Rule 7.120 Licensing Appeals Under the Michigan Vehicle Code

(A)   Scope. This rule governs appeals to the circuit court under the Michigan Vehicle Code, MCL 257.1 et seq., from a final determination by the Secretary of State pertaining to an operator’s license, a chauffeur’s license, a vehicle group designation, or an endorsement. Unless this rule provides otherwise, MCR 7.101 through 7.115 apply.

(B)   Appeal of Right.

(1)   Time Requirements. The time for filing an appeal of right is governed by MCL 257.323(1).

(2)   Manner of Filing.

(a)   Claim of Appeal – Form. The claim of appeal shall conform to the requirements of MCR 7.104(C)(1), except that the party aggrieved by the Secretary of State’s determination is the appellant.

(b)   Claim of Appeal – Content. The claim of appeal must:

(i)   state the appellant’s full name, current address, birth date, and driver’s license number;

(ii)   state “[name of appellant] claims an appeal from the decision on [date] by the Secretary of State”; and

(iii)   include concise statements of the following:

[A]   the nature of any determination by the Secretary of State;

[B]   the statute authorizing the Secretary of State’s determination;

[C]   the subsection of MCL 257.323 under which the appeal is taken; and

[D]   the facts on which venue is based.

(c)   Signature. The claim of appeal must be signed as stated in MCR 7.104(C)(3).

(d)   Other Documents. The appellant must attach as exhibits accompanying the claim of appeal:

(i)   a copy of the Secretary of State’s determination, and

(ii)   any affidavits supporting the claim of appeal.

(e)   Service. The appellant shall serve the claim of appeal on all parties.

(3)   Appearance. The appellee shall file an appearance within 14 days that complies with MCR 7.104(F).

(C)   Application for Late Appeal.

(1)   Time Requirements. An application for late appeal must be filed within the time set forth in MCL 257.323(1).

(2)   Manner of Filing. In addition to the requirements of MCR 7.105(B), the application must comply with MCR 7.120(B)(2)(b) and must include a statement showing good cause for the delay.

(3)   Answer. An appellee may file an answer to the application for late appeal under MCR 7.105(C). The circuit court may require the filing of an answer.

(4)   If Application is Granted. If the application is granted, the appeal proceeds in the same manner as an appeal of right.

(D)   Stay of Enforcement. The filing of a claim of appeal or an application for late appeal does not stay enforcement of the Secretary of State’s decision or order. The appellant may file for a stay of enforcement under MCL 257.323a. The appellant shall serve a copy of the order granting or denying the stay on the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State may file a motion challenging the stay.

(E)   Stipulations. The parties may stipulate regarding any issue on appeal or any part of the record on appeal if the stipulation is embodied in an order entered by the court.

(F)   Proceedings Under MCL 257.323(3).

(1)   Briefs.   The court may require briefs and may enter an order setting a briefing schedule. Unless otherwise ordered, briefs must comply with MCR 7.111.

(2)   Hearing. The court shall schedule a hearing under MCL 257.323(2). During the hearing, the court may take testimony and examine all the facts and circumstances relating to the denial, suspension, or restriction of the person’s license under MCL 257.303(1)(d), MCL 257.320, MCL 257.904(10), MCL 257.904(11), MCL 257.310d, or for a first violation of MCL 257.625f.

(3)   Decision. For denials, suspensions, or restrictions of the person’s license under MCL 257.303(1)(d), MCL 257.320, MCL 257.904(10), MCL 257.904(11), MCL 257.310d, or for a first violation of MCL 257.625f, the circuit court may affirm, modify, or set aside the restriction, suspension, or denial. The circuit court, however, shall not order the Secretary of State to issue a restricted or unrestricted chauffeur’s license that would permit the person to drive a commercial motor vehicle that hauls hazardous materials.

(4)   Appellant’s Responsibility After Decision. Pursuant to MCL 257.323(3), the appellant shall file a certified copy of the circuit court’s order with the Secretary of State’s office in Lansing within 7 days after entry of the order for denials, suspensions, or restrictions of the person’s license arising under MCL 257.303(1)(d), MCL 257.320, MCL 257.904(10), MCL 257.904(11), MCL 257.310d, or for a first violation of MCL 257.625f.

(G)   Proceedings Under MCL 257.323(4).

(1)   Briefs. Unless otherwise ordered, the parties must file briefs complying with MCR 7.111.

(2)   Oral Argument. If requested in accord with MCR 7.111(C), the court shall schedule oral argument unless it concludes that the briefs and record adequately present the facts and legal arguments, and the court’s deliberation would not be significantly aided by oral argument.

(3)   Decision. The court shall confine its consideration to a review of the record prepared under MCL 257.322, MCL 257.625f, or MCL 257.204a for statutory legal issues and shall not grant restricted driving privileges. The court shall set aside the Secretary of State’s determination only if the appellant’s substantial rights have been prejudiced because the determination is:

(a)   in violation of the Constitution of the United States, the Michigan Constitution, or a statute;

(b)   in excess of the Secretary of State’s statutory authority or jurisdiction;

(c)   made upon unlawful procedure that results in material prejudice to the appellant;

(d)   not supported by competent, material, and substantial evidence on the whole record;

(e)   arbitrary, capricious, or clearly an abuse or unwarranted exercise of discretion; or

(f)   affected by other substantial and material error of law.