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Dubbelde v. State, ex rel. Department of Transportation

Supreme Court of Wyoming

May 15, 2014

JAMIE T. DUBBELDE, Appellant (Petitioner),
v.
STATE OF WYOMING, ex rel., DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Appellee (Respondent). JAMIE T. DUBBELDE, Appellant (Petitioner),
v.
STATE OF WYOMING, ex rel., DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Appellee (Respondent).

Appeal from the District Court of Campbell County The Honorable John R. Perry, Judge

Representing Appellant: Donna D. Domonkos, Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Representing Appellee: Peter K. Michael, Wyoming Attorney General; Robin Sessions Cooley, Deputy Attorney General; Douglas J. Moench, Senior Assistant Attorney General; Jackson M. Engels, Senior Assistant Attorney General.

Before KITE, C.J., and HILL, BURKE, DAVIS, and FOX, JJ.

KITE, Chief Justice.

[¶1] Jamie T. Dubbelde challenges the administrative ninety day suspension of his driver's license and his one year disqualification from driving a commercial vehicle. The focus of his appeal is the delay that occurred between his arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol in April 2011 and the Wyoming Department of Transportation's (WYDOT) August 2012 notification of the suspension and disqualification. We affirm.

ISSUES

[¶2] Mr. Dubbelde presents the issues for our consideration as follows:

ISSUE I
Whether the Division should be prohibited from submitting a brief in this Court after it failed to timely file a brief in the District Court.
ISSUE II
Whether the OAH's Order Upholding Order of Suspension is arbitrary, capricious or otherwise not in accordance with the law.

[¶3] The State contends this Court may consider its brief whether or not it timely filed its brief in district court; Mr. Dubbelde is precluded from arguing the delay issue because he did not argue it during the administrative hearing; and, Mr. Dubbelde failed to make the required showing that good cause existed to modify the suspension and disqualification.

FACTS

[¶4] Mr. Dubbelde was arrested for DUI on April 2, 2011. He provided a breath sample, which revealed a blood alcohol content (BAC) over .08%. Mr. Dubbelde pleaded guilty to DUI on April 4, 2011. For unexplained reasons, WYDOT did not notify Mr. Dubbelde until August 2012—sixteen months after his conviction—that he would be disqualified from using his commercial driver's license (CDL) for one year and the written notification did not mention the license suspension.[1]

[¶5] Upon receiving the notification from WYDOT in August 2012, Mr. Dubbelde requested a contested case hearing and enclosed payment for hearings on both the suspension and disqualification. WYDOT received the request on August 9, 2012, and forwarded it to the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) later in August. The OAH held a hearing on September 27, 2012.

[¶6] Mr. Dubbelde appeared without counsel. He asserted that if his license was going to be suspended and he was go ing to be disqualified from using his CDL, he should have been notified at the time of his conviction, not over a year later. He claimed it was unfair because he depended on driving for his livelihood.

[¶7] The OAH issued orders upholding the suspension and disqualification on the ground that Mr. Dubbelde was not contesting the DUI conviction and had not shown good cause under Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 31-7-105(e) (LexisNexis 2013) for modifying the administrative suspension and disqualification. Mr. Dubbelde obtained counsel and filed a petition for review of the orders in district court. He asserted his due process rights were violated when WYDOT failed to promptly institute suspension and disqualification proceedings. He further asserted Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 16-3-113 (LexisNexis 2013) requires license suspension proceedings to be "promptly instituted" and proceedings instituted nearly a year and a half after his DUI conviction violated the statute.

[¶8] WYDOT filed its brief in response after the deadline imposed by the district court. Mr. Dubbelde moved to strike the brief and requested that the district court not hear argument from WYDOT.[2] The district court did not rule on the motion. The district court issued an order affirming the OAH decisions. Mr. Dubbelde timely appealed to this Court.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

[ΒΆ9] We review administrative rulings in accordance with the ...


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