Nashville Limos

Bokhari v. Nashville
Nashville’s Sedan Drivers Fight City Effort To Run Them Off the Road

IJ Client Ali Bokhari

IJ Client Ali Bokhari

Nashville Video Click to Play
Video: Drive to Freedom, Defending Economic Liberty in Nashville

Can government force transportation businesses to charge a minimum price to protect politically connected companies from competition?

That is the question the Institute for Justice (IJ) and its clients sought to answer in a federal court challenge to Nashville’s limousine and sedan regulations.

Until 2010, sedan and independent limo services in Nashville were an affordable alternative to taxicabs.  A trip to the airport only cost $25.  But in June 2010, the Metropolitan County Council passed a series of anti-competitive regulations requested by the Tennessee Livery Association—a trade group formed by expensive limousine companies.  These regulations force sedan and independent limo companies to increase their fares to $45 minimum.

The regulations also require limo and sedan companies to dispatch only from their place of business and require them to take all vehicles off the road if they are more than seven years old for a sedan or SUV or more than ten years old for a limousine.

These laws have nothing to do with public safety.  Nashville could have limited its requirements to those regulations that are designed to genuinely protect the public’s health and safety, such as requiring insured and inspected vehicles, and driver background checks, but instead, Nashville is stooping to economic protectionism to put affordable car services out of business in favor of more expensive services that happen to have more political power.  Many Nashville residents who regularly use limos and sedans are being forced to spend twice as much money for exactly the same service and hard-working sedan drivers are being driven out of business.

On April 20, 2011, the Institute for Justice teamed up with three Nashville entrepreneurs and filed a federal lawsuit in the U.S District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee to vindicate the right of Nashville’s limo and sedan operators to earn an honest living free from excessive government regulation.

The case culminated in a four-day jury trial in January 2013.  Unfortunately, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the government, upholding Nashville’s laws.


Essential Background


Background on IJ's Nashville Limo Case

Client Photo

Latest Release: Nashville Repeals $45 Minimum Fare Law (January 8, 2014) Client Video
Launch Release: New Regulations Threaten to Drive Nashville Transportation Entrepreneurs off the Road (April 20, 2011)

Case Launch Press Conference Video

 Legal Briefs and Decisions
Download: Opinion denying motion for summary judgment (December 13, 2012)
Download: Opinion denying preliminary injunction (April 10, 2012)
Download: Opinion denying to dismiss (January 19, 2012)
Download: IJ's Complaint (April 20, 2011)

Case Timeline

Filed Lawsuit:


April 20, 2011

Court Filed:

United States District Court, Middle District Of Tennessee


Government’s motion to dismiss denied January 19, 2012

Government’s motion for summary judgment denied December 3, 2012

Jury verdict for the government January 25, 2013

Current Court: United States District Court, Middle District Of Tennessee



Case closed
Next Key Date: N/A

Additional Releases

Maps, Charts and Facts

Latest Release: Nashville Transportation Entrepreneurs Hit Government Roadblock (January 25, 2013)

National Minimum Fare Map

Release: Nashville’s Transportation Entrepreneurs Will Get Their Day in Court (December 3, 2012)

Op-eds, News Articles and Links

Release: Federal Court Upholds Nashville’s $45 Minimum Fare Law, For Now (April 10, 2012)

Article: The cabbie who is driving for liberty Washington Post (March 28, 2012)

Release: Nashville Drivers Stage Rolling Protest; Limo & Sedan Drivers Caravan Across City to Protest $45 Minimum Fare (July 18, 2011)

Article: Limousine Lockout: New Regulations Threaten to Drive Nashville Transportation Entrepreneurs off the Road; Liberty & Law (June 2011)

Limo owners sue Metro, say new rules aren't fair The Tennessean (April 21, 2011)

Prominent libertarian legal-defense group to aid taxi suit Nashville Post (April 20, 2011)
Nashville limo suit attracts national attention Nashville Business Journal (April 20, 2011)
IJ Takes On The High-End Limo Cartel In Nashville (April 20, 2011)
Drivers Sue Over Minimum Limo Ride Price WSMV NBC channel 4 Nashville (April 19, 2011)

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