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Jackson Mississippi Cab Drivers

With the assistance of the Mississippi Justice Institute, two Mississippi taxicab drivers have filed suit against the City of Jackson for violating their constitutional rights. The drivers are defending their right to be free from anti-competitive, arbitrary, and irrational regulations that make it impossible to start their business.

Plaintiffs John Davis of Jackson and Shad Denson of Star wish to start their own taxicab companies but are prevented from doing so by Jackson regulations which protect established taxicab companies. John and Shad are hard-working citizens who simply want an equal opportunity to earn a living without the government choosing sides and forcing them to work for someone else.

Davis began driving a taxicab in the early 1990s. He eventually purchased his own cars but has been forced to pay an entrenched taxicab company in Jackson in order to do business in the city thanks to Jackson’s regulations. “The government should not be picking winners and losers. All I want to do is create and run a business without being held back. My dad and I both were cab drivers, and for too long we’ve been prevented from truly providing for our families. I just want to live the American dream,” Davis said.

Shad Denson described a similar experience: “For fifteen years, I’ve had to pay others for the right to work in Jackson. All I am asking for is the opportunity to create and build a business and a legacy to leave to my family. I just want the freedom to create jobs, provide better service to the public, and control my own destiny.”

Davis and Denson seek a declaratory judgment from the Court that the City of Jackson has violated the Mississippi Constitution through its regulations. They also ask for an order permanently prohibiting the City of Jackson from requiring an applicant for a taxicab “Certificate of Public Necessity and Convenience” to do or to have the following: (1) Mississippi residency for six months prior to applying; (2) a Jackson business license; (3) an office in Jackson; (4) its vehicles domiciled in Jackson; (5) an office staffed 24 hours a day; and (6) at least eight vehicles under its company.

John and Shad’s case started in the Hinds County Chancery Court, and now it sits in front of the Mississippi Supreme Court. The case was started by former Director of the Mississippi Justice Institute Mike Hurst and is now handled by current Director Shadrack White.

To learn more, read the filings below.

Filing Date
March 2, 2016
Original Court:
Hinds County Chancery Court
Current Court:
Mississippi Supreme Court
Case Status:
Shadrack White, Director, Mississippi Justice Institute

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