Department of Transportation's Responsibility for Moving a Case Forward

In Terraciano v. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Driver Licensing, 562 Pa. 60, 753 A.2d 233 (2000), the trial court sustained the licensee's statutory appeal, and Pennsylvania, Department of Transportation, Bureau of Driver Licensing (PennDOT) appealed to this Court. The Court found that the trial court had erred in a crucial evidentiary ruling and "reversed the order of the trial court and remanded the matter for further proceedings." Terraciano, 562 Pa. at 65, 753 A.2d at 235. The case languished for seven years until PennDOT praeciped the trial court for a hearing. When confronted with the question of whether to attribute the delay to PennDOT or the licensee, the Supreme Court noted that "when PennDOT fails to take responsibility for moving a case forward under circumstances where it is reasonable for it to be expected to do so, the delay is attributable to PennDOT." Id. at 66, 753 A.2d at 236. The Supreme Court attributed the delay to PennDOT because, as the appellant to this Court, it "was responsible for pursuing its appeal to conclusion." Id. at 67, 753 A.2d at 236-237. The Supreme Court noted that "to place the case back before the trial court, PennDOT merely had to file a praecipe after the Commonwealth Court issued its order remanding the case." Id. at 67, 753 A.2d at 236.