Mitchell v. State, No. 20S03-9503-CR-341

Docket NºNo. 20S03-9503-CR-341
Citation659 N.E.2d 112
Case DateDecember 15, 1995
CourtSupreme Court of Indiana

Page 112

659 N.E.2d 112
Arte L. MITCHELL, Appellant,
v.
STATE of Indiana, Appellee.
No. 20S03-9503-CR-341.
Supreme Court of Indiana.
Dec. 15, 1995.

Page 113

John H. Kenney, Lee F. Mellinger, Elkhart, for Appellant.

Pamela Carter, Attorney General, Deana McIntire Smith, Deputy Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General, Indianapolis, for Appellee.

ON PETITION TO TRANSFER

DeBRULER, Justice.

Pursuant to a plea bargain, appellant Arte L. Mitchell pleaded guilty to Possession of Cocaine, a Class D felony. Ind.Code Ann. § 35-48-4-6 (West Supp.1994). The trial court entered a judgment of conviction, suspended appellant's one-and-a-half year prison sentence, and placed him on probation for a year. In addition, as part of the sentence, the trial court suspended appellant's driver's license, license plates, and ability to register a motor vehicle. Ind.Code Ann. § 35-48-4-15 (West Supp.1992). Appellant appealed, claiming that the suspension of his driver's license, license plates, and ability to register

Page 114

a vehicle was unconstitutional. The Court of Appeals concluded that such a suspension requires clear and convincing evidence that driving was involved in the criminal conduct and reversed the suspension. Mitchell v. State (1994), Ind.App., 638 N.E.2d 1299. The State petitioned for transfer on a single issue: whether the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution requires that license suspensions under Indiana Code Section 35-48-4-15 be supported by clear and convincing evidence that the operation of a motor vehicle contributed to the commission of the relevant crime. Ind.Appellate Rule 11(B)(2)(d). We granted transfer on March 10, 1995. Ind.Appellate Rule 11(B)(3).

Facts

On September 29, 1992, the State charged appellant with Delivery of Cocaine, a Class B felony. The State alleged a delivery at a home in Elkhart, Indiana, but did not allege that a motor vehicle was involved in any way. Appellant appeared with counsel on February 15, 1993, and entered a preliminary plea of not guilty. On August 2, 1993, both appellant and the State appeared in open court and filed a "Plea Bargain Agreement and Disclosure" whereby appellant agreed to plead guilty to Possession of Cocaine, a Class D felony, with the sentence to be determined by the trial court. At the sentencing hearing on September 13, 1993, the trial court imposed the sentence and suspensions described above. Appellant objected to these suspensions, claiming that they are cruel and that the statute that purports to compel such suspensions is unconstitutional. The parties stipulated, the trial court approved the stipulation, and we assume arguendo that no motor vehicle was connected with either the charged crime or with the crime to which appellant pleaded guilty.

Procedural Due Process

Appellant claims that the procedure used to suspend his operator's license was constitutionally deficient. This Court has wrestled with the nature and dictates of due process before, with varied results. Due process is a flexible concept which calls for such procedural protections as the time, place, and circumstances demand. Wilson v. Bd. of Ind. Employment Sec. Div. (1979), 270 Ind. 302, 309, 385 N.E.2d 438, 444, reh'g denied, cert. denied, 444 U.S. 874, 100 S.Ct. 155, 62 L.Ed.2d 101 (1979). In order to determine the specific dictates of due process in a given situation, it is necessary to balance three distinct factors: (1) the private interest that will be affected by the official action; (2) the risk of an erroneous deprivation of such interest through the procedures used, along with the probable value, if any, of additional or substitute procedural safeguards; and (3) the government's interest, including the function involved and the fiscal and administrative burdens that the additional or substitute procedural requirements would entail. Id. at 309-10, 385 N.E.2d at 444 (quoting Mathews v. Eldridge, 424 U.S. 319, 335, 96 S.Ct. 893, 903, 47 L.Ed.2d 18, 33 (1976)).

In this case, appellant chose to dispose of the charge against him by accepting a plea bargain. In exchange for appellant's plea of guilty to Possession of Cocaine, a Class D felony, the charge of Delivery of Cocaine was dismissed. The plea bargain, however, left sentencing entirely to the discretion of the trial court.

