Dakota County District Court File Nos. 19WS-CV-12-210, 19WS-CV-11-2105 Goodhue County District Court File No. 25-CV-12-853
SYLLABUS When mailing notice of revocation and revocation of a driver's license to a licensee for violating Minn. Stat. § 169A.52, subds. 3(a), 4(a) (2012), the Minnesota Commissioner of Public Safety does not violate the procedural due process rights of the licensee by providing that licensee with six days' notice of revocation, notwithstanding that those who are served with notice of immediate revocation under Minn. Stat. § 169A.52, subd. 7 (2012), receive a seven-day temporary driver's license.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kirk, Judge
Considered and decided by Kirk, Presiding Judge; Stoneburner, Judge; and Hudson, Judge.
This is a consolidated appeal by appellant Minnesota Commissioner of Public Safety of the district courts' rescissions of the revocations of the driver's licenses of respondents Christopher John Williams, Mark Alan Gehrke, and Mary Jo Higgins under Minnesota's implied consent law, Minn. Stat. §§ 169A.50-.53 (2012). The commissioner argues that there is no statutory or procedural due process basis for the district courts' conclusions that respondents were entitled to a full seven days' notice before their mailed notices of revocation became effective. We agree, and we reverse the rescissions of the revocations of respondents' licenses.
The facts are not in dispute and are functionally identical for each of the three respondents. Each respondent was arrested on suspicion of driving while impaired (DWI). Each respondent submitted to a urine or blood test. Each subsequent analysis of the test samples indicated that each respondent was driving in violation of Minnesota's implied consent law. Each respondent received a notice of revocation mailed by the commissioner with a mailing date marked on the letter. Each notice was postmarked one day after the mailing date indicated on the notice. For example, the commissioner sent Williams a notice of revocation with a mailing date of January 25, 2012. However, the envelope in which the notice was mailed was postmarked January 26, 2012.
Each notice of revocation sent by the commissioner provided a date that the revocation was to become effective. Each of those dates fell ten days after the mailing date of the notice, but nine days after the date postmarked on the envelope. Using Williams as an example again, his notice indicated that the revocation was to become effective February 4, 2012. Allowing for three days' mailing time to elapse before Williams would be deemed to have received the notice as required under Minn. Stat. § 169A.52, subd. 6, the revocation thus became effective seven days after the mailing date printed on the notification letter. However because the notice was postmarked a day later, he received only six days' notice before the revocation became effective.
Each respondent timely sought judicial review of the revocation in district court pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 169A.53, subd. 2(a). The respondents each argued that their procedural due process rights were violated because the commissioner's notification, when measured from the postmark, failed to provide a full seven days of driving privileges between receipt of the notice and revocation of the license. Each district court concluded that the commissioner's notices violated respondents' rights to procedural due process and ordered the revocations rescinded.
The commissioner appealed each ruling and this court ...