Unsigned form sufficient to establish jurisdiction

Posted by Ryan Russman | Oct 28, 2013 | 0 Comments

A new court decision with regard to DWI in the state of New Hampshire was published earlier this month.  In James Kerouac v. New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles, the Supreme Court upheld the lower court”s decision to suspend the driver”s license of the plaintiff, Kerouac.

According to the plaintiff, during the DWI arrest:

[Chief Campbell] checked a box that indicated that the plaintiff had failed to submit to testing. In section V of the form, titled “Officer's Report,” Chief Campbell listed his name as the officer who swore that he requested the plaintiff to submit to testing and checked the box indicating that the plaintiff had refused testing. Chief Campbell neglected, however, to sign this part of the form, although there was a place for his signature.

The plaintiff's license was suspended because he was deemed to have refused testing. He requested an administrative hearing to challenge this, asserting that the New Hampshire Department of Safety (department) lacked jurisdiction over the matter because Chief Campbell had failed to sign section V of the form.

The Court upheld the juridiction of the Department of Safety, indicating that an unsigned form is sufficient to warrant jurisdiction in suspension of a license during a DWI arrest.

About the Author

Ryan Russman

Attorney Ryan Russman has dedicated his career to fighting for the rights of New Hampshire citizens. His practice, based in Exeter (Rockingham County) New Hampshire, is limited to cases involving DWI and DUI, other motor vehicle and criminal cases, and many cases involving personal injury. He is, however, best known as one of New Hampshire's leading legal authorities on DWI.


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