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November 23, 2017

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Uber court hearing delayed until Friday

Image

John Locher / AP

Uber West Coast Regional Manager William Barnes sits in the back of a car during a photo shoot Friday, Oct. 24, 2014, in Las Vegas.

Updated Monday, Nov. 17, 2014 | 2:55 p.m.

Uber was back in court briefly today, fighting to keep its ride service operating in Las Vegas.

But a dispute over whether the court case should play out in Las Vegas or Reno led to legal gridlock and a delay in today's hearing.

Clark County District Court Judge Douglas Herndon was scheduled to hear a motion for preliminary injunction at 10:30 a.m. today that could have taken Uber's ride service off the streets.

A similar case has also been filed in Washoe County District Court involving the same parties and many of the same issues.

The case can only move forward in one of the courts, leading to a conflict that needs to be resolved before hearings can continue.

Herndon called the case a "procedural mess." He criticized the Nevada Attorney General's Office, which is representing the Nevada Transportation Authority, for pursuing the case in multiple jurisdictions in search of a favorable ruling.

"You as much said ... that as soon as some court would stop Uber's operations you would dismiss the other (cases)," Herndon said.

Herndon set a hearing for Friday at 9 a.m. to possibly reschedule the preliminary injunction that was supposed to take place today.

Key in deciding which county the Uber court case will take place in is which jurisdiction the case was filed in first.

That determination could ultimately be made by the Nevada Supreme Court after attorneys for Uber filed a writ challenging a ruling by District Court Judge Scott Freeman last week that the case should proceed in Washoe County.

Clark County District Court Judge Herndon disagreed Monday and laid out a timeline that he says shows the case belongs in his courtroom.

Uber launched in Las Vegas Oct. 24 but was met with swift action by taxicab regulators, who cited dozens of Uber drivers with illegally offering rides for hire.

Taxicab regulators say Uber is violating Nevada law by operating a for-hire transportation company without obtaining the required Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity. Without the certificate, Uber drivers are considered unlicensed operators and are subject to punishment.

Uber has maintained that it is not a transportation company but a technology platform that connects riders with an independent network of drivers. The drivers use their own vehicles to deliver the rides, which are ordered through a smartphone app.

Herndon denied a request for a temporary restraining order against Uber on Oct. 29 but did not rule on the legality of its services.

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