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Kocses v. Magee

Decided: May 2, 1944.

WILLIAM KOCSES, PROSECUTOR,
v.
ARTHUR W. MAGEE, COMMISSIONER OF MOTOR VEHICLES, RESPONDENT



On certiorari.

For the prosecutor, Thomas Brunetto.

For the respondent, David T. Wilentz, Attorney-General, and Louis M. Mallin, Special Counsel to the Motor Vehicle Department.

Before Justices Parker, Heher and Perskie.

Perskie

The opinion of the court was delivered by

PERSKIE, J. The question for decision is the validity vel non of the revocation, by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, of prosecutor's license to operate a motor vehicle in this state.

On statutory review (R.S. 39:5-23), Mr. Justice Parker, on June 12th, 1943, set aside prosecutor's conviction, in the Mayor's Court of the Borough of Caldwell, apparently for

driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor. The ground upon which that conviction was set aside was that the "record of conviction" failed, contrary to the statute, to include the "statement of the evidence adduced at the trial." Pursuant to that disposition, he ordered that the "fine" of $200 and "costs" of $25 imposed "be remitted" to prosecutor and that he "be restored" in all "things" which he "had lost" by reason of the "judgment of conviction" and the "sentence rendered therein."

Thereafter, on August 20th, 1943, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles (hereafter referred to as Commissioner) notified prosecutor, in writing, of his proposed revocation of prosecutor's driver's license by virtue of the provisions of R.S. 39:5-30. The "reasonable grounds" set down, pursuant to that statute, are that on

"February 22d, 1943, at 10:00 P.M." prosecutor "drove a motor vehicle in Bloomfield, North Caldwell, New Jersey, in a careless and incompetent manner, thereby causing an accident, after which [he] left the scene of such accident without identifying [himself] as required."

Prosecutor desired a hearing. Such a hearing was afforded him on September 17th, 1943. He was represented at the hearing by counsel. No purpose is to be served in detailing the proofs; they are not questioned. It should suffice, therefore, to observe that the deputy commissioner who heard the proofs, concluded that prosecutor did operate his automobile in the manner charged thus "jeopardizing the safety of the users of said highway," and accordingly "revoked" prosecutor's license for "an indefinite period."

On September 17th, 1943, the Commissioner entered an order by the terms of which he made the same factual finding that his deputy commissioner made, and accordingly revoked prosecutor's license to drive a motor vehicle in this state. Prosecutor was allowed a writ of certiorari challenging ...


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