Monday, April 3, 2006

Attorney general opinion: suspension of drivers certificate violated law

KnoxNews reports in this article that the Tennessee Attorney General has issued an opinion that the Tennessee Department of Safety violated the Administrative Procedures Act when it suspended the issuance of driving certificates without public comment. The effect of the AG opinion is that the DOS has now issued an emergency rule that will be published and subjected to public comment and hearing.

"In the opinion issued [the week of March 20, Tennessee Attorney General Paul] Summers said 'agency decisions that affect the rights, privileges or obligations of the public at large constitute rulemaking and the agency would be required to comply with the rulemaking provisions of the [Administrative Procedures] Act.'"

"Julie Oaks, a spokeswoman for the Safety Department, said legal officials in her department filed an emergency rule immediately following Summers' opinion that says 'certificates for driving are only issued to people with a legal presence.'"

"'A permanent rule will then take effect, it will be published and allow the public a chance for a hearing,' said Oaks, adding that it's her understanding that anyone can request a hearing."

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