Maryland MVA Violates Right To Trial
Then I get a letter for the MVA stating we have been charged with the crime of allowing our insurance to lapse, we're convicted and the punishment will be that the tags on two of the vehicles are suspended and our "penalty" was $468. I scanned the document for trial info. Nothing! Nada! Zip!
So I called the MVA number and after about twenty minutes waiting on ignore a pleasant lady named Ms. Wear came on the phone to address my questions. That mainly beginning with, "Am I to understand that I have been found guilty of breaking a law by the Motor Vehicle Administration and penalized $468 without trial?" To which Ms. Wear replied in all seriousness, "The MVA doesn't do trials." I assured her that they would.
So I've stumbled on this enormous usurpation of a Marylander's right to trial by the Executive and the MVA that they have been getting away with for God knows how long. At first I thought let me go down to the courthouse on Monday and file suit for violating my right to trial. I pointed out to Ms. Wear that even if I got a $20 parking ticket I had a Constitutional right to be heard in Court and plead my case. She hung by her answer that the MVA doesn't do Court.
Then I started thinking, this is a class action suit. For Lord knows how long Marylander's have been denied trial and effectively robbed by the MVA of up to $2500 a year plus more if they are caught driving on suspended tags. There are millions of dollars in play here and I can't see any way Maryland will not be forced to pay damages. I have an appointment with a Baltimore lawyer Monday morning to take the case on contingency.
We are on granite hard Constitutional grounds. Our right to trials were denied. Our side will go before a judge and plead our case that the executive branch cannot accuse, convict and punish Maryland defendants without the Judicial Branch of government and a judge being involved. Maryland on the other hand, if it ever makes it to Court, would argue that the judges should butt out and mind their business - which of course IS adjudicating just these sort of legal issues.
Maryland has been stupid because they could have avoided the entire issue if they would have followed Virginia's example. If Virginia suspends one's tag for a lapse in insurance coverage or anything, they don't penalize per se. The Virginia MVA charges a $50 "administrative fee" to turn one's tags or permit back on again regardless of whether or not one is guilty or innocent. That would have been more reasonable if Maryland had gone that way instead of the dictator route. In their greed and unbelievable ignorance the state has opened themselves to huge damages. Their lawyers had to be aware of this violation of the Constitution and should have some explaining to do.