The First Instance Court on Contentious Administrative and Tax Matters No. 15 granted an injunction ordering the Government of the City of Buenos Aires to suspend any activity that UBER may carry out in connection to the transport of passengers within the territory of the City of Buenos Aires (First Instance Court on Contentious Administrative and Tax Matters No. 15 of the City of Buenos Aires, “Federal District’s Taxi Drivers Union et al v. Government of the City of Buenos Aires”, Docket C3065-2016/0, decision dated April 13, 2016).
The Federal District’s Taxi Drivers Union, together with other four related associations, filed a protective class action based on an alleged arbitrary omission from the local Government to exercise its police power and prevent UBER B.V. or UBER Technologies Inc (“UBER”) from offering transport services within the City limits.
To that end, an injunction was requested to: (i) order the local Government to take the necessary measures to suspend any activity that UBER may perform —either by itself or through associated drivers— in connection to the provision of passenger transport services without complying with the local Traffic and Transport Code’s regulations; and (ii) order the cease in the offer through available platforms of UBER’s mobile apps for Buenos Aires City’s market.
The first instance court understood that the complexity of the matters involved exceeded the scope intended for a protective action, and determined the readjustment of the case to an ordinary procedure. According to the judge’s opinion, the case involves, prima facie, aspects related to urban security, consumers and users’ protection, right to work and to perform lawful industries, conflicts derived from the use of new technologies, security and coordination of urban transport and tax matters, among others. Additionally, the court pointed out that it is still pending of determining the existence of any other actions or claims that may be related to this case. Regarding the preliminary injunctions requested by the plaintiffs, the judge ordered to the local Government to suspend any activity that UBER or its associated drivers may perform in connection to the transport of passengers within the territory of the City, and dismissed the petition to order the cease in the offer of UBER’s mobile apps for Buenos Aires City’s market. Additionally, the local Government has been ordered to inform within a 5 days term all the measures implemented to comply with this injunction.
Specifically, the judge decided that the rights invoked by the plaintiffs are reasonably plausible in connection to the first preliminary injunction requested, and also considered that there is an actual risk of harm involved with the delay in granting such precautionary measure.
It is worth noting that —among other arguments— the second injunction was dismissed on the grounds of a potential invasion to other jurisdictions authority.
To the date, UBER has not formally requested to be a part in this case, and the Government of the City of Buenos Aires has not provided the information ordered by the court.