McNeely v. Director, Department of Public Safety
McNeely v. Director, Department of Public Safety, 703 So. 2d 416 (Ala.Civ.App. 1997)- [Doctrine of laches in untimely suspension action]
McNeely was convicted of DUI in North Carolina in 1982. He moved to Alabama and obtained an Alabama driver license in 1984. On his initial driver’s license application he represented that he had no prior motor vehicle law convictions. In 1996, the Department of Public Safety discovered the North Carolina conviction and revoked the motorist’s license pursuant to §32-5A-195(a) (providing false information on the initial driver license application).
McNeely claimed that the doctrine of laches prohibited the revocation of his license. The rule is that if there is no statutory time limitation for an administrative hearing, the doctrine of laches applies but the party asserting laches must show that the delay was unreasonable and that prejudice resulted from the delay. There was no evidence of prejudice in this case and driver had contributed to the delay by failing to report the information required correctly. The Department’s revocation order was upheld.