Saturday, February 14, 2015

MVC can suspend if moving violation while on MV probation MARK N. BAMFO, Appellant, v. NEW JERSEY MOTOR VEHICLE COMMISSION

MVC can suspend if moving violation while on MV probation MARK N. BAMFO, Appellant,
DOCKET NO. A-1110-13T2
Submitted December 17, 2014
January 8, 2015
Before Judges Fuentes and Ashrafi.
On appeal from the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.
Mark N. Bamfo, appellant pro se.
John J. Hoffman, Acting Attorney General, attorney for respondent (Melissa H. Raksa, Assistant Attorney General, of counsel; Keith P. Ronan, Deputy Attorney General, on the brief).
        Mark N. Bamfo appeals from a final decision of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) suspending his driver's license for thirty days because he was convicted of a moving
Page 2
violation while his license was on probationary status as a result of prior violations. We affirm.
        Bamfo's driver's abstract shows that he had three speeding violations and one conviction for improper operation of a motor vehicle during the period from June 3, 2011, to February 16, 2013. He was placed in the probationary driver program on April 1, 2013, and was warned personally and in writing that his license would be suspended pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:5-30.10 if he were to be convicted of another violation of the traffic laws within the next year.
        Less than three months later, on June 28, 2013, Bamfo was involved in a minor motor vehicle accident while driving for his job. He received a summons by mail charging unsafe operation of his motor vehicle in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-97.2. Our record on this appeal does not include a transcript or other record of the municipal court proceedings regarding the summons, but the driver's abstract indicates Bamfo's conviction on that charge as of November 1, 2013.
        The MVC had earlier sent Bamfo a notice that his driver's license would be suspended for ninety days as of August 17, 2013, because the unsafe driving violation was committed within six months of his being placed in the probationary driver program. SeeN.J.S.A. 39:5-30.10; N.J.A.C. 13:19-10.6(a)(1).
Page 3
        Bamfo filed an administrative appeal of the proposed suspension and requested a hearing, but he did not provide any factual or legal basis for his challenge to the suspension. By letter-notice dated October 2, 2013, the MVC denied a hearing and ordered a reduced thirty-day license suspension effective as of October 29, 2013. Bamfo filed a notice of appeal before this court. On November 4, 2013, the MVC stayed the suspension pending resolution of the appeal.
        Before us, Bamfo argues only that the suspension will cause him a hardship because his job requires that he drive. He contends he may lose his job and also alleges vaguely that the motor vehicle accident of June 28, 2013, was not his fault. However, he does not dispute that he was convicted of the unsafe driving violation.
        We exercise a limited scope of review over the decision of an administrative agency, such as the MVC. In re Herrmann, 192 N.J.19, 27 (2007). An appellate court must uphold an administrative agency's quasi-judicial decision "unless there is a clear showing that it is arbitrary, capricious, or unreasonable, or that it lacks fair support in the record." Id. at 27-28 (citing Campbell v. Dep't of Civil Serv., 39 N.J. 556, 562 (1963)). We do not substitute our own judgment for that of
Page 4
the agency charged with enforcing the law. In re Carter, 191 N.J. 474, 483 (2007).
        Here, the MVC applied the applicable statutes and regulations in determining that a suspension was required because of Bamfo's record of moving violations, and also that the reduced thirty-day period of suspension was an appropriate accommodation of his hardship request. Bamfo has provided no ground for this court to disagree with the MVC's decision.
        Affirmed. Remanded to the MVC to dissolve the stay of the license suspension. We do not retain jurisdiction.