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IDA MARLENE LEMLEY v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (05/28/86)

decided: May 28, 1986.

IDA MARLENE LEMLEY, APPELLANT
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County in the case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation v. Ida Marlene Lemley, No. 2359 of 1983.

COUNSEL

Robert P. Boyer, for appellant.

Harold H. Cramer, Assistant Counsel, with him, Spencer A. Manthorpe, Chief Counsel, and Jay C. Waldman, General Counsel, for appellee.

Judges Doyle and Colins, and Senior Judge Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt.

Author: Blatt

[ 97 Pa. Commw. Page 470]

Ida Marlene Lemley (appellant) appeals the order of the Court of Common Pleas of Westmoreland County (trial court) sustaining the order of the Department of Transportation, Bureau of Traffic Safety (Department) which revoked her driver's license for five years as a habitual offender, Section 1542(a) of the Vehicle Code (Code), 75 Pa. C.S. ยง 1542(a).

Conceding that she has accumulated the requisite three offenses within the five year period specified by the statute, the appellant, nevertheless, contends that the trial court*fn1 erred in applying the holding of Gilson v. Commonwealth, 75 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 616, 462 A.2d 357 (1983) to this matter.*fn2 She argues here that

[ 97 Pa. Commw. Page 471]

    the revocation should be set aside because the Department issued its revocation notice on March 4, 1983, approximately twenty-seven months after the precipitating third conviction on November 25, 1980,*fn3 asserting that the statute must be construed to require the Department to act within a reasonable time and that the delay here was, accordingly, unreasonable. She also asserts that the twenty-seven month delay here is prejudicial to her because a special arrangement with her employer as to her working hours and with her co-workers for alternate transportation to work became unavailable with the passage of time since November 25, 1980. Consequently, she would have us find prejudice to her on the basis that revocation now will purportedly cause her to lose her employment, and will thereby cause her economic detriment.

The Department argues that the trial court correctly applied Gilson and that there is no time frame within which it must act under Section 1542(a). Furthermore, according to the Department, the prospect of losing one's employment due to a Section 1542 revocation should not be considered to be sufficient to demonstrate prejudice.

Section 1542(a) provides that

[t]he department shall revoke the operating privilege of any person found to be a habitual offender pursuant to the provisions of this section. A ...


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