Petition for Writ of
Certiorari to Review Quasi-Judicial Action, Department of Highway Safety and
Motor Vehicles: DRIVER’S LICENSES – hardship license – competent
substantial evidence - undisputed evidence showed that driver was not involved
in 2 motor vehicle crashes as found by the Department – even if the hearing
officer had not erroneously considered the 2 motor vehicle crashes, Petitioner
does not dispute the hearing officer’s findings that she had 5 previous
convictions and 6 previous suspensions – Court cannot reweigh the evidence or
substitute its judgment for that of the hearing officer that Petitioner was
ineligible for a hardship license - Petition denied. Pucci v. Dept. of Highway
Safety and Motor Vehicles, No. 06-0016AP-88B (
IN THE CIRCUIT COURT FOR THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT
VALERIE J. PUCCI,
vs. Appeal No. 06-0016AP-88A
OF HIGHWAY SAFETY AND MOTOR
VEHICLES, DIVISION OF DRIVER LICENSES,
THIS CAUSE came before the Court on the Petition for Writ of Certiorari, the Response and the Reply. Upon consideration of the same, the record and being otherwise fully advised, the Court finds that the Petition must be denied as set forth below.
Petitioner, Valerie J. Pucci (Pucci), seeks review of the Final Order, entered
February 3, 2006, in which the Respondent, Department of Highway Safety and
Motor Vehicles (Department), denied Pucci’s application for early reinstatement
of her driver’s license, or hardship license.
In reviewing the administrative action taken by the Department, this
Court must determine whether Pucci was afforded procedural due process, whether
the essential requirements of law were observed, and whether the Department’s
findings and judgment are supported by competent substantial evidence. See Vichich v. Department of
Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, 799 So.2d 1069, 1073 (
After a formal review hearing, the hearing officer entered the following findings of fact:
After carefully considering all the facts pertaining to your driving record, which includes 5 previous convictions, 2 motor vehicle crashes, 6 previous suspensions, and no previous revocations, in addition to your qualification, fitness and need to drive, I find as follows:
Continued driving prior to your application for a hardship license.
Your reconsideration date is 1-26-2007.
While the issues are not succinctly framed, Pucci argues that the hearing officer erred in
her application for early reinstatement because the hearing officer erroneously
found that Pucci had been involved in 2 motor vehicles crashes, that Pucci had
illegally obtained a driver’s license in Delaware, and that Pucci had driven while
her Florida license was revoked. After
reviewing the record, the Court finds that the Final Order is supported by
competent substantial evidence. See Department of Highway Safety
and Motor Vehicles v. Trimble, 821 So.2d 1084, 1087 (
In reaching this conclusion, the Court finds that the Department does not dispute Pucci’s assertion that she was never involved in 2 motor vehicle crashes. However, Pucci concedes that she has had 5 previous convictions and does not dispute the hearing officer’s finding that she has had 6 previous suspensions. Further, Pucci states in her Petition that she operated a motor vehicle while her driver’s license was suspended. Hence, even if the hearing officer had not considered the 2 motor vehicle crashes, there is competent substantial evidence in the record to support the Final Order. The Court will not reweigh the evidence nor substitute its judgment for that of the hearing officer. See Dept. of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles v. Smith, 687 So.2d 30, 33 (Fla. 1st DCA 1997).
Therefore, it is,
ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the Petition for Writ of Certiorari is denied.
AND ORDERED in Chambers, at
JOHN A. SCHAEFER
Circuit Judge, Appellate Division
LAUREN C. LAUGHLIN BRANDT C.
Circuit Judge, Appellate Division Circuit Judge, Appellate Division
Copies furnished to:
Valerie J. Pucci
Jason Helfant, Assist. General Counsel
Bureau of Administrative Reviews