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Nautical Tours, Inc. v. Department of Public Utilities (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-147-14)

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SJC-11455

NAUTICAL TOURS, INC.  vs.  DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC UTILITIES.

August 20, 2014.

Department of Public Utilities.  License.  Public Utilities, Sight-seeing vehicle.  Carrier, Sight-seeing vehicle.  Motor Vehicle, Sight-seeing vehicle.

Nautical Tours, Inc. (Nautical Tours), appeals from a judgment of a single justice of this court affirming a decision of the Department of Public Utilities (department) that it did not have jurisdiction to issue the type of license needed by Nautical Tours to operate its business in the city of Boston.  Nautical Tours seeks to operate amphibious motor vehicles for sightseeing and charter purposes on the streets of Cambridge and Boston and the waters of the Charles River and Boston Harbor.  The parties disagree about the appropriate license needed to operate in Boston.  Nautical Tours contends that it must obtain a municipal street license pursuant to G. L. c. 159A, § 1.  The department ruled that Nautical Tours was required to obtain a sightseeing license, which the Boston police commissioner has the exclusive authority to issue, pursuant to St. 1931, c. 399.  We agree with the department that the Legislature established two different licensing schemes.  Although a municipal street license is needed to carry passengers for hire on the public ways of cities and towns in the Commonwealth under G. L. c. 159A, § 1, a sightseeing automobile operating in the city of Boston must obtain a separate sightseeing license under St. 1931, c. 399.  Because we further agree with the department that it did not have jurisdiction to issue Nautical Tours a municipal street license to operate its amphibious motor vehicles in Boston, we affirm. read more

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - August 20, 2014 at 3:11 pm

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