49 CFR 821.33 Stale Complaint Rule

17 Oct

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interest includes a respondent’s due process right that the Administrator pursue serious violations
with diligence. The D.C. Circuit summarized our jurisprudence in this regard, stating,

[i]ndeed, the Board in the past has found the seriousness of a violation to be a
reason to be less, rather than more, lenient in finding good cause for delay.  The
Board noted in Administrator v. Dill that the stale complaint rule stems from the
fact that “unsafe conditions require speedy remedy” and that the rule “is meant to
advance, not retard, safety enforcement.”15

 The Board readily acknowledges three implied consent-related driving suspensions within a
three-year period constitute a serious violation.  However, the Administrator failed to give these
alleged unsafe conditions the speedy remedy demanded by our caselaw.  Thus, under these
circumstances, the Administrator failed to carry his burden to survive a motion to dismiss for
stale complaint in this case.

 Given our resolution of this appeal based upon Rule 33, we need not reach respondent’s
other issue.

 ACCORDINGLY, IT IS ORDERED THAT:

 1.  Respondent’s appeal is granted;
2.  The law judge’s order denying the motion to dismiss the complaint as stale is
reversed; and
3.  The Administrator’s order of revocation is dismissed with prejudice under the stale
complaint rule.

HART, Vice Chairman, and SUMWALT, ROSEKIND, and WEENER, Members of the Board,
concurred in the above opinion and order.  HERSMAN, Chairman, did not concur.

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15 Ramaprakash v. F.A.A., 346 F.3d 1121, 1126 (D.C. Cir. 2003) (citations omitted).

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