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Bass v. New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission

October 1, 2010

GREGORY L. BASS, APPELLANT,
v.
NEW JERSEY MOTOR VEHICLE COMMISSION, STATE OF NEW JERSEY, RESPONDENT.



On appeal from a Final Decision of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, Docket No. MVH 3331-09.

Per curiam.

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted September 21, 2010

Before Judges Graves and Messano.

Gregory Bass (Bass) appeals from a final decision of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (Commission), which indefinitely suspended his passenger-carrying endorsement (passenger endorsement) on his commercial driver's license (CDL). On appeal, defendant claims that he did not receive a fair hearing, and that the Commission abused its discretion when it suspended his passenger endorsement. After reviewing the record, the briefs, and the applicable law, we affirm.

On September 3, 2008, the Commission sent a "scheduled suspension notice" to Bass advising him that his New Jersey passenger endorsement was scheduled to be suspended on October 3, 2008, because he had a disqualifying criminal record.

Pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:21-14.5(a), every driver of a bus must "be of good character." The Commission is authorized to "revoke or suspend the bus driver license of any person arrested for, charged with, or indicted for any crime or other offense" if the Commission determines the bus driver "is of bad character or is morally unfit . . . or is a potential danger to his or her passengers or to other motorists or to himself or herself." N.J.A.C. 13:21-14.5(c)(13). The same regulation provides that a bus driver has a disqualifying criminal record if:

He or she has been convicted of . . . any of the following:

(1) An offense involving the manufacture, transportation, possession, sale or habitual use of a "controlled dangerous substance" as defined in the "New Jersey Controlled Substance Act";

(3) A crime or other offense involving the use of force or the threat of force to or upon a person or property, such as armed robbery, assault and arson;

(4) Any crime or other offense indicative of bad moral character;

(5) He or she fails to notify the Motor Vehicle Commission that he or she has been arrested for, charged with, indicted for, convicted of, or forfeited bond or collateral upon any crime or other offense within 14 days after the date of such event.

[N.J.A.C. 13:21-14.5(c)(12).]

The suspension notice stated Bass could either accept the suspension or request a hearing. On September 16, 2008, Bass requested a hearing, which took place before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) on May 19, 2009. We have not been provided with a transcript of the ...


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