Saturday, June 23, 2018

SC Administrative Law Court Decisions

Robert M. Opsahl vs. South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles

South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles

Robert M. Opsahl

South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles



The above-captioned matter was filed with the Administrative Law Court (ALC or Court) on May 3, 2007. Respondent was scheduled to appear before Robert Harley, a Hearing Officer for the Department of Motor Vehicle Hearings (DMVH), on May 8, 2007. The office of Respondent’s attorney, Stanley Myers, made a request for a continuance on April 20, 2007, based on the fact that Mr. Myers had been deployed to Afghanistan with the South Carolina Army National Guard and would not return until May of 2008. The Hearing Officer denied his request on April 23, 2007. This appeal followed. S.C. Code Ann. § 25-1-2260 (Rev. 2007) provides, in pertinent part: It is the duty of a judge of a court of this State to continue a case in the court on or without motion when a party to it or his leading attorney is absent from court when the case is reached by reason of his attendance on active duty as a member of the National Guard or reserve. If counsel is absent, it shall be necessary for his client to make oath that he cannot safely go to trial without the absent attorney…. Mr. Myers is currently on active duty in Afghanistan; thus, he is unable to represent his client. Furthermore, Mr. Opsahl has provided a sworn affidavit to this Court stating that he cannot safely go to trial without the representation of Mr. Myers. Therefore, finding good cause, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that this matter is STAYED, pending Mr. Myers’ release from active duty. IT IS FURTHERMORE ORDERED that Mr. Myers shall notify the DMVH within one week of his return to the practice of law. AND IT IS SO ORDERED. _________________________________ Ralph King Anderson, III Administrative Law Judge Petitioner filed the original Petition for Mandamus with the Clerk of Court on May 3, 2007, and it was thereafter assigned the Docket Number of 07-ALJ-21-0208-IJ. On May 7, 2007, Petitioner also faxed a copy of his Petition to an Administrative Law Judge who had previously issued an Order of Remand involving the same parties, but under the Docket Number of 06-ALJ-21-0423-AP. That Judge issued an Order, dated May 21, 2007, staying the case at hand. However, this Order, issued subsequent to the Order dated May 21, 2007, controls the instant matter, and the parties in this case are bound by its terms.