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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 110438
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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My husband was involved in a hit and run accident on March

Customer Question

My husband was involved in a hit and run accident on March 6, 2012. He fell asleep at the wheel of his tanker truck after driving 19 hours and being told by his employer not to stop and sleep but to get home that night. As a result of this accident, my husband lost his job, had his license suspended for a year, served time in county jail, and had to go on unemployment ever since. Once he was released from jail on January 22, 2013, he and his lawyer filed a motion with his original judge to have the suspension/revocation lifted so my husband could find employment and get off of unemployment. The judge ruled in my husband's favor on February 19, 2013 on grounds of critical need. We then had a hearing on April 18, 2013 with the DMV Safety Board to get his license reinstated. He went in with a copy of the judge's order and an official letter from an employer that would hire my husband on the condition that he received his license. We received a letter from the DMV on April 20, 2013 stating that they will not release the revocation. My husband wants desperately to get off of employment and support his family, and he even has a job waiting for him if he gets his license. What legal standing do we have to continue to fight the DMV? After all that he has been through, and with the judge's orders, do we need to continue this and with what legal grounds?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

In these license revocation/suspension cases, there are two types of suspensions/revocations that are independent of one another. There is the criminal suspension/revocation and there is the administrative suspension/revocation. While the court has the power to order reinstatement of any suspension/revocation issued by the courts, the courts do not have the power in that order to alter the determination of DMV which has administrative power over issuing all licenses. This means it is frequently the case that DMV refuses to release a license despite the court releasing the license.

When this happens, DMV administrative decisions can only be overturned on narrow grounds. The CA courts hold "In ruling on an application for a writ of mandate following an order of suspension or revocation, a trial court is required to determine, based on its independent judgment, `"whether the weight of the evidence supported the administrative decision."'" See: Lake v. Reed, 65 Cal.Rptr.2d 860, 16 Cal.4th 448, 940 P.2d 311 (Cal., 1997).

A CA trial court is required to determine, based on its independent judgment, " 'whether the weight of the evidence supported the administrative decision.' " See: Yordamlis v. Zolin, 14 Cal.Rptr.2d 225, 11 Cal.App.4th 655 (Cal.App. 1 Dist., 1992). The court must resolve all evidentiary conflicts and draw all legitimate and reasonable inferences in favor of the trial court's decision. Where the evidence supports more than one inference, the court may not substitute our deductions for the trial court's. The court may overturn the factual findings only if the evidence is insufficient as a matter of law to sustain those findings. See: Yordamlis...

Thus, your husband to succeed on appealing the DMV denial to the courts must prove that the evidence reviewed by DMV is insufficient to support the findings by the DMV, which are pretty narrow grounds to win a claim I am afraid.

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