Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Charles Watson, Jr. v. Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles

June 27, 2011

CHARLES WATSON, JR.
PLAINTIFF
v.
OHIO BUREAU OF MOTOR VEHICLES
DEFENDANT



Cite as Watson v. Ohio Bur. of Motor Vehicles,

The Ohio Judicial Center 65 South Front Street, Third Floor Columbus, OH 43215 614.387.9800 or 1.800.824.8263 www.cco.state.oh.us

Deputy Clerk Daniel R. Borchert

MEMORANDUM DECISION

{¶1} On December 16, 2010, plaintiff, Charles Watson Jr., was stopped by a Highland Heights police officer and issued a traffic ticket for driving with an expired license. Plaintiff alleges he was "'frisked' in the middle of the street and placed in the back of a police car as standard procedure for a criminal driving without a valid driver's license." Thus plaintiff was detained and his vehicle was impounded based on the driving with an expired license charge. Plaintiff asserted he was detained and his vehicle was impounded as a proximate result of an act on the part of defendant, Bureau of Motor Vehicles ("BMV"), in erroneously recording his driver's license status as suspended. According to plaintiff, he called BMV the next day and received verification that his license was valid and that "due to delay in database updates his license reflected suspended at [the] time of [the] traffic stop." Consequently, plaintiff filed this complaint seeking to recover damages in the amount of $1,454.08 based on defendant's improper and erroneous record keeping. Plaintiff itemized his damage claim as follows:

{¶2} 1 Stress $1,000.00

{¶3} 2 Loss in wages $300

{¶4} 3 Car tow $154.08

{¶5} Total damages $1,454.08

{¶6} Plaintiff submitted the $25.00 filing fee.

{¶7} Although admitting error in recording plaintiff's license was under suspension, defendant has admitted liability for some, but not all expenses claimed by plaintiff. Defendant acknowledged plaintiff is entitled to recover $154.08 for towing expenses. Defendant denied liability for any additional claims for stress and lost wages in that plaintiff failed to substantiate he incurred lost wages or that BMV caused him to suffer from stress. Defendant asserted plaintiff's recovery should be limited to $154.08.

{¶8} Plaintiff did not file a response. Plaintiff provided defendant with a copy of the payroll worksheet documenting his salary but did not offer evidence to show that he lost wages as a result of the incident on December 16, 2010.

{¶9} The court finds that resulting damages may be recovered when a plaintiff proves, by a preponderance of the evidence, his driver's license was erroneously listed as suspended by defendant. Ankney v. Bureau of Motor Vehicles (1998), 97-11045-AD; Serbanescu v. Bureau of Motor Vehicles (1994), 93-15038-AD; Black v. Bureau of Motor Vehicles (1996), 95-01441-AD. These damages must directly flow from defendant's failure to convey accurate information. Henighan v. Ohio Dept. of Public Safety (1997), 97-01619-AD; Jordan v. Bureau of Motor Vehicles (1998), 97-10341-AD.

{¶10} Plaintiff has proven, by a preponderance of the evidence, that his driver's license was improperly listed as suspended by defendant. McGee v. Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (1997), 97-03999-AD. Defendant is liable to plaintiff for damages plaintiff can prove resulted from defendant's failure to keep proper accurate records. Partlow v. Bureau of Motor Vehicles (1997), 97-07820-AD. In the instant claim, plaintiff has failed to prove he is entitled to recover damages for "loss of wages."

{ΒΆ11} Embarrassment and humiliation over being"frisked in the middle of the street" and detained in the back of a police car are recognized as elements of damages and, thus, compensable by this court. Ankney; Hodge v. Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (1999), 99-08475-AD; Goldsmith v. Bureau of Motor Vehicles (2000), 99-13444-AD; Snedeker v. Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (2000), 2000-08133-AD; Miller v. Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (2001), 2001-09427-AD; Bumphus v. Bureau of ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.