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DELBERT D. HAMILTON v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (06/02/86)

decided: June 2, 1986.

DELBERT D. HAMILTON, III, APPELLANT
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLEE



Appeals from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Delbert D. Hamilton, III, No. SA 586 of 1983 and in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Delbert D. Hamilton, III, No. SA 608 of 1983.

COUNSEL

Richard B. Sandow, Jones, Gregg, Creehan and Gerace, for appellant.

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

Judges Craig and Barry, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Barry.

Author: Barry

[ 97 Pa. Commw. Page 569]

Delbert D. Hamilton, III, appeals two orders of the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County which sustained two suspensions of his driving privileges by the Department of Transportation, Bureau of Traffic Safety (Bureau).

Hamilton's record is replete with additions and subtractions of points resulting in several suspensions followed by restoration of driving privileges. The two suspensions at issue in this case are for thirty days and 365 days respectively. Both suspensions were based on excessive accumulation of points. Hamilton does not challenge any of the convictions underlying these suspensions. His only argument is that the Bureau failed to properly notify him of the fact that five points were assessed to his record upon the restoration of his driver's license. He maintains that if the five points in question are void then the point total is reduced below the number needed to sustain either suspension.

[ 97 Pa. Commw. Page 570]

Hamilton's record shows that on November 19, 1981, his license was restored after a thirty day suspension. Prior to the suspension he had accumulated eight points. Upon restoration of his license his record shows five points. This is in accordance with Section 1545 of the Vehicle Code (Code), 75 Pa. C.S. ยง 1545, which states that upon restoration of operating privileges the driver's record shall show five points. No notice was sent to Hamilton informing him of this assessment.

On December 10, 1981, three points were subtracted from Hamilton's record due to the fact he had no violations during one entire year. This left two points on the record. He was subsequently convicted of a speeding violation and, on February 4, 1983, four points were added to his record, bringing his total to six points. On this same date the Bureau sent him official notice to attend a departmental hearing where it would be determined whether his license should be suspended. After some delay he did attend a hearing where it was decided that, effective October 12, 1983, his license would be suspended for thirty days pursuant to Section 1538(c) of the Code which provides in part:

(c) Subsequent accumulations of six points. -- When any person's record has been reduced below six points and for the third or subsequent time shows as many as six points, the department shall require the driver to attend a departmental hearing to determine whether the person's operating privilege should be suspended for a period not to exceed 30 days.

While Hamilton's appeal from this suspension was pending, he was convicted of two traffic violations resulting in the assignment of seven additional points to his record. At this time his license was suspended ...


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