Facts: Respondent Shin Lee was cited for driving with a suspended driver’s license after his driver’s license had been suspended by the Department of Licensing as a result of his failure to pay a traffic citation. Lee subsequently petitioned the District Court for King County to have the citation dismissed, asserting that the Department of Licensing’s procedures for suspending driver’s licenses established by Washington Revised Code §46.20.245(2), which offer those subject to having their driver’s licenses suspended the opportunity to request an administrative review but make no provision for an in person hearing, violated his right to due process of law as they provide no meaningful opportunity to be heard. The district court rejected Lee’s motion. Upon appeal, the Superior Court for King County reversed, holding that the procedures did not provide those subject to having their driver’s licenses suspended due process of law. The Department of Licensing appealed this decision directly to the Supreme Court of Washington.
Question(s): Do the procedures established by §46.20.245(2) provide due process of law to those subject to having their driver’s licenses suspended?
Conclusion: Justice Owens’ opinion for the Court reversed the superior court, ruling that Lee had been provided due process of law by §46.20.245(2) despite the magnitude of Lee’s interest in the continued use of his driver’s license as the risk of erroneous deprivation of driving privileges under §46.20.245(2) and the value of additional procedures were both low and the state had a legitimate interest in the efficient and cost-effective administration of the driver’s license system. Thus, the Court affirmed the suspension of Lee’s driver’s license.
Docket No. 81473-2 (from King Case No. 07-1-03641-1 SEA)
Petitioner: City of Bellevue
Respondent: Shin H. Lee, et al.
Argument: Tuesday, November 18, 2008 1:30pm
[Source: TVW, http://tvw.org]
Audio: Washington Supreme Court
Decided: Thursday, July 9th, 2009
Prevailing Party: Shin H. Lee, et al. (Respondent)
Note: We post only slip opinion(s) as published at the time of the decision. Please consult Washington Reports printed volumes for the opinion(s) in their final form. Each opinion should appear next to the Justice who authored it.