Justia Transportation Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
Frazier v. Briscoe
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court finding that Defendant had not been lawfully arrested without a warrant and thus reversing the decisions of the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to revoke Defendant's driver's license, holding that the circuit court did not err.A law enforcement officer arrested Defendant in his home without a warrant for a misdemeanor committed elsewhere. Rhe officer articulated no urgent need to arrest Defendant and admitted that he could have obtained a warrant from an impartial magistrate. The DMV applied evidence suggesting that Defendant might have driven while intoxicated from the scene of the misdemeanor to his home in three separate decisions revoking Defendant's driver's license. The circuit court reversed the revocation decisions, concluding that they were clearly wrong in light of the now-repealed W. Va. Code 17C-5A-2(f)(2). The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court did not err in concluding that the DMV's suspension orders were founded upon an unlawful arrest. View "Frazier v. Briscoe" on Justia Law
Casto v. Frazier
The Supreme Court reversed the order of the circuit court affirming the order entered by the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) upholding the administrative revocation of Petitioner's driver's license for driving under the influence of controlled substances or drugs, holding that the evidence was not sufficient to support Defendant's license revocation.Specifically, the Supreme Court held that the record did not support the OAH's finding that there was sufficient evidence to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that Petitioner had consumed alcohol, drugs, and/or controlled substances because the Department of Motor Vehicles offered no evidence that Defendant used or ingested controlled substances or drugs. Therefore, the Court remanded the case for entry of an order rescinding Defendant's revocation and reinstating his driver's license. View "Casto v. Frazier" on Justia Law
Frazier v. Gaither
The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the circuit court affirming an order entered by the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) reinstating Respondent's personal driver's license and commercial driver's license after Defendant challenged the finding of the West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that Respondent drove under the influence of alcohol, holding that there was no error.In 2017, the DMV revoked Respondent's personal driver's license and disqualified him from holding a commercial driver's license. Following an administrative hearing in 2019, the OAH rescinded the DMV's revocation and disqualification orders. The OAH reinstated both of Respondent's licenses, finding that the DMV had not proven that Respondent drove a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. The circuit court affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the DMV did not establish by a preponderance of the evidence that Respondent drove a motor vehicle while he was under the influence of alcohol. View "Frazier v. Gaither" on Justia Law
SRC Holdings, LLC v. Public Service Commission of W. Va.
The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the Public Service Commission of West Virginia (PSC) approving the application of one of Ambassador Limousine and Taxi Service (Ambassador) to transfer the common motor carrier certificate held by Classic Limousine Service, Inc. (Classic) to Ambassador, holding that there was no error.SRC Holdings, LLC, doing business as Williams Transport (Williams), appealed the PSC's order approving Ambassador's application to transfer its common motor carrier certificate to Ambassador, arguing that Classic's motor carrier certificate was nontransferable and that Ambassador's proposed use of the certificate would create new competition in the same territory that Williams serviced. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the PSC's reasoning in reaching its decision was legally sound and supported by the evidence. View "SRC Holdings, LLC v. Public Service Commission of W. Va." on Justia Law
Metro Tristate, Inc. v. Public Service Commission of W. Va.
The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the West Virginia Public Service Commission ruling that its jurisdiction under state law to regulate a company that was operating in West Virginia solely as a contractor for a federal agency was preempted by federal law, holding that there was no error in the Commission's determination.The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the federal agency in this case, was impelled to give the company, Community Pastor Care, LLC (CPC), the subject contract to meet a goal expressed by Congress in 38 U.S.C. 8127(a). Metro Tristate, Inc. filed this case asking that the Commission bar CPC from transporting VA passengers until it received a permit from the Commission. The Commission concluded that its jurisdiction to regulate CPC was preempted by federal law. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Commission correctly determined that its jurisdiction to regulate CPC was preempted by federal law. View "Metro Tristate, Inc. v. Public Service Commission of W. Va." on Justia Law
Trulargo, LLC v. Public Service Commission of West Virginia
The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the Public Service Commission of West Virginia (PSC) finding that Trulargo, LLC had been unlawfully operating as a common carrier by motor vehicle and requiring it to cease such activities until it obtains a permit therefore, holding that the PSC did not err by determining Trulargo to be a common carrier and that Trulargo was required to obtain the PSC's approval before engaging in, or continuing, such activities.On appeal, Trulargo argued that the PSC erred by ruling that it was operating as a common carrier and by improperly regulating Trulargo's roll-off container rental business and the costs it charged for such service. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Trulargo's operations constituted those of a common carrier by motor vehicle such that it was required to obtain a certificate of convenience and necessity to continue its activities; and (2) Trulargo's roll-off container rental and retrieval activities were squarely within the definition of a common carrier by motor vehicle, and therefore, the PSC had the authority to regulate Trulargo's business. View "Trulargo, LLC v. Public Service Commission of West Virginia" on Justia Law
Matkovich v. CSX Transportation, Inc.
W. Va. Code 11-15A-10a affords taxpayers a credit for sales taxes paid to other states, which offsets the West Virginia Motor Fuel Use Tax (“use tax”) a fuel importer must pay under W. Va. Code 11-15A-13a. After it was assessed a use tax on the fuel it uses in West Virginia, CSX Transportation sought a refund of the sales taxes it had paid on its motor fuel purchases to cities, counties, and localities of other sales pursuant to section 11-15A-10a. The Tax Commissioner rejected the refund request. The Office of Tax Appeals (OTA) granted CSX’s refund request and vacated the assessment, finding that CSX was entitled to a credit under section 11-15A-10a for the sales taxes it paid to other states’ subdivisions on its purchases of motor fuel therein. The circuit court affirmed. The Tax Commissioner appealed, arguing that the circuit court erred by not limiting the credit to sales taxes paid only to other states upon the purchase of a motor fuel. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the sales tax credit afforded by section 11-15A-10a applies both to sales taxes paid to other states and to sales taxes paid to the municipalities of other states. View "Matkovich v. CSX Transportation, Inc." on Justia Law
City of Morgantown v. Nuzum Trucking Co.
The City of Morgantown passed an ordinance seeking to regulate the weight and size of certain vehicles using a portion of West Virginia State Route 7 that passes through Morgantown. Plaintiffs filed a complaint arguing that the ordinance was preempted by state law. The circuit court granted Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that a municipality is not statutorily authorized to prohibit the operation of trucks or to impose limitations on the size or weight thereof on a connecting part of the state road system, and therefore, Morgantown was not authorized to regulate the size or weight of trucks traveling on the portion of W. Va. Route 7 that lies within the city. View "City of Morgantown v. Nuzum Trucking Co." on Justia Law