Not Receiving Title Papers and Registration Cards After Buying a Car
In Department of Transportation v. Ede Motor Company, 107 Pa. Commw. 107, 527 A.2d 632 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1987), the Department of Transportation (DOT) suspended the dealer registration plates and the authorization of Ede Motor Company (Ede) to issue temporary registration plates.
DOT became aware of problems with Ede when it received complaints from individuals who had purchased vehicles, but had not received their title papers and registration cards.
A garage inspector for DOT visited Ede and determined that Ede had not submitted applications for certificates of title to DOT within ten days as required by Section 1103(d) of the Code, 75 Pa.C.S. 1103(d).
DOT held a hearing and found that Ede failed to timely deliver applications for certificates of title in violation of Section 1103(d) of the Code, 75 Pa.C.S. 1103. DOT issued a warning for the first violation and notified Ede of three one month suspensions to run concurrently.
DOT also informed Ede that its authorization to issue temporary registration plates was likewise suspended for four one-month periods to run concurrently.
Ede appealed to the Court of Common Pleas of Bucks County which concluded that the penalty was extreme and reversed. Ede Motor Co., 527 A.2d at 633.
DOT appealed to this Court which reversed:
The trial court, in reviewing a DOT license suspension, is limited in its decision solely to a de novo determination as to whether or not the person charged has indeed committed the violation for which the sanction was imposed. . . . And, where evidence leads to the conclusion of a violation of the law, the trial court may not modify the penalties imposed unless it makes findings of fact and conclusions of law different from those of DOT. . . .
The trial court here found that Ede had committed the violations for which it was charged, . . . but sustained Ede's appeal solely because it found the penalty to be too severe in light of mitigating circumstances. . . .
A trial court, however, may not reverse or modify a DOT suspension simply because it believes the result harsh. . . .
And it is a manifest abuse of discretion for a trial court to modify a DOT suspension when it finds a punishable violation but disagrees with the penalty imposed. . . .Ede Motor Co., 527 A.2d at 633-634.