December 21, 2007
IN THE MATTER OF KEITH R. DESOUSA
On appeal from the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted December 10, 2007
Before Judges S.L. Reisner and Gilroy.
Keith R. DeSousa appeals from a December 19, 2006 decision of the Motor Vehicle Commission, denying his request for a hearing on a 150-day suspension of his driving privilege. We affirm.
By a notice dated November 19, 2006, the agency advised DeSousa that effective December 12, 2006, his driving privilege would be suspended for 150 days because he had twelve or more points on his driving record. The notice also advised that he could request a hearing, but that his hearing request "must specify all disputed material facts and legal issues you or your attorney intend to raise at a hearing and must present all arguments on those issues you wish the Commission to consider." The notice further advised that if he did not "set forth any disputed material facts, legal issues, or arguments of such issues, the request will be denied." On December 19, 2006, DeSousa submitted a hearing request stating, "I have a family of 5 and I'm the sole provider. I need my license to get to work and doctor visits." He did not contest the points against his driving record or the basis on which the points were assessed. In fact, at the time, he had thirty-one points, and his license had been suspended ten times previously.
DeSousa's hearing request was denied because it did not raise any legal issues or factual disputes. According to the decision of the agency's Chief Administrator:
On December 12, 2006, Keith R. DeSousa requested a hearing. No legal arguments were set forth in that request nor were any facts disputed. Because no facts or legal issues are in dispute there is no need for a hearing on this matter and the request for a hearing is denied pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:19-1.2(d).
I find as a fact that Keith R. DeSousa received a citation for speeding on 10/19/06 and thus accumulated 4 points. Keith R. DeSousa['s] point total is now 31 points. Pursuant to my authority in N.J.S.A. 39:5-30, 39:5-30.8 and N.J.A.C. 13:19-10.1 et seq., I order the driving privilege of Keith R. Desousa be suspended for 150 days.
On this appeal, DeSousa's sole contention is that he was entitled to a hearing as a matter of due process before his license was suspended. We disagree. Pursuant to its regulations, the agency gave DeSousa the opportunity to request a hearing. See State Dept. of Community Affairs v. Wertheimer, 177 N.J. Super. 595 (App. Div. 1980). However, as DeSousa was notified, the agency's regulations, N.J.AC. 13:19-1.2, required him to specify in his hearing request all disputed material facts and legal issues he intended to raise at the hearing. The requirement was entirely reasonable, because the agency was not required to grant DeSousa an evidentiary hearing in the absence of "material disputed adjudicatory facts." Frank v. Ivy Club, 120 N.J. 73, 98 (1991), cert. denied, 498 U.S. 1073, 111 S.Ct. 799, 112 L.Ed. 2d 860 (1991).
Neither DeSousa's hearing request nor his appellate brief indicate what legal or factual issues he intended to raise at a hearing. The agency's regulations require a 150-day suspension for a driver who has accumulated thirty-one points. N.J.A.C. 13:19-10.2(a). His hearing request did not contest the number of points against his driving record or the basis on which the points were imposed. While the regulation contains an exception for "good cause," N.J.A.C. 13:19-10.2(b), an issue DeSousa does not argue in his brief, we note that nothing in his hearing request would establish good cause to refrain from suspending the license of a motorist with thirty-one points and ten prior license suspensions.
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