Johnson, et al. v. Jessup

Plaintiffs allege that the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles automatically revokes the drivers’ licenses of people who do not pay their traffic tickets in full within forty days. Drivers must pay the complete amount regardless of their ability to pay within 60 days of receiving the notice of revocation. According to the complaint, 91% of the residents travel to work by car in North Carolina and a driver’s license is a common requirement for employment. In many instances, drivers choose between losing their job or driving with a revoked license. Plaintiffs contend that suspending driver’s licenses without first conducting an ability to pay hearing violates both procedural and substantive due process, as well as equal protection.  They further allege that North Carolina’s failure to provide adequate notice of the driver’s license suspensions also violates procedural due process.


Plaintiffs filed motions for Preliminary Injunction and Class Certification. Parties asked the court to delay discovery for 60 days to focus on fact stipulations that would eliminate the need for discovery. Initial pretrial conference reset for December 12, 2018.

You can find a detailed summary and relevant documents via the ACLU.

42 U.S.C. § 1983 (alleging due process and equal protection violations)
May 2018
Southern Poverty Law Center, ACLU National, ACLU of North Carolina, Southern Coalition for Social Justice