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June 24, 2017

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Judge to hear motion about Uber ride-sharing service in Las Vegas

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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. The ride sharing company has begun operations in Nevada.

Less than a week after launching in Nevada, ride-sharing company Uber finds itself in court today fighting for the right to keep operating in Las Vegas.

Clark County District Judge Douglas Herndon is scheduled to hear a motion filed by the Nevada Attorney General's Office seeking a temporary restraining order against Uber at 9 a.m.

On Tuesday afternoon, a Washoe County judge approved a similar motion that blocks Uber from operating its services in the county for 15 days. A follow-up hearing in that case has been set for Nov. 12.

Uber's Friday launch in Nevada was met with swift action by taxicab regulators, who have cited at least 15 drivers statewide, said Taxicab Authority spokeswoman Teri Williams.

In each case, the driver's vehicle was impounded and the driver faces a fine of up to $10,000. Uber has pledged to cover financial and legal costs incurred by the cited drivers.

Taxicab regulators have insisted that 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 instead is a technology platform that connects riders with an independent network of drivers. The drivers use their own private vehicles to deliver the rides, which are ordered through a smartphone app.

Uber has run into regulatory problems in many of the hundred-plus cities it operates in throughout the country. The company has persisted despite opposition from regulators and taxicab companies and has been largely successful in lobbying for new laws legitimizing their service.

Uber turned to the public for support Tuesday, launching an online petition that gathered more than 10,000 signatures and sending out emails urging supporters to contact the attorney general's and governor's offices.

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