DMV hearings may be appealed to Superior Court. The statutory authority is N.C.G.S. 20-25. A petition must be filed within 30 days for a hearing in the Superior Court of the individual’s residence. District Court Judges have limited jurisdiction to sign and enter a temporary restraining order against the DMV to prevent the revocation of the individual’s license.
These hearings are applicable for revocations of any reason, including impaired driving refusals, and interlock violation revocations. Opposing the defendant in Superior Court is the Attorney General’s Office, rather than the local DMV hearing officer or local state prosecutor.
The standard of review is a “whole record” review. See Doss vs. Tatutm, No. COA07-1426 (N.C. App. 8/5/2018) (N.C. App., 2008). Under this standard the trial court reviews the record de vovo, searching for errors of law to determine “if competent, material, and substantial evidence exists, based on the whole record, to support the decision, and determines if whether the decision was arbitrary and capricious.” The court is required to consider the evidence justifying both the DMV’s decision and the contray evidence that potentially could lead to a different result.
Significantly, and worth noting, the court is not allowed to replace the DMV’s decision when there are two “reasonably conflicting views,” although the court “could have justifiably reached a different result under the de novo review.”
If you face a license revocation, need to get your license back, are revoked for DWI, need a DWLR attorney, or an face interlock or refusal violation, contact us at Garrett, Walker and Aycoth. We can help, at 336-379-0539.