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Appeals court upholds Hillsborough's ban on Prius as limo

TAMPA — A federal appeals court was not persuaded by the owner of a local car service who was fighting Hillsborough County officials in federal court for the right to license a Toyota Prius as a limousine.

On Thursday, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta agreed with a lower court decision to dismiss his suit against county regulators.

Moshe Leib, owner of TB Limo Black Car Service in North Redington Beach, filed with the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission in August 2007 to waive its rule on the definition of luxury vehicles to give his Prius the green light.

But commission members said if they granted the St. Petersburg-based business the waiver, other inappropriate vehicles would have an open door to permitting. So they denied his request.

Without the county license, TB Limo can drop off customers at the airport or elsewhere in Hillsborough, but can't pick them up.

Leib thought that decision violated his rights. So he took his case to U.S. District Judge Susan C. Bucklew and she too dismissed his case before it went to trial.

Undeterred, Leib went to the Court of Appeals. But the three judges for the 11th District rejected his claims that the commission and Bucklew infringed upon his rights.

Appeals court upholds Hillsborough's ban on Prius as limo 02/20/09 [Last modified: Friday, February 20, 2009 11:11pm]
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