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Olsvary v. New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission

April 29, 2009

RUTH E. OLSVARY, APPELLANT,
v.
NEW JERSEY MOTOR VEHICLE COMMISSION, RESPONDENT.



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

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted April 1, 2009

Before Judges Lihotz and Messano.

Appellant Ruth E. Olsvary appeals from a final decision of the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) that denied her request for an administrative hearing and upheld the suspension of her New Jersey driving privileges following her plea of nolo contendere to a Florida charge of driving while intoxicated. Appellant argues the agency's failure to conduct an administrative hearing prior to the imposition of the suspension was a denial of due process and the length of the suspension was illegal. We disagree and affirm.

Appellant, a New Jersey licensee, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol while driving in Dade County Florida on April 2, 2007. Appellant presumably refused to allow a breath chemical test, as the arrest report lists ".000" as her blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Thereafter, appellant entered a plea of nolo contendere and was sentenced to six months probation. Applicable fines and a six-month license suspension were also imposed. Appellant's probation was transferred to New Jersey.

Pursuant to the Interstate Driver License Compact (the Compact), N.J.S.A. 39:5D-1 to -14, the Florida conviction was transmitted to the MVC. Appellant mistakenly believed her New Jersey driving privileges were suspended contemporaneously with her Florida privileges. She completed the Florida sentence on June 10, 2008.

Prior to June 10, 2008, appellant received a suspension notice from the Commissioner of the MVC. The notice stated any request for a hearing must specify all disputed 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. If your request fails to set forth any disputed material facts, legal issues, or arguments of such issues, the request will be denied and a suspension will become effective on a date specified by the Commission and constitute the Commission's final decision in this matter.

Appellant contested the suspension. The correspondence from counsel listed the following in response to the above directions:

THIS LETTER SHALL SERVE AS NOTICE that [appellant] hereby contests the scheduled suspension of her driving privileges and, as such, hereby requests a hearing, based upon issues surrounding her United States Constitutional rights made applicable to the State of New Jersey via the Fourteenth Amendment and comparable State Constitutional Rights, more specifically, and without limitation:

1. The State's inability to provide the appropriate proofs;

2. The State's lack of notice and due process . . .;

3. The issue of double ...


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