Richardson v. Oregon Dept. of Transportation

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Administrative Law
  • Date Filed: 11-07-2012
  • Case #: A149361
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Hadlock, J. for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; and Sercombe, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

ORS 809.440(2)(b) does not create an exclusive list of defenses to DMV actions. ORS 809.440(2)(b) merely states possible defenses to a department's actions.

The Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) appealed a decision by the circuit court to re-instate Richardson’s driving privileges. Richardson had his driving privileges revoked after not paying several fines issued by the DMV in 1996 and 1997. After a period of time, he was able to get a new driver’s license. In 2010, the court informed the DMV that Richardson had not paid his 1996 and 1997 fines. The DMV informed Richardson that his license would be suspended in 60 days if he did not resolve the matter or pursue administrative review. Richardson sought administrative review, arguing that the DMV no longer had the ability to suspend his license. The DMV ruled Richardson had not presented any evidence in his favor; Richardson then filed for relief in circuit court where he prevailed. On appeal, the DMV argued Richardson should have challenged the justice court order before filing in circuit court. The Court of Appeals held that the justice court’s order was not a judgment and under ORS 53.010, Richardson could not have appealed the order. Secondly, the DMV argued Richardson could only challenge the license suspension under three exclusive defenses. The Court determined that these defenses were not exclusive and that the DMV had surpassed their authority to suspend Richardson’s license because they had already suspended his license for the action in question. Affirmed.

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