BATON ROUGE – The First Circuit Court of Appeal on April 13 dismissed an appeal filed by O’Neal Bosley and Bosley’s Driving School in response to a lawsuit Bosley filed in an attempt to prevent the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections from permanently revoking the company's licenses to teach driver’s education.
Bosley represented himself.
Judge Mitchell R. Theriot ruled that the appeal was dismissed because it was not filed within the required time period.
The original lawsuit filed in the 19th Judicial District Court for the Parish of East Baton Rouge came as a result of Bosley’s Driving School reportedly teaching certain driver’s education classes without a required license. At the school’s two locations in Donaldsonville and Gonzales, Bosley’s offered two types of driver’s education classes.
There was a 14-hour course for individuals over 18 years of age that required six hours of classroom instruction and eight hours of behind-the-wheel driver’s training. In addition, a 38-hour class was also offered for people over the age of 18. This class required 30 hours of classroom instruction and eight hours of behind-the-wheel driving instruction.
DPS requires that driving schools be licensed to teach all classes. Bosley’s Donaldsonville location was licensed to teach six hours of classroom instruction, and the Gonzales location was licensed to teach the 14-hour course. Bosley’s was also certified as a third-party tester, which enabled the school to administer on-road driving skills tests. However, neither location was licensed to teach the 38-hour course.
Subsequently, in October 2012, Bosley’s applied to DPS for a license to instruct the 38-hour driver's education course. The application was rejected because DPS in December of 2012 said that Bosley’s proposed lesson plan did not satisfy the current curriculum's requirements. Despite this denial, Bosley’s continued to teach its version of the 38-hour course and in fact, issued certificates of successful completion to several students.
DPS learned of these actions and on March 26, 2014, ordered Bosley’s to discontinue all operations as a driving school and third-party tester. As a result, all of Bosley’s licenses were revoked.
In dismissing the case, Judge Theriot said, “An appellant's failure to timely file a devolutive appeal is a jurisdictional defect in that neither the court of appeal nor any other court has the jurisdictional power and authority to reverse, revise, or modify a final judgment after the time for filing a devolutive appeal has elapsed. Because appellants did not appeal within the available time period, the appeal must be dismissed as untimely.”
Judges Page McLendon and Jewel E. "Duke" Welch concurred.