01-2-3330 Butchen v. N.J. Motor Vehicle Comm’n, N.J. Super. App. Div. (per curiam) (4 pp.) Petitioner appealed the suspension of his New Jersey driving privileges for 730 days based on his New York DUI conviction. His New York conviction was his first in New York but he had previously been convicted of DUI in New Jersey. New York sent notice of petitioner’s conviction to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission and the commission informed petitioner of the impending suspension of his New Jersey driving privileges. Petitioner requested a hearing and argued that his New Jersey suspension should coincide with his New York suspension and be limited to the same term. The administrator rejected petitioner’s claims because he raised no material issues of fact and presented no legal basis for his requests. Petitioner appealed, asserting that he was entitled to a hearing. The court disagreed and found that petitioner was undisputedly guilty of a second DUI offense in another state and the administrator had to impose the suspension period reserved for second offenders.
01-2-3340 Lowell v. Smallwood, N.J. Super. App. Div. (per curiam) (14 pp.) Appellant Felicia Simmons and Respondent Smallwood were members of the Asbury Park Board of Education. Complainant-respondent Lowell filed a complaint with the SEC asserting appellant and respondent had violated the Code, N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24.1(a)-(j), in their dealings with a potential candidate for superintendent of their school district. Appellant filed an answer stating respondent was within her lawful right to attend the meetings alleged in the complaint and with full knowledge of the Board. Following a hearing whereby it found complainant credible, the SEC issued its decision containing extensive findings of fact and concluding that appellant and respondent had both took board action beyond their authority in violation of N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24.1(c) and (e); a penalty of censure was recommended. On appeal, appellant argued there was insufficient evidence for the commissioner to conclude she violated any provisions of the code and improperly shifted the burden of proof to her. The court affirmed holding the commissioner’s finding that appellant violated the code was supported by credible evidence in the record. Here, the court noted, as supported by their own testimony and documentation, appellant and respondent conducted a site visit without board approval and communicated with the candidate about the position. Based on the evidence and the adverse inference from failure to provide any contradicting evidence, the court affirmed the SEC’s finding that appellant was in violation of N.J.S.A. 18A:12-24.1(c) and (e).
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