Ind. Bureau of Motor Vehicles v. Crouch, 22A-MI-602

Case DateSeptember 27, 2022
CourtCourt of Appeals of Indiana

Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Appellant-Defendant,

Anna Crouch, Appellee-Plaintiff.

No. 22A-MI-602

Court of Appeals of Indiana

September 27, 2022

Pursuant to Ind. Appellate Rule 65(D), this Memorandum Decision shall not be regarded as precedent or cited before any court except for the purpose of establishing the defense of res judicata, collateral estoppel, or the law of the case.

Appeal from the Hendricks Superior Court The Honorable Stephenie D. Lemay-Luken, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 32D05-2112-MI-357


Theodore E. Rokita

Attorney General of Indiana

Abigail R. Recker

Deputy Attorney General

Indianapolis, Indiana


Mathias, Judge.

[¶1] Anna Crouch sought judicial review of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles' ("BMV") suspension of her driving privileges. Following a hearing, at which


the BMV did not appear, the Hendricks Superior Court reinstated Crouch's driving privileges. The BMV filed a timely motion to correct error, which the trial court denied. The BMV appeals and presents a single issue for our review, namely, whether the trial court erred when it denied its motion to correct error.

[¶2] We reverse.

Facts and Procedural History

[¶3] On April 5, 2021, the BMV sent a letter to Crouch stating that it had "received written information advising the BMV that [her] driving skills may have diminished" or that she had an impairment "or disability that may adversely affect [her] ability to operate a motor vehicle safely." Appellant's App. Vol. 2, p. 16. The BMV instructed Crouch to submit a letter from a physician to address a list of concerns. And the letter stated that Crouch's failure to respond to the BMV by June 4, 2021, would "result in the automatic invalidation of [her] driving privileges without further notice." Id. Crouch did not respond to the letter. Accordingly, the BMV suspended her driving privileges on June 4, 2021.

[¶4] On December 6, Crouch sought judicial review of the BMV's suspension of her driving privileges and requested a hearing pursuant to Indiana Code Section 924-10-7 (2021). Crouch's certificate of service attached to her petition stated that she had served the "Hendricks County Prosecutor" and the BMV. Id. at 21. Crouch did not attempt service on the Attorney General. Following a hearing,


at which the BMV did not appear, on January 13, 2022, the trial court issued an order reinstating Crouch's driving privileges.

[¶5] On February 10, the BMV filed a motion to correct error alleging, in relevant part, that the trial court's January 13 order was void for lack of personal jurisdiction over the BMV. In particular, the BMV pointed out that Crouch had failed to serve the Attorney General as required by both statute and trial rule. The trial court denied the BMV's motion. This appeal ensued.

Discussion and Decision

[¶6] The BMV contends that the trial court erred when it denied its motion to correct error. We generally review a trial court's ruling on a motion to correct...

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