Cert. applied for.
Driver's license. Fulton Superior Court. Before Judge Campbell.
Justin W. Chaney, S. Anne Thompson, for appellant.
Samuel S. Olens, Attorney General, Joseph J. Drolet, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Amy M. Radley, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.
In April 2010, the Georgia Department of Driver Services (" DDS" ) revoked appellant Abdou Barrow's license. In June 2010 and November 2013, Barrow attempted to have his license reinstated, but DDS denied both of these requests. Within 30 days of the denial of his November 2013 application, Barrow appealed to the superior court, which dismissed the appeal as untimely. On appeal from tat dismissal, Barrow argues that the trial court erred when it concluded that Barrow lost his right to appeal. We find no error and affirm.
The facts relevant to this appeal are not in dispute. Barrow, a Gambian citizen, entered the United States in 1992 and filed an application for asylum in 1997. In 1999, Barrow was ordered removed from the United States. Between 2000 and 2001, Barrow pled guilty to a number of traffic offenses in Georgia, including hit and run. As a result, his Georgia driver's license was suspended in June 2000 and cancelled in December 2001.
Barrow was issued a new driver's license on February 25, 2009. On April 9, 2010, DDS revoked Barrow's license for what DDS termed " fraud or fictitious use of license." On April 27, 2010, Barrow applied to reinstate his license. As of that date, however, federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (" ICE" ) records showed that Barrow had a warrant of removal pending against him. On June 18, 2010, DDS notified Barrow that it was " unable to complete [the] processing" of his application for reinstatement because his legal presence in the United States could not be verified. In the same notification, DDS instructed Barrow to return with " all your official documents, including all valid immigration documents," by July 13, 2010. Barrow did not do so, however, and did not appeal either the April 9 revocation or the June 18 denial of his application for reinstatement.
Almost three years later, in April 2013, Barrow learned that both his petition for asylum as well as federal removal proceedings against him had been revived. In August 2013, Barrow was apparently arrested for driving on a cancelled license. On November 13, 2013, Barrow applied at the Snellville DDS office to have his license reinstated. During that visit, a DDS worker confirmed that Barrow's license had been " suspended" on April 9, 2010, and told Barrow that his application was denied. On November 25, 2013, DDS sent e-mails to Barrow's counsel again confirming that it would not reinstate Barrow's license because he was not lawfully present in the United States.
On December 2, 2013, Barrow appealed the DDS's November 2013 refusal of reinstatement. The State moved to dismiss Barrow's [331 Ga.App. 548] appeal as untimely under OCGA § 40-5-66, and the superior court granted the motion on that ground. Barrow then sought discretionary review of the superior court's decision by the Supreme Court of Georgia, arguing that the case presented a novel constitutional question as to the process due to a person denied a state driver's license as a result of a federal agency's determination
that the same person was not lawfully present in the United States. The Supreme Court transferred the case to this Court on grounds including that the trial court had ruled only on the timeliness of Barrow's appeal and not on any constitutional question. We then granted Barrow's application for discretionary review of the superior court's decision.
The only question before us is thus whether Barrow's appeal from the DDS to the superior court was timely. Barrow argues that the revival of his application for asylum in March 2013 gave him the right both to apply for the reinstatement of his license in November 2013 and to ...