Arizona’s MVD, our equivalent of what everyplace else seems to call the DMV, has been on a bit of a rampage lately. I used to routinely wait months and months to get a hearing on a license suspension, but now they schedule them with such a quick turnaround that they conflict with other things in my calendar more often than not. This notice arrived in the mail on February 23, 2015:
By the time I received it, the hearing was only fifteen days away. Had my client needed a foreign language interpreter, it would’ve already been too late to request one. Had it arrived just a few days later, I would’ve gotten it after my deadline to move to continue the hearing it set.
Noticing it was dated February 12, 2015, I wanted to know why it took the post office so long to get it to me. I was surprised when I looked at the envelope:
I’m no expert when it comes to postal meters, but the way I read the rules, you have to deposit mail by the date indicated. I seriously doubt the MVD mailed the notice ten days before they wrote it.
By violating the post office’s rules, they make it impossible to know when notice is actually sent. That’s especially frustrating considering their obsession with everyone else submitting everything timely and with far more cause than is due. Right around the date on the envelope, the MVD had denied one of my motions to continue, apparently because last-minute interviews with hard-to-find witnesses in a dangerous felony case with trial right around the corner are not sufficient cause to move a 90-day administrative license suspension hearing. I have no doubt my late filing, a result of notice of the witnesses suddenly becoming available at the time of the hearing less than seven business days prior to the hearing, was a big factor. Had I known the MVD was fine with whatever date people want to put on requests, whether true or not, I probably should’ve untimely mailed my request in an envelope with a timely date on it. Problem solved!
I’m kidding, of course, not just because that’s dishonest and not something I’d do, but also because dishonest things like that are only acceptable when done by the government, especially by administrative divisions with little to no meaningful oversight. Do as they say, not as they do. If I used my postal meter the way the MVD does, I’d expect federal agents to come knocking on my door. But I’m not the government, and that makes all the difference.