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JOHN C. WERT v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (12/13/83)

decided: December 13, 1983.

JOHN C. WERT, APPELLANT
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Beaver County in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation v. John C. Wert, No. 2364 of 1981.

COUNSEL

Stanton D. Levenson, for appellant.

Gareth W. Rosenau, Assistant Counsel, with him Harold H. Cramer, Assistant Counsel, Ward T. Williams, Chief Counsel, and Jay C. Waldman, General Counsel, for appellee.

Judges Williams, Jr., Craig and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig.

Author: Craig

[ 79 Pa. Commw. Page 80]

Appellant John C. Wert has appealed from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Beaver County, rejecting Wert's request for an appeal nunc pro tunc from multiple revocations of his motor vehicle operator's license by the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. The department mailed its notice of the last of the revocations -- which aggregate thirteen years' loss of driving privileges, until 1992 -- to Wert's mailing address in February of 1980, but he brought no petition to the court until November, 1981, more than a year beyond the last of the thirty-day appeal periods.

Because the trial court dismissed Wert's petition without a hearing, the question is whether the averments of the petition, assuming them to be true, would warrant relief.

Wert's petition acknowledges that, while he was away at a school in Ohio, the February, 1980 notice came to his mailing address in Grove City, Pennsylvania, the residence of a named couple. The petition further avers:

14. All of the aforesaid revocation notices were received by Mrs. [ ]; however, conversations she had had with the Department

[ 79 Pa. Commw. Page 81]

    of Transportation led her to believe that the revocations were a mistake and would be rectified.

15. Because of Mrs. [ ]'s aforesaid belief, she failed to advise Petitioner of the revocations until after the appeals periods had expired.

In addition, the petition alleges that Wert's failure to appeal was "due to his youth, inexperience and lack of proper advice, and to confusion created by the Department of Transportation. . . ." The ...


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