Cross border suits now combined

By Reed Black, Land Line Now staff reporter | 1/10/2012

Two separate lawsuits to stop the Mexican cross-border trucking program have now been merged into one lawsuit. One was first filed by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and the other was by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Public Citizen, and the Sierra Club.

A judge with the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, DC, ordered that attorneys for the groups make oral arguments in the same courtroom on the same day.

This past July, OOIDA filed a lawsuit in the DC circuit against the DOT and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration asking the court to “enjoin, set-aside, suspend (in whole or in part) or determine the validity of the implementation of (DOT’s cross-border program).”

A second lawsuit against the DOT and FMCSA was filed in early September 2011 by Public Citizen and the Teamsters. That challenge was initially filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

As the result of an unopposed motion of the Department of Justice, which represents the DOT in the lawsuits, the case in the 9th Circuit was transferred to the DC Circuit.

The OOIDA lawsuit points out that Mexico has no reliable system for tracking a driver’s safety record or their medical or drug and alcohol history. OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer says that having no such system is unacceptable.

Spencer says U.S. law states plainly that the kinds of waivers and exemptions the FMCSA is extending to Mexican truckers are not legal.

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