23c4355s

§ 4355.  Denial or suspension of licenses.

(a)  General rule.--Except as provided in subsection (d.1), where the domestic relations section or the department has been unable to attach the income of an obligor and the obligor owes support in an amount equal to or greater than three months of the monthly support obligation or where an individual has failed to comply with a visitation or partial custody order pursuant to section 4346 (relating to contempt for noncompliance with visitation or partial custody order) or an individual has failed, after appropriate notice, to comply with subpoenas or warrants relating to paternity or child support proceedings, the court, the domestic relations section or the department shall issue an order directing any licensing authority to:

(1)  prohibit the issuance or renewal of a license of the obligor or other individual; or

(2)  require the suspension of the license of the obligor or other individual.

(b)  Notice to obligor or other individual.--

(1)  Prior to the issuance of an order to suspend, nonrenew or deny a license, the obligor or other individual shall be given advance notice. The notice shall specify:

(i)  The amount of arrears owed, if applicable.

(ii)  How, when and where the notice can be contested.

(iii)  That the grounds for contesting the notice shall be limited to mistakes of fact. Mistakes of fact shall be limited to errors in the amount of arrears owed or mistaken identity of the obligor.

(iv)  That an order to the licensing authority to automatically suspend, nonrenew or deny the license will occur in all cases 30 days after issuance of the notice unless the arrearage is paid, a periodic payment schedule is approved by the court or the individual is excused from the failure to comply with the warrant or subpoena.

(2)  The Supreme Court shall by general rule provide a procedure for the court or disciplinary board to deny, suspend or not renew the license of an attorney who owes past due support in a manner comparable to the procedures set forth in this section.

(c)  Order.--

(1)  Thirty days after the issuance of the notice, if the obligor has not paid the arrearage, entered into a court-approved periodic payment schedule or, if applicable, the obligor or other individual has not been excused from complying with the warrant or subpoena, the court, the domestic relations section or department shall direct or cause an order to be issued to the licensing authority to suspend or deny the issuance or renewal of a license. Upon receipt, the licensing authority shall immediately comply with the order or directive. The licensing authority shall have no authority to stay implementation of the order or to hold a hearing except in cases of mistaken identity.

(2)  An order providing for a periodic payment schedule shall also provide that failure to comply with the schedule shall result in the immediate suspension, nonrenewal or denial of the obligor's license.

(3)  Subject to section 4377(c) (relating to appeals), to contest the order, the obligor or other individual must appear before the domestic relations section not later than ten days after issuance of the order. The grounds for contesting shall be limited to mistakes of fact. If, as determined by the domestic relations section, a mistake of fact has occurred, the action shall be modified accordingly within ten days.

(d)  Reinstatement or issuance of license.--Where an order or directive has been issued pursuant to subsection (c) and the obligor has satisfied the arrearage or entered into a court-approved payment plan or, if applicable, the obligor or other individual has been excused from the failure to comply with the subpoena or warrant, the court, the domestic relations section or the department shall order or direct the licensing authority to reinstate or issue the license to the obligor or other individual. Upon receipt of the order, the licensing authority shall reinstate or issue the license immediately, provided that the obligor or other individual meets any and all other requirements for issuance or reinstatement.

(d.1)  Special procedures for operating privilege.--

(1)  Where the domestic relations section or the department has been unable to attach the income of an obligor and the obligor owes support in an amount equal to or greater than three months of the monthly support obligation or where an individual has failed, after appropriate notice, to comply with subpoenas or warrants relating to paternity or child support proceedings, the court, the domestic relations section or the department may issue an order directing the Department of Transportation to:

(i)  prohibit the issuance or renewal of a license of the obligor or other individual; or

(ii)  require the suspension of the license of the obligor or other individual.

(2)  Prior to the issuance of an order to suspend, nonrenew or deny a license, the obligor or other individual shall be given advance notice. The notice shall specify:

(i)  The amount of arrears owed, if applicable.

(ii)  How, when and where the notice can be contested.

(iii)  That the grounds for contesting the notice shall be limited to mistakes of fact. Mistakes of fact shall be limited to errors in the amount of arrears owed or mistaken identity of the obligor.

(iv)  That an order to the Department of Transportation to automatically suspend, nonrenew or deny the license will occur in all cases 30 days after issuance of the notice unless the arrearage is paid, a periodic payment schedule is approved by the court or the individual is excused from the failure to comply with the warrant or subpoena.

(3)  Any order issued to the Department of Transportation pursuant to this section shall be issued as agreed upon by the department and the Department of Transportation. The order may be transmitted electronically or by other methods.

(4)  Upon receipt of an order or directive from a court, the domestic relations section or the department authorizing the Department of Transportation to suspend the operating privilege of an obligor or other individual, the Department of Transportation shall immediately suspend the operating privilege of that obligor or other individual. Upon receipt of an order from the court or the domestic relations section or a directive from the department authorizing the Department of Transportation to restore the operating privilege of an obligor or other individual, the Department of Transportation shall immediately restore the operating privilege of that obligor or other individual if the person complies with the provisions of 75 Pa.C.S. § 1960 (relating to reinstatement of operating privilege or vehicle registration).

(5)  An insurer may not increase premiums, impose a surcharge or rate penalty, make a driver record point assignment for automobile insurance or cancel or refuse to renew an automobile insurance policy on account of a suspension under this section.

