F.J. Ostos-Carrasco v. PennDOT, Bureau of Driver Licensing

IN THE COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA Francisco J. Ostos-Carrasco, : : Appellant : : v. : No. 643 C.D. 2017 : Submitted: March 23, 2018 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, : Department of Transportation, : Bureau of Driver Licensing : BEFORE: HONORABLE RENÉE COHN JUBELIRER, Judge HONORABLE PATRICIA A. McCULLOUGH, Judge HONORABLE JAMES GARDNER COLINS, Senior Judge OPINION NOT REPORTED MEMORANDUM OPINION BY SENIOR JUDGE COLINS FILED: May 7, 2018 Francisco J. Ostos-Carrasco (Licensee) appeals from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County (Trial Court) denying Licensee’s appeal from a notice issued by the Department of Transportation, Bureau of Driver Licensing (Department) revoking Licensee’s eligibility for a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) on the grounds that Licensee was neither a U.S. citizen nor a legal permanent resident in the United States. We vacate the order of the Trial Court and remand for the Trial Court to hold a de novo hearing on Licensee’s appeal. On March 17, 2017, Licensee filed a petition in the Trial Court appealing a Department “Discrepancy Correction Routing Sheet” notice (First Appeal). (Reproduced Record (R.R.) 3a-12a.) The notice, which is undated but which Licensee alleged he received on February 24, 2017, states: “Customer is either a Mexico [sic] or Canadian citizen. Ineligible for issuance of CDL License in PA.” (R.R. 8a.) Licensee argued in his petition that, while he was born in Mexico, he came to the United States as a child and is in good standing under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program and in possession of a valid United States Citizenship and Immigration Services employment authorization card and Social Security card. (R.R. 5a.) Licensee argued that the Department has misinterpreted the relevant federal regulations as prohibiting him from holding a CDL and that denial of his CDL would violate his constitutional rights. (Id.) The Department also sent Licensee a letter dated March 16, 2017 related to the failure to renew his CDL, which states that a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration audit of the Pennsylvania CDL program identified him as having been erroneously issued a CDL based on the fact that he was a Mexican or Canadian citizen with only temporary immigration status. (R.R. 20a.) The letter further explained that he would not be able to renew his Pennsylvania CDL until he returned to his nation of origin, obtained a valid CDL in that country and then presented it to the Department. (Id.) Licensee filed a separate appeal of the March 16, 2017 letter (Second Appeal). On March 29, 2017, the Trial Court issued a Rule to Show Cause in Licensee’s First Appeal directing the Department to explain why the requested relief sought by Licensee in his March 17, 2017 petition for renewal of his CDL should not be granted. (R.R. 14a.) In its response to the Rule, the Department stated that it was barred from renewing Licensee’s CDL by federal regulations after it learned that Licensee was not a naturalized citizen; therefore, the Department requested that the Trial ...

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