taxi license revocation, the cab driver may quickly feel that they have no recourse as their appeal may fall on a deaf ear. The ‘fit and proper person’ definition can be applied far too rigorously, leaving a driver having to wade through endless bureaucracy just to get heard by someone. In the process, several month can elapse where a driver may be either unable to work or may feel they have to continue to drive to make a living regardless. In these circumstances a driver could be risking a heavy fine or even prison. Engaging a capable barrister who has an understanding of the complexities of the taxi licensing laws makes if far more likely that a cab driver will be able to obtain the proper outcome and keep their taxi license.
A taxi or minicab driver can suddenly face disruption and distress if they are faced with taxi licence revocation. In these circumstances they may not be aware of their legal rights, which still apply even after their application is denied. When your licence hangs in the balance you should speak to an experienced barrister who will be able to present a strong case, enabling you to protect your livelihood.
We are here to help!
If you contact me as soon as possible after receiving a taxi licence revocation, you will be taking the vital first step in protecting your means of making a living.
Don’t let faceless bureaucrats take your license away. You have a far greater chance of winning your case by hiring competent legal representation. Get in touch with me today and find out how I can help you even after your taxi licence is revoked.
Please contact us to discuss your taxi licence revoked appeal.