Analysis on Developments in Indiana Law and Practice

Case Update: Delay in Notice of an Habitual Traffic Violator Suspension

The Indiana Court of Appeals addressed delay in notifying a driver of an habitual traffic violator suspension today in Thomas v. Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Thomas was notified by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles that he was being suspended as an habitual traffic violator about 3 1/2 years following his last qualifying offense.

Relying on the Indiana Supreme Court’s decision in Ind. Spine Group, PC v. Pilot Travel Ctrs, LLC, 959 N.E.2d 789 (Ind. 2011), Judge Bradford wrote for the Court that the general 10 year statute of limitations period from Ind. Code 34-11-1-2 applied, making the notice timely. The Court also rejected Thomas’s argument that the doctrine of laches applied to defeat his suspension, reasoning that the public interest was served by his suspension. But the Court’s opinion does not appear to completely foreclose the possibility of invoking laches in future HTV notice cases.

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