Submitted November 21, 201
Appealed from No. 2013-4640. Common Pleas Court of the County of Delaware. Durham, J.
Terrance M. Edwards, Assistant Counsel, Harrisburg, for appellant.
Charles G. Nistico, Media, for appellee.
BEFORE: HONORABLE RENÉ E
COHN JUBELIRER, Judge, HONORABLE P. KEVIN BROBSON, Judge, HONORABLE ROCHELLE S.
FRIEDMAN, Senior Judge.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation, Bureau of Driver Licensing (PennDOT), appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County (trial court), granting Mark Anthony Perrotta's (Licensee) appeal from a denial of license. For the reasons discussed below, we affirm.
PennDOT alleges that Licensee has held three different licenses under three different names in the last twenty-five years. According to PennDOT, Licensee first applied for and received a license in 1991 under the name of Mark N. Perrotta. In 1999, PennDOT issued Licensee a second license, under his own name, Mark Anthony Perrotta. In 2001, PennDOT cancelled the 1991 license for fraud and merged the 1991 and 1999 license records, thus assigning some fourteen violations to Licensee's driving record. PennDOT suspended the 1999 license in August 2001. Licensee then secured a third license in 2002, under his deceased brother's name, Louis Frank Perrotta. PennDOT revoked the 1999 license in August 2003, and the license remains revoked to this day. PennDOT cancelled the 2002 license for fraud in May 2012, and merged the 1999 and 2002 license records. Licensee was prosecuted for fraud in association with the 2002 license
and pled guilty. Thus, Licensee's only remaining license, the 1999 license issued in his own name, is currently revoked.
On December 17, 2012, PennDOT notified Licensee that it was considering declaring Licensee permanently ineligible to obtain a Pennsylvania driver's license and that it had scheduled a hearing for February 19, 2013. Licensee attended the hearing without counsel. Following the hearing, PennDOT sent Licensee an Official Notice of Denial, dated April 10, 2013, stating that Licensee's " ability to obtain an Initial Issuance, Renewal or Duplicate" of his license was being denied " as a result of [his] repeated violations of Chapter 15 of the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code" (Code). (Reproduced Record (R.R.) 7a.) The Official Notice of Denial cited Section 1503(a)(8) of the Code as the authority for PennDOT's actions. Section 1503(a)(8) of the Code provides that PennDOT " shall not issue a driver's license to, or renew the driver's license of, any person . . . [w]ho has repeatedly violated any of the provisions of this chapter. [PennDOT] shall provide an opportunity for a hearing upon invoking this paragraph."
Licensee appealed the notice of denial to the trial court, and the trial court conducted a hearing on December 9, 2013. At the hearing, Licensee argued that PennDOT's action was premature, because his license was currently revoked and would remain so until December 21, 2014. Licensee argued that when a license is revoked, no license exists, and, therefore, until Licensee becomes eligible to apply for a license, PennDOT cannot deny his ability to obtain a license. Licensee reasoned that " you can't cancel something you don't have." (R.R. 19a.) PennDOT argued that there was " no sense in waiting" until Licensee applied for a license (R.R. 34a), and that Section 1503(a)(8) of the Code authorized PennDOT to deny Licensee a license " without regard" for whether or not his license was revoked. (PennDOT Br. at 10.) The trial court ordered the parties to submit briefs addressing the issue and declined to take any testimony or admit any evidence concerning the merits of the case.
On April 3, 2014, the trial court issued an order granting Licensee's appeal. The trial court reasoned that ...