Cook v. Bright

CourtCalifornia Court of Appeals
Citation25 Cal.Rptr. 116,208 Cal.App.2d 98
Decision Date01 October 1962
PartiesDane COOK, Petitioner, v. Tom BRIGHT, as Director of the Department of Motor Vehicles, Respondent. Civ. 26655.

Page 116

25 Cal.Rptr. 116
208 Cal.App.2d 98
Dane COOK, Petitioner,
Tom BRIGHT, as Director of the Department of Motor Vehicles, Respondent.
Civ. 26655.
District Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 2, California.
Oct. 1, 1962.

Page 117

[208 Cal.App.2d 99] James L. Hay and Leonard B. Hankins, Long Beach, for petitioner.

Stanley Mosk, Atty. Gen., Warren H. Deering, Calvin W. Torrance, Deputy Attys. Gen., for respondent.

HERNDON, Justice.

Petitioner herein seeks a writ of mandate directing respondent Bright, as Director of the Department of Motor Vehicles, to vacate and set aside an order revoking petitioner's driver's license for a period of three years.

The facts, as they appear from the record before us, indicate that on March 13, 1962, petitioner pleaded guilty to a charge of violating section 23102 Vehicle Code, misdemeanor drunk driving. The complaint did not contain a charge that petitioner had suffered any prior convictions for driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor. Imposition of sentence was suspended and petitioner was granted summary probation for two years upon the following conditions: (1) that he pay a specified fine; (2) that he obey all laws; and (3) that he should not drive a motor vehicle after consuming any alcoholic beverage. The only reference made to petitioner's license is found in what purports to be condition number (4) of his probation and this is the simple statement 'defendant may retain license.'

The record before us shows that prior to its rendition of the order here under attack, the respondent department had received[208 Cal.App.2d 100] abstracts of the above-mentioned judgment and of two previous judgments convicting petitioner of the same offense; said prior judgments were dated March 16, 1953, and September 11, 1953, respectively. On May 7, 1962, petitioner received from respondent department an 'Order of Revocation' dated May 3, 1962, and indicating that his driving privileges had been revoked for a period of three years under the authority of section 13352(e) Vehicle Code because of his conviction on March 13, 1962, of 'driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, a third or subsequent offense within a period of ten years.'

Page 118

On May 21, 1962, petitioner's attorney wrote respondent department a letter requesting a hearing under section 14100, Vehicle Code, on the ground that petitioner needed his license in his employment and was 'covered by liability insurance.' This letter also states that petitioner 'was tried as a first offender * * * and * * * sentenced as such * * * [and] it is therefore submitted that this case more properly falls within the provisions of Section 13352(a) rather than (e) * * *' (Emphasis added.) Said letter further states 'that for over eight years [petitioner] was completely free of any traffic violations whatsoever * * *' (Emphasis added.)

On June 15, 1962, the department replied advising that petitioner had suffered prior convictions on March 16, 1953, and on September 11, 1953; and that since the revocation of his license was mandatory under these circumstances, there being no provision in the Vehicle Code which would permit the issuance of a license before said revocation ended, 'a hearing would not be in order at this time.'

Petitioner alleges that his counsel traveled to Sacramento to discuss the matter with the department personally 'for the purpose of securing a modification of Respondent's order so that Petitioner would be able to drive a motor vehicle during the course of his employment.' (Emphasis added.) The department again advised him that no such modification was possible under the provisions of Vehicle Code and that a hearing seeking to secure same would therefore serve no useful purpose.

It should be noted that petitioner does not assert that he was ever denied a hearing on the question whether or not he had or had not suffered the prior convictions, or whether the department had mistakenly confused his record...

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19 cases
  • Orr v. Superior Court of City and County of San Francisco
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    • California Court of Appeals Court of Appeals
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