(6)  There shall be no right to appeal from a suspension under this section pursuant to 75 Pa.C.S. § 1550 (relating to judicial review). Subject to section 4377(c) (relating to power to expedite support cases), the sole remedy shall be to petition the court which entered the underlying support order resulting in the suspension, revocation or refusal to issue or renew the license.

(d.2)  Special procedures for recreational licenses issued by Pennsylvania Game Commission.--

(1)  Where the domestic relations section or the department has been unable to attach the income of an obligor and the obligor owes support in an amount equal to or greater than three months of the monthly support obligation or where an individual has failed, after appropriate notice, to comply with subpoenas or warrants relating to paternity or child support proceedings, the court may issue an order directing the Pennsylvania Game Commission to prohibit the issuance or renewal of a recreational license of the obligor or other individual or to require the suspension of the recreational license of the obligor or other individual.

(2)  Procedures for notice of suspension, nonrenewal or denial, issuance of the appropriate order and reinstatement of a recreational license shall be in accordance with subsections (b), (c) and (d).

(3)  Upon receipt of an order from a court requiring the Pennsylvania Game Commission to refuse to issue or renew or to revoke or suspend the recreational license of the obligor or other individual, the Pennsylvania Game Commission shall immediately comply with the order. Upon receipt of an order from the court authorizing the Pennsylvania Game Commission to restore the recreational license of an obligor or other individual, the Pennsylvania Game Commission shall immediately restore the recreational license of the obligor or other individual if the obligor or other individual complies with the provisions of 34 Pa.C.S. Ch. 27 (relating to hunting and furtaking licenses).

(4)  There shall be no right to appeal from a refusal to issue or renew or from a revocation or suspension under this section. The sole remedy shall be to petition the court which entered the underlying support order which resulted in the revocation, suspension or refusal to issue or renew the recreational license.

(d.3)  Special procedures for licenses issued by Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.--

(1)  Where the domestic relations section or the department has been unable to attach the income of an obligor and the obligor owes support in an amount equal to or greater than three months of the monthly support obligation or where an individual has failed, after appropriate notice, to comply with subpoenas or warrants relating to paternity or child support proceedings, the court may issue an order directing the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission to prohibit the issuance or renewal of a recreational license of the obligor or other individual or to require the suspension of the recreational license of the obligor or other individual.

(2)  Procedures for notice of suspension, nonrenewal or denial, issuance of the appropriate order and reinstatement of a recreational license shall be in accordance with subsections (b), (c) and (d).

(3)  Upon receipt of an order from a court requiring the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission to refuse to issue or renew or to revoke or suspend the recreational license of the obligor or other individual, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission shall immediately comply with the order. Upon receipt of an order from the court authorizing the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission to restore the recreational license of an obligor or other individual, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission shall immediately restore the recreational license of the obligor or other individual if the obligor or other individual complies with the provisions of 30 Pa.C.S. Ch. 27 (relating to fishing licenses).

(4)  There shall be no right to appeal from a refusal to issue or renew or from a revocation or suspension under this section. The sole remedy shall be to petition the court which entered the underlying support order which resulted in the revocation, suspension or refusal to issue or renew the license.

(d.4)  Implementation.--The department may promulgate regulations and issue directives to coordinate and carry out the provisions of this section.

(d.5)  Construction.--This section shall supersede any conflicting provision in any other State law unless the provision specifically references this section and provides to the contrary.

(d.6)  Immunity.--The court, the domestic relations section, the Department of Public Welfare, the Department of Transportation, the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission or any employee of any of these entities or any person appointed by the Pennsylvania Game Commission or the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission to issue licenses and permits pursuant to the applicable provisions of 30 Pa.C.S. (relating to fish) and 34 Pa.C.S. (relating to game) shall not be subject to civil or criminal liability for carrying out their duties under this section.

(e)  Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

"License."  A license, certificate, permit or other authorization to:

(1)  engage in a profession, trade or business in this Commonwealth or a political subdivision or agency thereof; or

(2)  operate a motor vehicle for personal or commercial purposes.

"Licensing authority."  Any entity of the Commonwealth, political subdivision or agency thereof which issues a license.

"Operating privilege."  The privilege to apply for and obtain a license to use as well as the privilege to use a vehicle on a highway as authorized under Title 75 (relating to vehicles).

"Recreational license."  A hunting or fishing license.

23c4355v

(July 2, 1993, P.L.431, No.62, eff. 60 days; Dec. 16, 1997, P.L.549, No.58, eff. Jan. 1, 1998; Dec. 15, 1998, P.L.963, No.127, eff. imd.)

 

1998 Amendment.  Act 127 amended subsec. (d.6). Act 127 of 1998 was suspended by Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure No. 1910.50(3), as amended May 31, 2000, insofar as it is inconsistent with Rule No.1910.20 relating to the availability of remedies for collection of past due and overdue support.

1997 Amendment.  Act 58 amended the section heading and subsecs. (a), (b) heading, (1) intro. par., (i) and (iv) and (2), (c)(1) and (3), (d) and (e) and added subsecs. (d.1), (d.2), (d.3), (d.4), (d.5) and (d.6). Act 58 of 1997 was suspended by Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure No. 1910.50(3), as amended May 31, 2000, insofar as it is inconsistent with Rule No.1910.20 relating to the availability of remedies for collection of past due and overdue support.

1993 Amendment.  Act 62 added section 4355.

Cross References.  Section 4355 is referred to in sections 4377, 5323 of this title.