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Reentry Resource Center - New York

Serving People from Arrest to Reintegration

[Article 78 v. DOE] Petition Brought to Declare Petitioner Qualified to Drive a School Bus Because Petitioner Holds a Certificate of Good Conduct (2009)

  • Organization: Community Service Society
  • Document Type: Brief/Motion Papers
  • Date Created: Wednesday, February 18, 2009
  • Submitted: Tuesday, March 10, 2009
  • Attachment(s): DOC

This proceeding is brought to declare Petitioner J. B. qualified to drive a bus and a school bus under New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law §§ 509-c and 509-cc, which relate to the licensure of bus drivers and school bus drivers respectively. Each law prevents people with certain criminal convictions from driving a bus. Both allow such individuals to nevertheless become qualified if they have a Certificate of Relief from Disabilities ("CRD"). Neither law mentions Certificates of Good Conduct ("CGC"), however, even though both certificates have the same legal effect: to remove statutory barriers to employment for people with criminal records. A person is eligible for a CRD if he has no more than one felony conviction; otherwise, he must apply for a CGC. Petitioner J. B. has two felonies and is legally unable to obtain a CRD; however, he possesses a CGC that specifically allows him to drive a school bus. Despite legislative intent-and in clear contradiction of New York public policy-Respondent refuses to consider Mr. B.'s license application, even though his last involvement with the criminal justice system was twelve years ago.

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