from the Marion Circuit Court The Honorable Sheryl Lynch,
Judge The Honorable Mark Jones, Commissioner Trial Court
Cause No. 49C01-1802-MI-6459
Attorneys for Appellant Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General
of Indiana Frances Barrow Deputy Attorney General
Attorney for Appellee Brian J. Johnson Danville, Indiana
OF THE CASE
Appellant-Respondent, Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV),
appeals the trial court's Order granting the
Appellee-Petitioner, Thomas Douglass' (Douglass),
petition for judicial review, in which he seeks to set aside
his ten-year suspension of his driving privileges in Indiana
and his habitual traffic violator (HTV) determination.
BMV presents three issues on appeal, which we consolidate and
restate as the following single issue: Whether the trial
court erred by granting Douglass' petition for judicial
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
In 2014, Douglass was a resident of Marion County,
Indianapolis, Indiana. At the time, Douglass had a valid
driver's license. In May 2014, BMV initially issued
Douglass a duplicate license and a permanent driver's
license with an expiration date of March 1, 2018, which was
mailed to his home on May 29, 2014. In June 2014, Douglass
moved to California. After surrendering his Indiana
driver's license on June 9, 2014, the California
Department of Motor Vehicles (CA DMV) issued Douglass a
California driver's license.
On August 20, 2014, BMV sent Douglass a letter to his last
known address in Indianapolis. The letter was titled
"Habitual Traffic Violator Notice of Suspension"
(Notice). The Notice informed Douglass that he had
accumulated three qualifying driving-related convictions
within a ten-year period and, as a result, he was deemed an
HTV. Due to his HTV status, BMV informed Douglass that it was
suspending his driving privileges for ten years beginning
September 19, 2014. The Notice also informed Douglass that he
could request an administrative review within eighteen days.
Approximately three and one-half years later, on January 5,
2018, CA DMV sent a letter to Douglass' home in
California stating, "[w]e regret to inform you that . .
. [Indiana has] reported that your driving privilege is
suspended or revoked." (Appellant's App. Vol. II, p.
9). CA BMV notified Douglass that unless it received a
clearance from BMV, it would "cancel" his
California driver's license within thirty days.
(Appellant's App. Vol. II, p. 19).
Although untimely, on January 23, 2018, through his attorney,
Douglass wrote a letter to BMV requesting an administrative
review of the HTV determination and the suspension of his
driving privileges. In part, Douglass averred,
Normal practice is for a person's new home state's
drivers licensing authority to inform a person's prior
home state that the person moved, in this case California
should have notified Indiana in 2014 that effective June 9,
2014,  Douglass was licensed in California. However, the
remarks section of  Douglass' driving record does not
contain a notation that he moved to California and was
* * * *
An error occurred because Indiana imposed a suspension for 
Douglass when he was no longer an Indiana resident on
September 19, 2014. This error could have been avoided if
California had notified Indiana in June 2014 that  Douglass
had moved to California. Nevertheless, the "home
state" of California is supposed to impose suspensions
on its residents based on their driving record. For example,
I have had numerous clients who moved to Illinois or
Michigan, and those states imposed [sic] suspensions for new
residents based on the new residents' driving violations
that occurred out of state and prior to moving to Illinois
and Michigan. The same scenario should have occurred here;
meaning California instead of Indiana had the authority to
impose suspension or revocations for  Douglass starting
June 9, 2014.
(Appellant's App. Vol. II, pp. 24-25).
After conducting an administrative review, on January 30,
2018, BMV sent its response to Douglass and his attorney,
reiterating that Douglass had been convicted of at least
three prior driving-related offenses within the last ten
years and that qualified him as an HTV. BMV also determined,
in part, that
At the time the suspension was imposed, the BMV had not
received notice that you moved out of state. However, because
you held an Indiana driver's license at the time of the
qualifying offenses, your driving privileges would still be
suspended for HTV even if the BMV did have notice. The BMV
did not suspend one specific credential, but rather your
driving privileges as required by law.
Your record has now been updated to reflect your move to
California based on the California driver's license that
your attorney provided.
(Appellant's App. Vol. II, p. 34). (italics in original).
Concluding no "material error" existed in its
Notice, BMV upheld the suspension of Douglass' driving
privileges and the HTV determination. (Appellant's App.
Vol. II, p. 34).
On February 20, 2018, Douglass filed a verified petition for
judicial review and motion for a preliminary injunction. A
hearing on Douglass' motion for a preliminary injunction
was conducted on March 5, 2018. On March 9, 2018, the trial
court issued an order granting Douglass' preliminary
injunction whereby it ordered BMV to "lift/stay the
suspension noted in [Douglass'] driving record"
until the resolution of the underlying cause.
(Appellant's App. Vol. II, p. 45). A hearing on
Douglass' verified petition for judicial review was held
on August 22, 2018. On December 26, 2018, the trial court
entered its findings of facts and conclusions thereon
stating, in part, that:
4. Indiana is a member of the [I]nterstate [D]river's
[L]icense [C]ompact. [Indiana Code section] 9-28-1-3
provides, in pertinent part:
The driver's license compact is hereby enacted into law
and entered into with all other jurisdictions joining therein