Wants Appeals Court To Okay Suit Against Port Authority For Toll Hike

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In his brief, Weisshaus sets forth the argument that charging a $2 penalty for payment in cash is "economic discrimination."


 
[New Jersey]
 
A New Jersey man today filed a brief to restore the lawsuit he filed last year challenging an increase in tolls to $12 from $8. 
 
In
a 78-page brief filed Tuesday, Yoel Weisshaus lays out to the Court of
Appeals for the Second Circuit his case as to why the district court
must allow him to pursue his case against the Port Authority of New York
and New Jersey, challenging the increase in toll prices.
 
Weisshaus
is seeking declaratory and injunctive relief to prohibit the Port
Authority from increasing toll prices without legislators' approval. In
his brief, Weisshaus shares an in-depth look at his case against the
byzantine agency. "One wonders how many of its own laws the Port
Authority violated when they increased the toll on September 18, 2011,"
Weisshaus observes.
 
The case is now before the Court of
Appeals for the Second Circuit waiting to be submitted before a panel of
three judges. The Port Authority claimed that New York and New Jersey
Governors directed the price schedule in the increase of tolls. However, in his legal brief, Weisshaus reveals a letter from Governor
Andrew Cuomo’s office stating that they do “not posses records” of
communicating with the Port Authority over an increase in toll prices. 
 
Appearing
on behalf of himself, Weisshaus filed a lawsuit on September 19, 2011 a
day after the Port Authority increased toll prices from $8 to $12. In
his complaint, Weisshaus charged the Port Authority with "abuse of power
and invasion of fundamental rights by increasing toll prices absent due
consideration to the public."
 
The Port Authority responded by calling Weisshaus a man with “a good deal of Chutzpah.” 
 
Weisshaus
is asking the Court to declare that toll should not be used for pet
projects unrelated directly to maintaining transportation such as
rebuilding the World Trade Center. 
 
In a similar lawsuit, the
New York Automobile Club, AAA, summonsed the Port Authority to Court
over using toll revenue to rebuild the World Trade Center. AAA’s request
for preliminary injunction was rejected because they failed to seek
discovery to counter the evidence submitted by the Port Authority.
Interestingly, Judge Richard Holwell who presided over the AAA case
resigned the following day of his order and is no longer a jurist,
Weisshaus notes. AAA’s case was submitted for summary judgment and is
now going through discovery. 

According to his brief, Weisshaus
argues that unlike AAA where the district court recognized a valuable
cause of action, the district court dismissed Weisshaus "sua sponte"
--spontaneous-- for failure to state a claim. In his brief, Weisshaus
sets forth the argument that charging a $2 penalty for payment in cash
is "economic discrimination." 
 
Weisshaus is a resident of New
Milford NJ and is currently attending Bergen Community College for an
accounting degree. ,Weisshaus’ family is originally from Brooklyn. He
says his weekly visits there, including with his grand mother Gizzella
Weisshaus, is "deeply affected by the decision of the Port Authority to
increase toll prices without proper justification." 
 
For more details Weisshaus can be reached at YoelWeisshaus@yahoo.com or visit Yoelweisshaus.com


 

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