Police Officer Testimony by Telephone at DMV Administrative Hearing is Improper when Driver Objects
Ramirez v. Superior Court of Kern County (Cal. Ct. App., Feb. 9, 2023, No. F082588) 2023 WL 2399712
Summary: A driver petitioned for writ of mandate ordering Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to set aside its driver’s license suspension order following his arrest for driving under the influence (DUI). The Superior Court granted the petition. DMV appealed as real party in interest. The Court of Appeal held that:
Administrative Procedure Act’s (APA) provision, addressing when a presiding officer can conduct a hearing by telephone, applied to administrative per se (APS) adjudicative hearing conducted by DMV; APA’s provision, stating that a presiding officer “may not” conduct a hearing by telephone if a party objects, and regulation adopted to implement the APA provision in context of DMV adjudicative hearings, are mandatory, substantive procedural protections; and substantial evidence supported implied finding that motorist was prejudiced by police officer testifying by telephone.