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Board of Appeal & RMV Hearings: Your Last Chance to Present Evidence

Massachusetts Registry News

When presenting a case before the Board of Appeal, it is critical to remember that, with a few narrow exceptions, under Superior Court Standing Order 1-96, ¶ 4, “no testimony or other evidence shall be presented” and a claim for judicial review “shall be resolved through a motion for judgment on the pleadings…” This means that your Board of Appeal hearing is your last opportunity to present evidence and create a permanent record of your case.

While the vast majority, if not all, appeals of the Board’s decision in hardship license cases are losers in Superior Court, there are cases involving the calculation of the length of suspensions, or cases involving the propriety of license suspensions and revocations, which may be winners at in Superior Court and beyond. In these cases, the Registry and Board’s decision is controlled by the applicable license suspension or DUI laws and they agencies have no discretion. In contrast, hardship licensing decisions are completely discretionary.

It is particularly important in cases involving appeals of breathalyzer refusal suspensions at the Registry of Motor Vehicles to introduce all of the necessary and relevant evidence. It is highly unlikely that a reviewing court will consider evidence which was not part of the administrative record at the original Registry of Motor Vehicles hearing.

Because your hearing at the Driver Control Unit of the Registry of Motor Vehicles or the Division of Insurance Board of Appeal may be your last opportunity to put the facts and circumstances on the record which will allow you to win your case, it is highly advisable to have a lawyer who routinely practices before these agencies handle your license suspension case.

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