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In re Driver's License Suspension of Herrmann

Court of Appeals of Idaho

September 19, 2017

In the Matter of the Driver's License Suspension of: Jesse Leroy Herrmann
v.
STATE OF IDAHO, IDAHO TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT, Defendant-Appellant. JESSE LEROY HERRMANN, Petitioner-Respondent,

         2017 Opinion No. 44

         Appeal from the District Court of the First Judicial District, State of Idaho, Kootenai County. Hon. John R. Stegner, District Judge.

         Decision of the district court, acting in its appellate capacity, setting aside Idaho Transportation Department's denial of request for administrative license suspension hearing, affirmed.

          Susan K. Servick, Coeur d'Alene, for appellant.

          James E. Siebe, Moscow, for respondent.

          GRATTON, CHIEF JUDGE

         The Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) appeals from the district court's decision setting aside ITD's denial of Jesse Leroy Herrmann's request for an administrative license suspension hearing. ITD determined that Herrmann's request was untimely. We affirm the district court's determination that the request was timely.

         I.

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Herrmann failed an evidentiary breath test on Sunday, December 6, 2015, and was arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. Herrmann was served with a notice of suspension for failure of evidentiary testing, advising him that ITD would suspend his driving privileges unless he filed a written request for an administrative hearing within seven calendar days from the date of the notice. Herrmann filed a request for administrative hearing with ITD by facsimile on Monday, December 14, 2015, eight calendar days from service. ITD concluded the request was not timely filed and denied Herrmann's request. Thereafter, Herrmann filed a petition for judicial review with the district court. Following a hearing, the district court set aside ITD's decision and remanded the administrative license suspension to ITD for the purpose of conducting an administrative license suspension hearing. ITD timely appeals.

         II.

         ANALYSIS

         The Idaho Administrative Procedures Act (IDAPA) governs the review of ITD decisions to deny, cancel, suspend, disqualify, revoke, or restrict a person's driver's license. See I.C. §§ 49-201, 49-330, 67-5201(2), 67-5270. In an appeal from the decision of the district court acting in its appellate capacity under the IDAPA, this Court reviews the agency record independently of the district court's decision. Marshall v. Idaho Dep't of Transp., 137 Idaho 337, 340, 48 P.3d 666, 669 (Ct. App. 2002). This Court does not substitute its judgment for that of the agency as to the weight of the evidence presented. I.C. § 67-5279(1); Marshall, 137 Idaho at 340, 48 P.3d at 669. This Court instead defers to the agency's findings of fact unless they are clearly erroneous. Castaneda v. Brighton Corp., 130 Idaho 923, 926, 950 P.2d 1262, 1265 (1998); Marshall, 137 Idaho at 340, 48 P.3d at 669. In other words, the agency's factual determinations are binding upon the reviewing court, even where there is conflicting evidence before the agency, so long as the determinations are supported by substantial and competent evidence in the record. Urrutia v. Blaine Cnty., ex rel. Bd. of Comm'rs, 134 Idaho 353, 357, 2 P.3d 738, 742 (2000); Marshall, 137 Idaho at 340, 48 P.3d at 669.

         The Court may overturn an agency's decision where its findings, inferences, conclusions, or decisions violate statutory or constitutional provisions; exceed the agency's statutory authority; are made upon unlawful procedure; are not supported by substantial evidence in the record; or are arbitrary, capricious, or an abuse of discretion. I.C. § 67-5279(3). The party challenging the agency decision must demonstrate that the agency erred in a manner specified in I.C. § 67-5279(3) and that a substantial right of that party has been prejudiced. Price v. Payette Cnty. Bd. of Cnty. Comm'rs, 131 Idaho 426, 429, 958 P.2d 583, 586 (1998); Marshall, 137 ...


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