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Mompoint v. New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission

SUPERIOR COURT OF NEW JERSEY APPELLATE DIVISION


March 20, 2009

ENDY MOMPOINT, APPELLANT,
v.
NEW JERSEY MOTOR VEHICLE COMMISSION, RESPONDENT.

On appeal from the Final Decision of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted March 3, 2009

Before Judges Winkelstein and Gilroy.

Appellant Endy Mompoint appeals from the June 2, 2008 final decision of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (Commission), suspending his New Jersey driving privileges for a term of sixty days, effective June 27, 2008. We affirm.

Appellant is the holder of a New Jersey Motor Vehicle driver's license. On July 22, 2006, appellant's driver's license was suspended by the Commission for a period of one year. On April 13, 2007, appellant received a motor vehicle summons in Pennsylvania for careless driving. In March 2008, he was convicted of that motor vehicle offense.

The States of New Jersey and Pennsylvania are signatories to the Interstate Driver License Compact (the Compact).*fn1

Accordingly, on conviction of the careless driving summons, Pennsylvania notified the Commission of the conviction. N.J.S.A. 39:5D-3 ("The licensing authority of a party State shall report each conviction of a person from another party State occurring within its jurisdiction to the licensing authority of the home State of the licensee."). On receipt of notice of the Pennsylvania conviction, the Commission is required to "give such effect to the conduct as is provided by the laws of the home State." N.J.S.A. 39:5D-4.

On April 11, 2008, the Commission sent appellant a proposed 180-day suspension of his driver's license because he operated a motor vehicle during the one-year period of his driving privilege suspension. N.J.S.A. 39:3-40, N.J.S.A. 39:5-30, and N.J.A.C. 13:19-10.8. The notice advised that he could request a hearing, but that the 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 [he] wish[ed] 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 and the suspension will become effective on the date specified by the Commission and constitutes the Commission's final decision in this matter."

On April 24, 2008, although appellant requested a hearing regarding the proposed notice of suspension, he did not dispute any material facts or issues. Accordingly, on June 2, 2008, the Commission sent appellant a "denial of hearing request/final decision," pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:19-1.2(d), finding that appellant had been convicted of careless driving that occurred on April 13, 2007, in Pennsylvania during the one-year period of suspension of his New Jersey driving privileges. However, based on a review of appellant's driving history, the Commission reduced the term of suspension from 180 days to sixty days, effective June 27, 2008. Appellant appealed. On July 1, 2008, the Commission granted appellant's request for a stay of the suspension, pending appeal.

On appeal, appellant argues that the Commission should not have suspended his driving privileges because: 1) the Pennsylvania court erred in finding him guilty of careless driving; and 2) the Commission's suspension of his driving privileges constitutes "be[ing] penalized twice for the same violation," appellant having been convicted of the careless driving offense in Pennsylvania.

We have considered appellant's arguments in light of the record and the applicable law. We are satisfied that neither argument is of sufficient merit to warrant discussion in a written opinion. R. 2:11-3(e)(1)(E). Nevertheless, we add the following comment.

Appellant misconstrues the reason for the suspension of his driving privileges. The Commission did not suspend appellant's driving privileges solely because of his conviction of careless driving in Pennsylvania. Appellant's driving privileges were suspended because he operated a motor vehicle during the one-year prior period of suspension of his driving privileges, effective July 22, 2006. N.J.S.A. 39:3-40d. Accordingly, appellant was not penalized twice for the same offense.

Affirmed.


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