City of Kalispell v. Omyer, 2016 MT 63 (March 15, 2016) (Wheat, J.) (5-0, aff’d)
Issue: (1) Whether § 61-5-212, MCA imposes absolute liability for driving with a suspended license; and (2) whether letters from the Motor Vehicle Department informing each appellant that their drivers’ licenses were suspended were improperly admitted testimonial hearsay or properly admitted copies of public records.
Short Answer: (1) Yes, and (2) the letters were properly admitted as copies of public records under Rules 803(8) and 902(4).
Facts: In this consolidated appeal, three defendants were charged with various traffic violations, including driving with a suspended license. In each of the three bench trials, the state introduced letters sent from the MVD to the defendant notifying him or her of the suspension.…