Today, a Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled that stripping a CDL holder of his or her license because of failure to pay child support does not violate one’s constitutional rights.
Minnesota statute states that officials can suspend a driver’s license of anyone who is three or more months behind on child support.
Former truck driver Bruce Buchmann entered into a child support payment agreement in 2001, since then he has struggled to make the $200 a month payment. Numerous times, he has had his CDL suspended and reinstated. In 2010, his CDL was suspended because Buchmann failed to make his agreed upon payments. Currently, Buchmann has fallen $27,000 behind on his child support payments.
Buchmann appealed the decision to suspend his license in a Minnesota district court, claiming the the suspension of his CDL prevented him for earning an income to pay his child support payments and violates his constitutional rights.
A district court judge agreed and overturned the suspension calling the state’s decision to suspend Buchmann’s CDL, “wholly irrational,” stating, “[r]egardless of whether the obligor will make the payments, the obligor must have an opportunity to do so.”