Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Director of Motor Vehicles failure to sign revocation order following hearing officer's recommendation results in no final order for the Nebraska Court of Appeals to review; driver's appeal dismissed O'Hara v. Department of Motor Vehicles, 14 Neb. App. 709 Filed May 2, 2006. No. A-04-1128. The hearing officer recommended revocation of PL's driver's license for the statutory period. Directly below the hearing officer's signature on the "Proposed Findings of Fact, Proposed Conclusions of Law and Recommended Order of Revocation" is a section titled "Certificate of Adoption and Order," which purports to be the order of the director of the Department adopting the hearing officer's recommended order. It further states that PLs driver's license is revoked for 90 days, effective April 27, 2004. The "Certificate of Adoption and Order" is dated April 19, 2004, but it is not signed by the director. PL nonetheless appealed to the district court for Douglas County the Department's order of revocation. On September 22, 2004, the district court entered an order affirming the Department's order of revocation. APPEAL DISMISSED Neb. Rev. Stat. § 25-1301 (Cum. Supp. 2004) defines "rendition of a judgment" as "the act of the court, or a judge thereof, in making and signing a written notation of the relief granted or denied in an action." Under § 25-1301, "rendition of a judgment," i.e., the judge's signature, is a requirement for a final order.without the director's signature on the order of revocation, the director has not adopted the recommendations of the hearing officer as the official and final order of the Department, as stated in the "Certificate of Adoption and Order." We conclude that the signature of the director of the Department is required for an order of revocation to be effectively rendered.

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