Petition for Restoration of 5 Years Revoked Driver's License

This is the Court's decision on a "Motion for Reconsideration of Commissioner's Proposed Findings of Fact and Recommendations" filed by the respondent. by order of this Court dated April 28, 1997, the respondent was declared a Habitual Offender pursuant to 21 Del. C. 2802. That order revoked respondent's driving privileges for a period of five years from the original date of the order, or until such time and upon such terms and conditions as the Court deems proper pursuant to 21 Del. C. 2809. On February 20, 2001 respondent filed a "Petition for Restoration of Driver's License", in accordance with 21 Del. C. 2809 (3). A restoration hearing was held before the Commissioner of this Court on February 26, 2001. As a result of that hearing, the Commissioner made Proposed Findings of Fact and Recommendations that the respondent failed "to show good cause for the restoration of the privilege to operate a motor vehicle in this State; and the State ... withheld its consent to restoration pursuant to 21 Del. C. 2809." Based upon these findings, the Commissioner recommended that this Court enter an order denying restoration and dismissing the respondent's petition. On March 9, 2001 the respondent filed this present Motion for Reconsideration of the Commissioner's Proposed Findings of Fact and Recommendations, pursuant to Court of Common Pleas Civil Rule 112. The Commissioner's proposed findings in this matter are case dispositive, as set forth in Court of Common Pleas Civil Rule 112(A)(4). Rule 112(A)(4)(iv) provides that "a Judge of the Court shall make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings of fact or recommendations to which an objection is being made. A judge may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the Commissioner. a judge may also receive further evidence or recommit the matter to the Commissioner with instructions." It is clear from the record that less than five years have elapsed since the respondent was declared a Habitual Offender on April 28, 1997. A transcript of proceedings before the Commissioner on February 26, 2001 clearly evidences the State's refusal to join in the motion for restoration filed by the respondent. Inasmuch as neither had five years elapsed to entitle defendant to be considered for restoration under 21 Del. C. 2809(1), nor had the Attorney General joined in respondent's motion for restoration filed three years after entry of the Habitual Offender order under 21 Del. C. 2809 (4), is clear that the Commissioner's recommendation was supported by his findings, and I make the same findings based upon my review of the record. Although the issues raised by the respondent in his motion for reconsideration would be worthy of consideration by this Court in exercising its discretion to restore the respondent's driving privileges, this Court cannot begin to exercise that discretion when less than five years have elapsed since the respondent's declaration as a Habitual Offender, absent the State's concurrence with the motion for restoration. 21 Del. C. 2809 (4). Accordingly, I accept both the Proposed Findings and Recommendations of the Commissioner, and IT IS ORDERED that the respondent's Motion for Restoration of Driving Privileges is hereby denied.