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CHARLES E. CESSNA v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (12/14/89)

decided: December 14, 1989.

CHARLES E. CESSNA, APPELLANT,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, BUREAU OF DRIVER LICENSING, APPELLEE



Appeal from Common Pleas Court, Cumberland County, Honorable Kevin A. Hess, Judge.

COUNSEL

Sally J. Winder, Shippensburg, for appellant.

David R. White, Asst. Counsel, with him, Harold H. Cramer, Asst. Chief Counsel, and John L. Heaton, Chief Counsel, Harrisburg, for appellee.

Crumlish, Jr., President Judge, Colins, J., and Narick, Senior Judge.

Author: Narick

[ 130 Pa. Commw. Page 164]

Charles E. Cessna (Cessna) is appealing an order from the Cumberland County Court of Common Pleas, which dismissed his petition for appeal from the action of the Secretary

[ 130 Pa. Commw. Page 165]

    of Transportation suspending his operator's license. We affirm.

On March 17, 1989, the trial court held a de novo hearing in order to determine whether Cessna was subject to suspension of his operator's license. Even though the parties presented no evidence, there was oral argument and a partial stipulation of facts.

The facts stipulated to by the parties are as follows. Prior to his January 5, 1988 sentencing for driving under the influence, Cessna received an application for renewal of his driver's license, completed the application, paid his renewal fee and sent it to the Department. As per its records, the Department mailed a camera card dated January 1, 1988 and with an expiration date of sixty days to Cessna's residence.

After his sentencing, Cessna surrendered the license then in his possession to the trial court. He later surrendered the camera card, once he was released from prison.

At that March 17, 1989 hearing, the Department argued that the trial court was without jurisdiction because this was a case involving credit for time served toward a suspension and as such, Cessna's recourse was an administrative remedy through the Department. On that basis, the trial court dismissed Cessna's appeal and he appealed to this Court.

The issue in this case is whether the trial court erred in deciding that the Department's failure to return the license which Cessna surrendered on January 5, 1988 was a credit issue which the trial court lacked authority to compute. We note that our scope of review in this matter is limited to determining whether the trial court's findings are supported by competent evidence, whether it committed an error of law or manifestly abused its discretion. ...


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