The statute at issue in this case says that if a person is convicted of, inter alia, Possession of Cocaine,

... the court shall, in addition to any other order the court enters, order that the person's:

(1) operator's license be suspended;

(2) existing motor...

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26 practice notes
  • Melton v. Ind. Athletic Trainers Bd., No. 49A05–1508–CT–1123.
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • April 27, 2016
    ...and the fiscal and administrative burdens that the additional or substitute procedural requirements would entail. Mitchell v. State, 659 N.E.2d 112, 114 (Ind.1995) (citing Wilson, 270 Ind. at 309, 385 N.E.2d at 444 (quoting Mathews, 424 U.S. at 335, 96 S.Ct. at 903 )). As we 53 N.E.3d 1220 ......
  • Ind. Bureau of Motor Vehicles v. Gurtner, No. 50A03–1407–MI–256.
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • February 26, 2015
    ...In addressing Gurtner's claim, we note that driving a motor vehicle [27 N.E.3d 313 is not a fundamental right. See Mitchell v. State, 659 N.E.2d 112, 116 (Ind.1995) (citing Clark v. Jeter, 486 U.S. 456, 461, 108 S.Ct. 1910, 100 L.Ed.2d 465 (1988) ); Ruge v. Kovach, 467 N.E.2d 673, 677 (Ind.......
  • Parks v. Madison County, No. 77A04-0106-CV-257.
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • December 31, 2002
    ...relationship to a legitimate state interest. Clark v. Jeter, 486 U.S. 456, 108 S.Ct. 1910, 100 L.Ed.2d 465 (1988); Mitchell v. State, 659 N.E.2d 112 We have observed that the purpose of I.C. § 35-50-6-5(a)(4) is to discourage meritless and frivolous lawsuits. The legitimate state interest a......
  • Indianapolis Historic Partners v. State Bd. of Tax Com'rs, Nos. 49T10-9506-TA-00051
    • United States
    • Indiana Tax Court of Indiana
    • April 23, 1998
    ...has held that there is no need to apply the rules of statutory construction when a statute is unambiguous. Mitchell v. State, 659 N.E.2d 112, 114-15 (Ind.1995). A clear and unambiguous statute must be read to "mean what it plainly expresses, and its plain and obvious meaning may not be enla......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
26 cases
  • Melton v. Ind. Athletic Trainers Bd., No. 49A05–1508–CT–1123.
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • April 27, 2016
    ...and the fiscal and administrative burdens that the additional or substitute procedural requirements would entail. Mitchell v. State, 659 N.E.2d 112, 114 (Ind.1995) (citing Wilson, 270 Ind. at 309, 385 N.E.2d at 444 (quoting Mathews, 424 U.S. at 335, 96 S.Ct. at 903 )). As we 53 N.E.3d 1220 ......
  • Ind. Bureau of Motor Vehicles v. Gurtner, No. 50A03–1407–MI–256.
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • February 26, 2015
    ...In addressing Gurtner's claim, we note that driving a motor vehicle [27 N.E.3d 313 is not a fundamental right. See Mitchell v. State, 659 N.E.2d 112, 116 (Ind.1995) (citing Clark v. Jeter, 486 U.S. 456, 461, 108 S.Ct. 1910, 100 L.Ed.2d 465 (1988) ); Ruge v. Kovach, 467 N.E.2d 673, 677 (Ind.......
  • Parks v. Madison County, No. 77A04-0106-CV-257.
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • December 31, 2002
    ...relationship to a legitimate state interest. Clark v. Jeter, 486 U.S. 456, 108 S.Ct. 1910, 100 L.Ed.2d 465 (1988); Mitchell v. State, 659 N.E.2d 112 We have observed that the purpose of I.C. § 35-50-6-5(a)(4) is to discourage meritless and frivolous lawsuits. The legitimate state interest a......
  • Indianapolis Historic Partners v. State Bd. of Tax Com'rs, Nos. 49T10-9506-TA-00051
    • United States
    • Indiana Tax Court of Indiana
    • April 23, 1998
    ...has held that there is no need to apply the rules of statutory construction when a statute is unambiguous. Mitchell v. State, 659 N.E.2d 112, 114-15 (Ind.1995). A clear and unambiguous statute must be read to "mean what it plainly expresses, and its plain and obvious meaning may not be enla......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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