James Didlake et al., Individually and on Behalf of All Classes of Similarly Situated Persons, Appellants ,
The State of Washington et al., Respondents
Oral Argument November 18, 2014
Appeal from King County Superior Court. Docket No: 12-2-25882-1. Judge signing: Honorable Susan Craighead. Judgment or order under review. Date filed: 04/05/2013.
Ryan B. Robertson and Andrea K. Robertson (of Robertson Law PLLC ); and Roblin J. Williamson and Kathryn A. Williams (of Williamson & Williams ), for appellants.
Robert W. Ferguson, Attorney General, Eric D. Peterson, Managing Assistant, and Leah E. Harris, Assistant, for respondents.
Authored by J. Robert Leach. Concurring: Stephen J. Dwyer, Michael S. Spearman.
J. Robert Leach, J.
[186 Wn.App. 420] [¶1] Washington's implied consent statute, RCW 46.20.308, requires that a driver arrested for driving under the influence of an intoxicant (DUI) pay a filing fee to obtain an administrative review hearing to prevent a driver's license suspension or revocation. James Didlake, Dustin Johnson, Shelly Burke, Monica Fischer, and Michael Bennett (collectively Didlake) appeal a trial court decision that this fee for hearing requirement does not violate procedural due process. Because the driving privilege is not a fundamental right and the Department of Licensing (Department) waives the fee for indigent drivers, Didlake does not establish a constitutional due process violation. And because he received notice and a hearing, Didlake does not show that the fee requirement violated due process in his case. Therefore, he cannot prove any set of facts that would justify recovery for a procedural due process violation. We affirm.
[186 Wn.App. 421] FACTS
[¶2] At various times and places in 2010 or 2011, police arrested James Didlake, Dustin Johnson, Shelly Burke, Monica Fischer, and Michael Bennett for DUI. As required by Washington's implied consent law, the Department initiated license suspension proceedings against them. Didlake, Burke, Fischer, and Bennett each paid a $200 fee for an administrative review hearing. After they prevailed at their hearings, the Department rescinded their license suspensions. Johnson paid two fees and prevailed at one of his two hearings related to two separate arrests.
[¶3] Didlake filed a class action lawsuit against the Department, asking for injunctive and declaratory relief, plus a refund and damages. He alleged that the statutory fee for an administrative hearing violates due process. Didlake filed a motion for class certification under CR 23. After filing its answer, the Department filed a motion to dismiss Didlake's lawsuit under CR 12(b)(6).
[¶4] At a hearing on November 16, 2012, the trial court heard the Department's CR 12(b)(6) motion. The court did not hear argument on Didlake's motion for class certification.
[¶5] In a memorandum opinion and order entered April 5, 2013, the trial court granted the Department's motion to dismiss. Didlake asked the Washington Supreme Court for direct review. On March 5, 2014, the Supreme Court transferred the case to this court.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
[¶6] When a party files an answer before filing a motion to dismiss under CR 12(b)(6), a court should consider [186 Wn.App. 422] the motion as one for judgment on the pleadings under CR 12(c). Motions under CR 12(b)(6) and 12(c) raise identical issues, whether a request for relief states a claim for which a court can grant relief, and this court reviews decisions under either rule de novo. A court may dismiss a complaint under CR 12 only if " it appears beyond doubt that the plaintiff cannot prove any set of facts which would justify recovery."  The court must assume the truth of facts alleged in the complaint, as well as hypothetical facts, viewing both in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. If the ...