Posts tagged with "license"

Mini-Motorcycles are “Motor Vehicles” For Purposes of Statute Prohibiting Operation Under Suspension

In a recent criminal law matter, the Superior Court of Connecticut, Judicial District of Fairfield, Geographical Area 2 at Bridgeport considered whether a mini-motorcycle was a motor vehicle for purposes of General Statutes § 14-215, the state’s operation under suspension law.

This case arose from an incident that occurred on October 6, 2007. The defendant was previously convicted of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence (OMVUI) on March 20, 2007, and his license was suspended for one year. However, on the date in question, the defendant was driving a mini-motorcycle on a public highway in Fairfield. Because his license was still suspended, the defendant was charged with violating Chapter 248 § 14-215(c), which “prohibits a person whose license is under suspension from operating a motor vehicle.” The defendant moved to dismiss the charge, arguing that a mini-motorcycle was not a “motor vehicle” for purposes of the statute. He claimed that because § 14-215 refers to Chapter 246 § 14-1, which under subsection 50 explicitly excludes mini-motorcycles from its definition of “motor vehicle,” he was not operating a motor vehicle under suspension.

The court in State v. Knybel faced a nearly identical factual scenario and argument as those in the present case, and it engaged in a comprehensive discussion regarding competing definitions of “motor vehicle.” In essence, the Knybel court wrote that the definition used in Chapter 248 is broader so as to include all “vehicles” used within the various chapters of the General Statutes. Therefore, the Knybel court concluded “it is clear that the [more limited] definition of the term ‘motor vehicle’ in § 14-1,” which is found in a different chapter, does not apply to § 14-215(c).

With these principles in mind, the Superior Court rejected the defendant’s argument. The Court wrote that § 14-215 specifically defined “motor vehicle” to include “all vehicles used on the public highway.” Thus, the Court held that a mini-motorcycle is a motor vehicle for purposes of the operation under suspension statute, and denied the defendant’s motion to dismiss.

When faced with a charge of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (a.k.a. driving under the influence) or operation under suspension, an individual is best served by consulting with an experienced criminal law practitioner. Should you have any questions regarding criminal defense, please do not hesitate to contact Attorney Joseph C. Maya in the firm’s Westport office in Fairfield County at 203-221-3100 or at JMaya@Mayalaw.com.

Written by Lindsay E. Raber, Esq.

Administrative Decision to Suspend Plaintiff’s License After DUI Arrest Upheld

This February, a Superior Court of Connecticut dismissed a plaintiff’s appeal of an administrative decision to suspend his license, despite his assertion that the breath test readings were inaccurate.

This case arose from an incident that occurred on May 8, 2010. Police observed the plaintiff revving the engine of his car and then traveling at a high rate of speed down a public road. After police initiated a traffic stop, he admitted that he drank two beers at a bar. The officer observed the “strong distinct odor of an alcoholic beverage” and the plaintiff’s bloodshot, glassy eyes. The plaintiff failed three field sobriety tests and was then arrested. At the police station, he agreed to submit to breath tests, which returned blood alcohol content (BAC) readings of 0.206 and 0.135.

The police notified the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), who held an administrative hearing to determine whether to suspend the plaintiff’s license. An expert witness for the plaintiff testified that the BAC readings might be unreliable because the machine’s gas calibration readings were above the acceptable level of 0.105. Nonetheless, the hearing officer found that the police arrested the plaintiff while he was operating under the influence and that the Intoxilyzer machine was working properly at the time of the plaintiff’s tests. He ordered that the plaintiff’s license be suspended for ten months.

The plaintiff appealed this decision to the Superior Court, which ordered the DMV to hold another hearing regarding the reliability of the Intoxilyzer used on the night of the plaintiff’s arrest. After additional testimony, the hearing officer made the same findings, and credited the State toxicologist’s conclusion that the machine was properly working. The State toxicologist stated that these higher-end readings simply indicated that the gas canister needed to be replaced, but that this did not impact the subsequent BAC readings from the plaintiff’s tests. The hearing officer again suspended the plaintiff’s license for ten months, and the plaintiff appealed this decision, claiming he was not adequately tested.

When a court reviews the rulings of an administrative agency, it is guided by the Uniform Administrative Procedure Act (UAPA). The court must determine whether the agency issued an order that was unreasonable, arbitrary, illegal, or which constituted an abuse of discretion. Pursuant to the substantial evidence rule of UAPA, administrative findings are upheld so long as the record “affords a substantial basis of fact from which the fact in issue can be reasonably inferred.” It is the plaintiff’s burden to prove “that substantial rights possessed by him were prejudiced because the administrative decision was clearly erroneous in view of the reliable, probative and substantial evidence on the whole record.”

In this case, the Superior Court rejected the plaintiff’s claim of inadequate testing. It found that under the substantial evidence rule, the hearing officer made an appropriate determination that the intoxilyzer readings were accurate. In addition, the plaintiff did not provide any evidence that his own BAC readings were affected by the higher-range calibration readings. Therefore, the appeal was dismissed.

When faced with a charge of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (a.k.a. driving under the influence) or license suspension, an individual is best served by consulting with an experienced criminal law practitioner. Should you have any questions regarding criminal defense, please do not hesitate to contact Attorney Joseph C. Maya in the firm’s Westport office in Fairfield County at 203-221-3100 or at JMaya@Mayalaw.com.

Written by Lindsay E. Raber, Esq.

