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Snemis v. Mills

Court of Appeals of Indiana

December 30, 2014

DONALD SNEMIS, Commissioner of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles; and MELVIN WILHELM, Prosecuting Attorney, Appellant-Respondents,
v.
JOSEPH P. MILLS, Appellee-Petitioner

APPEAL FROM THE FRANKLIN CIRCUIT COURT. The Honorable J. Steven Cox, Judge. Cause No. 24C01-1404-MI-289.

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: GREGORY F. ZOELLER, Attorney General of Indiana; FRANCES BARROW, Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana.

APPELLEE, Pro se: JOSEPH MILLS, Madisonville, Kentucky.

PYLE, Judge. NAJAM, J., and BAILEY, J., concur.

OPINION

Page 469

PYLE, Judge

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

Appellant/Respondent, Donald Snemis, the Commissioner of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, and Melvin Wilhelm, Prosecuting Attorney, (collectively, " the BMV" ) appeal the trial court's order vacating the suspension of Appellee/Petitioner Joseph P. Mills' (" Mills" ) driver's license. Mills qualified as an habitual traffic violator (" HTV" ) in August 2008, and, as a result, the BMV notified him in January 2012 that his license would be suspended for ten years. Mills filed a petition for judicial review of the BMV's notice, arguing that it was untimely and constituted " extreme unfairness" since the BMV had waited several years after he qualified as an HTV to suspend his license. The trial court agreed that the BMV's delayed notice was unfair and vacated Mills' suspension.

On appeal, the BMV claims that there are factual errors in the trial court's findings because the trial court miscalculated the time between Mills' qualification as an HTV and the BMV's notice. The BMV also argues that the court erred in vacating Mills' suspension because the doctrine of laches does not apply to HTV adjudications. We reverse and remand with instructions for the trial court to reinstate the BMV's adjudication against Mills because we conclude that Mills had the burden of proof on appeal and did not fulfill that burden as he did not file an appellee's brief.

We reverse and remand.

Page 470

ISSUE

Whether Mills fulfilled his burden of proof that the BMV's suspension of ...


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