State of North Dakota, and Michelle A. Dworshak Rose, n/k/a Michelle A. Alcaraz, Plaintiffs and Appellees
Joshua D. Rose, Defendant and Appellant
from the District Court of Ward County, North Central
Judicial District, the Honorable Richard L. Hagar, Judge.
Meredith K. Childress, Minot, ND, for plaintiffs and
D. Rose, self represented, Minot, ND, defendant and
appellant; submitted on brief.
1] Joshua Rose appeals a district court order denying his
motion to reinstate his driver's license. Because the
district court was without subject matter jurisdiction to
review the Minot Regional Child Support Unit's decision
to suspend Rose's license, we vacate the orders relating
to his suspension.
2] Under an April 2014 district court judgment, Rose was
ordered to pay $836 per month in child support. In May 2016,
the Minot Regional Child Support Unit notified Rose of its
intent to suspend his driver's license, alleging he owed
over $31, 000 in past due child support. In June 2016, Rose
requested a hearing to review the Unit's decision. After
two hearings, the district court issued an order suspending
Rose's license in February 2017.
3] In December 2017, Rose moved to reinstate his driver's
license. He argued he was laid off in February 2016 and was
unable to find a job because he did not have a license. He
also argued the district court failed to inquire into his
ability to pay child support at an earlier hearing relating
to the suspension of his driver's license. The court
denied Rose's motion to reinstate his driver's
license. Rose now appeals that order.
4] Before reaching the merits of Rose's appeal, we must
first decide whether the district court had jurisdiction to
review the Unit's decision to suspend Rose's license.
5] "The right to appeal is governed solely by
statute." Meier v. N.D. Dep't of Human
Servs., 2012 ND 134, ¶ 4, 818 N.W.2d 774.
"[I]n order for a court to have subject matter
jurisdiction over an appeal, the appellant must meet the
statutory requirements for perfecting the appeal."
Reliable, Inc. v. Stutsman Cty. Comm'n, 409
N.W.2d 632, 634 (N.D. 1987); see also Altru Specialty
Servs., Inc. v. N.D. Dep't of Human Servs., 2017 ND
270, ¶ 8, 903 N.W.2d 721 ("The statutory
requirements for filing and serving a notice of appeal... are
jurisdictional."). Subject matter jurisdiction cannot be
waived and can be raised sua sponte at any time in a
proceeding. Garaas v. Cass Cty. Joint Water Res.
Dist., 2016 ND 148, ¶ 4, 883 N.W.2d 436; see
also Dahlen v. Dahlen, 393 N.W.2d 765, 767 (N.D. 1986)
("[I]t is the duty of this court to raise jurisdictional
issues on its own whenever such an issue appears on the
record, even though the issue is not raised by the
6] Here, the Unit notified Rose of its intent to suspend his
driver's license under N.D.C.C. § 50-09-08.6. Under
N.D.C.C. § 50-09-08.6(2)(b), the child support agency
may suspend a license of "[a]n obligor who is listed on
the arrears registry." Before suspending an
obligor's license, the state agency must notify the
Before withholding, restricting, or suspending a license
under subdivision a or b of subsection 2, the state agency
shall send a notice to the licensee by first-class mail to
the licensee's last-known address stating that the
licensee has thirty days after the date of the notice to
comply with the subpoena, satisfy the arrearage in full, or
negotiate a payment plan with the state agency under this
section. The notice must further state that the licensee may
contest the action of the state agency by making a written
request for a court hearing under subsection 5 within ten
days of the date of the notice.
N.D.C.C. § 50-09-08.6(3). The licensee has ten days from
the date of the notice to request a court hearing.
Id.; see also N.D.C.C. § 50-09-08.6(5). If a
licensee requests a ...