Effects on Non-Competes When a Company Splits and Grants a License to the New Entity

Effects on Non-Competes When a Company Splits and Grants a License to the New Entity

Multicare Physicians & Rehabilitation Group, P.C. v. Wong, 2006 Conn. Super. LEXIS 1351

Multicare Physicians & Rehabilitation Group, P.C. was a Connecticut company that provided healthcare services and maintained offices in Milford, Ansonia, Wallingford, and Cheshire. Dr. Wong began to work for the company and executed an employment agreement on January 21, 2004, pursuant to the company’s employment regulations and standards. There was a restrictive covenant in paragraph nine of the agreement that prohibited Dr. Wong from practicing within fifteen miles of “the corporation’s offices” within the four towns previously mentioned for a period of two years following termination. The agreement stated that Physicians would be entitled to equitable and legal damages (a court ordered injunction and monetary relief respectively) in the event of a breach.
The company split up in the summer of 2004 into Physicians and a new company, Multicare Medical Center, P.C. (“Medical”), that practiced out of the Milford and Ansonia offices previously occupied by Physicians. Physicians licensed “the Name” to Medical in exchange for consideration for $10, and this license gave Medical the right to brand and advertise itself as Physicians. Medical officially became “independently owned company” on August 6, 2004. In August 2005, Dr. Wong gave Physicians notice that he would not be renewing his employment contract with them and then proceeded to accept a part-time position at Medical beginning in December 2005. Physicians learned of Dr. Wong’s new employment and interpreted this as in direct violation of the non-compete clause contained in the employment agreement. Physicians sued Dr. Wong in Connecticut state court and requested enforcement of the restrictive covenant.
The court had to decide whether Dr. Wong had violated the non-compete agreement by working as an employee of Medical, for which it concluded that he had not breached the employment contract with Physicians and denied the company’s request for an injunction restraining Dr. Wong’s further employment at Medical. The main factor that the court analyzed to reach this conclusion was the existence and terms of the license granted to Medical by Physicians on June 30, 2004. The court made it clear that since the company split in 2004, Physicians did not have any offices in Milford or Ansonia and as such, Dr. Wong was free to practice medicine in these towns without violating the non-compete clause. Medical was permitted to operate as Physicians by using its name pursuant to the license but the offices in Milford and Ansonia were not by any means components of Physicians’ business structure or operations. Those offices, while under the trade name of Physicians, were wholly owned and operated Medical business offices.
This decision highlights the special relationship between companies when they split and one party grants the other a license to continue to operate under the same trade name. The court emphasized that while the companies were the same with respect to their trade name, for all other intents and purposes they were completely separate companies with different business structures and operations.
If you have any questions relating to your non-compete agreement or would like to discuss any element of your employment agreement, please contact Joseph C. Maya, Esq. by phone at (203) 221-3100 or via e-mail at JMaya@Mayalaw.com.

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Effects on Non-Competes When a Company Splits and Grants a License to the New Entity

Effects on Non-Competes When a Company Splits and Grants a License to the New Entity

Multicare Physicians & Rehabilitation Group, P.C. v. Wong, 2006 Conn. Super. LEXIS 1351

Multicare Physicians & Rehabilitation Group, P.C. was a Connecticut company that provided healthcare services and maintained offices in Milford, Ansonia, Wallingford, and Cheshire. Dr. Wong began to work for the company and executed an employment agreement on January 21, 2004, pursuant to the company’s employment regulations and standards. There was a restrictive covenant in paragraph nine of the agreement that prohibited Dr. Wong from practicing within fifteen miles of “the corporation’s offices” within the four towns previously mentioned for a period of two years following termination. The agreement stated that Physicians would be entitled to equitable and legal damages (a court ordered injunction and monetary relief respectively) in the event of a breach.
The company split up in the summer of 2004 into Physicians and a new company, Multicare Medical Center, P.C. (“Medical”), that practiced out of the Milford and Ansonia offices previously occupied by Physicians. Physicians licensed “the Name” to Medical in exchange for consideration for $10, and this license gave Medical the right to brand and advertise itself as Physicians. Medical officially became “independently owned company” on August 6, 2004. In August 2005, Dr. Wong gave Physicians notice that he would not be renewing his employment contract with them and then proceeded to accept a part-time position at Medical beginning in December 2005. Physicians learned of Dr. Wong’s new employment and interpreted this as in direct violation of the non-compete clause contained in the employment agreement. Physicians sued Dr. Wong in Connecticut state court and requested enforcement of the restrictive covenant.
The court had to decide whether Dr. Wong had violated the non-compete agreement by working as an employee of Medical, for which it concluded that he had not breached the employment contract with Physicians and denied the company’s request for an injunction restraining Dr. Wong’s further employment at Medical. The main factor that the court analyzed to reach this conclusion was the existence and terms of the license granted to Medical by Physicians on June 30, 2004. The court made it clear that since the company split in 2004, Physicians did not have any offices in Milford or Ansonia and as such, Dr. Wong was free to practice medicine in these towns without violating the non-compete clause. Medical was permitted to operate as Physicians by using its name pursuant to the license but the offices in Milford and Ansonia were not by any means components of Physicians’ business structure or operations. Those offices, while under the trade name of Physicians, were wholly owned and operated Medical business offices.
This decision highlights the special relationship between companies when they split and one party grants the other a license to continue to operate under the same trade name. The court emphasized that while the companies were the same with respect to their trade name, for all other intents and purposes they were completely separate companies with different business structures and operations.
If you have any questions relating to your non-compete agreement or would like to discuss any element of your employment agreement, please contact Joseph C. Maya, Esq. by phone at (203) 221-3100 or via e-mail at JMaya@Mayalaw.com.

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