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Judges uphold 10-year suspension of driver’s license

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A Porter County man who fought the Bureau of Motor Vehicles' decision to suspend his license for being a habitual traffic violator lost his case before the Indiana Court of Appeals.

Richard Thomas had three qualifying driving convictions within a 10-year period, with the last occurring in May 2008. In December 2011, the BMV notified Thomas that he qualified as a HTV and that his driving privileges would be suspended for 10 years beginning in January 2012.

Thomas sought an administrative review and judicial review of the BMV’s petition; the BMV affirmed his suspension and the trial court denied his petition for review.

Thomas argued that the notice from the BMV was untimely and that a statute of limitations should apply, but he never specified what statutory limitation period should apply. Indiana Code 9-30-10 does not include a statute of limitations, but the court has previously ruled the two-year statute of limitations doesn’t apply. The Court of Appeals concluded, based on a recent Supreme Court decision, that the general 10-year statute of limitations in I.C. 34-11-1-2 applies.

The limitations begin tolling after the third conviction qualifying one as a HTV, not with the first offense, as Thomas argued. The judges also pointed out that it’s up to the General Assembly to decide whether a shorter limitations period is appropriate.

In Richard Thomas v. Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, 64A03-1204-PL-191, the Court of Appeals also rejected Thomas’ claim that the doctrine of laches applies. He argues the suspension would result in extreme unfairness because “in the years since his last qualifying conviction, he has ‘altered his behavior to effectively render himself a safe driver,’” the opinion says.

“However, we are unconvinced by Thomas’s self-serving statement regarding his belief that he has altered his behavior in a manner such to render him a ‘safe driver,’ and conclude that it falls far short of demonstrating that the public interest would be threatened by the BMV’s conduct in the instant matter,” Judge Cale Bradford wrote.

 

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  1. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  2. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

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  4. If it were your child that died maybe you'd be more understanding. Most of us don't have graves to visit. My son was killed on a state road and I will be putting up a memorial where he died. It gives us a sense of peace to be at the location he took his last breath. Some people should be more understanding of that.

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