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Commonwealth v. Norman

Appeals Court of Massachusetts, Worcester

May 8, 2015

Commonwealth
v.
Kenneth I. Norman

Argued: January 8, 2015.

Indictments found and returned in the Superior Court Department on November 14, 2012.

The cases were tried before David Ricciardone, J.

Nelson P. Lovins for the defendant.

Ellyn H. Lazar-Moore, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.

Present: Grainger, Brown, & Milkey, JJ.

OPINION

[30 N.E.3d 122] Milkey, J.

Following jury and jury-waived trials in Superior Court, the defendant was convicted of operating while under the influence of intoxicating liquor (OUI) while under a license suspension for a prior OUI.[1] G. L. c. 90, § 23. On appeal, the defendant argues primarily that the evidence was insufficient to support that conviction. He makes no challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence that he committed an OUI, that at the time he did so his license was suspended, and that the suspension at issue was for a

Page 345

prior OUI. Instead, he targets the sufficiency only of the evidence that he was notified of the suspension. See Commonwealth v. Oyewole, 470 Mass. 1015, 1016, 21 N.E.3d 179 (2014) ( to make out a violation of G. L. c. 90, § 23, the Commonwealth must prove, inter alia, that the defendant " was notified that his license had been suspended or revoked" ). We conclude that the evidence was sufficient and therefore affirm the convictions.

Background.

Given the limited nature of the defendant's appeal, we lay out only the evidence related to whether the defendant had notice of his license suspension. The longtime branch manager of the Worcester [30 N.E.3d 123] office of the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) testified that the RMV had a system in place to provide drivers formal notice that their licenses had been suspended. Under that system, once an OUI conviction is entered into the relevant database, a suspension notice is automatically generated, and employees in the RMV mailroom then place the notice in an envelope and deliver it to the post office for mailing. The branch manager also produced from RMV files a " notice of suspension" letter (suspension notice) dated November 8, 2001. That suspension notice, which was addressed to the defendant at a mailing address on file with the RMV, stated that the defendant's license was being suspended for a ten-year period beginning October 15, 2004.

When the defendant was stopped by police in 2012 for his new OUI violation, he admitted to them that he did not have a license (while ...


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