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COMMONWEALTH v. GRINDLINGER (02/01/73)

decided: February 1, 1973.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
GRINDLINGER



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of York County in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Bernard H. Grindlinger, No. 21 May Term, 1971.

COUNSEL

Peter D. Solymos, with him Lewis H. Markowitz and Markowitz, Kagen & Griffith, for appellant.

Stuart A. Liner, Assistant Attorney General, with him Anthony J. Maiorana, Assistant Attorney General, Robert W. Cunliffe, Deputy Attorney General, and J. Shane Creamer, Attorney General, for appellee.

Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr., and Mencer, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr.

Author: Crumlish

[ 7 Pa. Commw. Page 348]

This is an appeal from a decision and order of the Court of Common Pleas of York County which affirmed

[ 7 Pa. Commw. Page 349]

    the action of the Secretary of Transportation in suspending the operating privileges of appellant Grindlinger.

In this point system case, appellant argues that the Pennsylvania statutory procedure*fn1 which allows the suspension of a driver's license without a hearing before the Secretary of Transportation violates due process.

The record here shows that appellant had accumulated a total of twelve (12) points in a series of violations and for that reason his driver's license was suspended for sixty (60) days by the Secretary of Transportation pursuant to § 619.1 of The Vehicle Code (75 P.S. § 619.1). Neither notice nor an opportunity to be heard at an administrative hearing was provided by the Secretary of Transportation prior to the imposition of the suspension.

The suspension was appealed to the Court of Common Pleas of York County and the appeal superseded the suspension by order of that court. The court held a de novo hearing and subsequently affirmed the action of the Secretary. We hold that the lower court must be affirmed.

Appellant contends that Bell v. Burson, 402 U.S. 535 (1971) and Reese v. Kassab, 334 F. Supp. 744 (W.D. Pa. 1971) dictate that an administrative hearing must be afforded the operator prior to imposition of a suspension under the point system. In fact these cases, both of which were decided after the suspension was effective in this case, provide support for the contrary proposition.

Bell, at 542, said: ". . . it is fundamental that except in emergency situations (and this ...


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