may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Minneapolis Taxi Federation, et al.,
City of Minneapolis, et al.,
Filed December 17, 1996
Hennepin County District Court
File No. 95-15647
Michael T. Norton, Acting Minneapolis City Attorney, Stewart R. Browne, Assistant City Attorney, 300 Metropolitan Centre, 333 South 7th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402-2453 (for Respondents)
Thomas M. Brudvig, 220 Rosedale Towers, 1700 Highway 36 West, Roseville, MN 55113 (Of Counsel for Appellants, C4-96-1473)
Considered and decided by Klaphake, Presiding Judge, Kalitowski, Judge, and Davies, Judge.
The Minneapolis Taxi Federation and five of its members (Federation) appealed from an order denying its motion to temporarily enjoin the City of Minneapolis (City) from implementing recent amendments to the City's taxi ordinance. This court continued the appeal, pending the Federation's anticipated appeal from a final judgment dismissing its action on the merits. The Federation appealed from the judgment, and this court consolidated the two appeals for oral argument and decision. Because the district court did not err in applying the law, we affirm.
In January 1995, the city council voted to amend the taxi ordinance by increasing the number of licenses by 75, requiring downtown taxi stand permits, and limiting those permits to 50 percent of a company's total licensed fleet. The mayor vetoed the proposed amendments.
In the summer of 1995, the City's Public Safety and Regulatory Services (PS&RS) Committee held a public meeting to discuss amending the taxi ordinance. Members of the public and Federation testified about taxi service issues and proposals to increase the number of taxi licenses in the City. A consultant submitted a report recommending that the City add 75 taxi licenses, establish downtown taxi stand permits, and award new companies no fewer than 35 licenses.
The PS&RS Committee proposed amending the taxi ordinance to increase the number of taxi licenses by 70; award 35 of the additional licenses to a single company not currently licensed in the City; require downtown taxi stand permits; and limiting the number of those permits to 50 percent of a company's total licensed fleet, unless the company had fewer than 15 taxis or did not have two-way radios. The city council approved the amendments, overrode the mayor's veto, and awarded 35 of the new licenses to Suburban Taxi, a company that was not previously licensed by the City.
We assume, arguendo, that Federation members had property rights in their existing taxi licenses. To survive a procedural due process challenge, a notice must reasonably convey the specific consequences of proposed government action, enabling a person to make an informed choice to protect his or her interests. See Schulte v. Transportation Unlimited, Inc., 354 N.W.2d 830, 832 (Minn. 1984). Notice of the July PS&RS Committee meeting was published in Finance and Commerce and the Minneapolis Star & Tribune, and was mailed to taxi companies, owners, and drivers. The notice stated that the city council intended to discuss amending the taxi ordinance. This was sufficient notice of the intended amendments.
During the PS&RS Committee meeting, Federation members had the opportunity to present their views on taxi service and licensing issues. Comments were submitted on the issues that were ultimately addressed by the amendments. At the end of the meeting, the Committee directed its staff to prepare findings "in light of testimony given today and their previous homework on the subject." Those in attendance at the meeting were given time to submit comments on these issues. Under these circumstances, the Federation had a reasonable opportunity to be heard and was not denied procedural due process.
In evaluating the Federation's substantive due process challenge, we must determine whether the amendments (1) promote a public purpose, (2) bear a rational relation to that purpose, and (3) have unreasonably, arbitrarily or capriciously interfered with a private interest. Grussing v. Kvam Implement Co., 478 N.W.2d 200, 202 (Minn. App. 1991). The taxi amendments serve a public purpose by increasing neighborhood taxi service. The motives of the city council members in exercising their legislative function are irrelevant to this appeal, assuming that the amendments serve a public purpose and do not unreasonably, arbitrarily, or capriciously interfere with a private interest.
The amendments bear a rational relation to the encouragement of increased neighborhood taxi service. There is evidence that by limiting the number of taxis in the downtown area, other taxis would seek business elsewhere. Because existing taxi companies had failed to respond to the City's neighborhood service needs, the City could have rationally concluded that awarding 50 percent of the new licenses to a new company could improve neighborhood taxi service.
The Federation argues that the City's failure to make specific findings upon the passage of the amendments rendered the City's action arbitrary and capricious. But the City was acting to generally amend its ordinances, a situation similar to that of the legislature amending its statutes. Unlike a situation involving quasi-judicial acts, findings are not necessary to support a legislative enactment. See Arcadia Dev. Corp. v. City of Bloomington, 552 N.W.2d 281, 289 (Minn. App. 1996), review denied (Minn. Oct. 29, 1996).
The Federation's arguments regarding new reporting requirements were not raised in the Federation's memorandum in opposition to the City's motion to dismiss, nor did the district court address this issue in the context of the Federation's substantive due process challenge. We will not address issues that were not raised or addressed below. See Zahavy v. University of Minn., 544 N.W.2d 32, 38 n. 3 (Minn. App. 1996), review denied (Minn. May 9, 1996); In re Guardianship of Dawson, 502 N.W.2d 65, 67 (Minn. App. 1993), review denied (Minn. Aug. 16, 1993).
In considering the Federation's equal protection challenge, we must determine whether the City could reasonably believe that its legislative classifications would promote a legitimate purpose. See In re Harhut, 385 N.W.2d 305, 310 (Minn. 1986). The amendments' limitations on downtown licenses and provisions for licensure of a new company were supported by evidence that existing taxi companies preferred to operate downtown and had failed to provide adequate service to neighborhoods. The City has a minimum size requirement of 15 cabs for any new company starting business in the City; therefore, eventually all taxi companies in the City will have a minimum of 15 cabs, and will be subject to the downtown permit requirements.
Assuming, without deciding, that the taxi licenses constituted personal property, the City could not "take" the taxi licenses without paying compensation. See Minn. Const. art. I, § 13; U.S. Const. amend. V. The Federation has not demonstrated that the amendments have "resulted in a severe economic loss" and are "not rationally related to any legitimate governmental interest." Zeman v. City of Minneapolis, 552 N.W.2d 548, 553 (Minn. 1996) (citation omitted). At this point, whether the Federation members will suffer a severe economic loss is entirely speculative.
An unlawful conspiracy to monopolize requires a concerted action, specific intent to achieve an unlawful monopoly, and the commission of an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy. Prestressed Concrete, Inc. v. Bladholm Bros. Culvert Co., 498 N.W.2d 274, 277 (Minn. App. 1993), review denied (Minn. May 28, 1993). There is no evidence that the amendments to the taxi ordinance were intended to control prices in the taxi market. Rather than suppressing competition, the amendments should increase competition when the number of taxis operating in the City increases. The Federation has not supported its argument that the taxi market has been split among taxi companies; rather, under the amendments, all taxi companies will be able to operate downtown and in City neighborhoods.
The Federation noticed the depositions of two city council members in an attempt to determine their motives in amending the taxi ordinance. When adopting the taxi ordinances, the City was acting in a legislative capacity, and the district court properly determined that its acts were immune from discovery. Cf. Farrington v. City of Richfield, 488 N.W.2d 13, 16 (Minn. App. 1992) (city immune from liability for legislative acts).
Because the City has prevailed on the merits, we need not address the district court's denial of the Federation's motion for a temporary injunction.
[ ]1The Federation claims that the City should have conducted a contested hearing to determine the impact of the new restrictions on existing taxi licenses. The Federation has cited no evidence that it requested a contested hearing.
[ ]2 Our decision does not preclude the Federation from raising a takings claim in the future, if and when the Federation can supply actual evidence to support such a claim.