A Nevada man is suing the DMV after his request for a vanity plate reading "GOPALIN" was allegedly denied. The DMV reportedly denies personalized license plate requests expressing what it considers to be "contempt, ridicule or superiority of ... political affiliation" and deemed GOPALIN as either "vulgar" or "inappropriate." Meanwhile, James Linlor, the man suing, claims that when he later requested a "GO OBAMA" license plate the DMV happily obliged. The Douglas County resident reportedly filed his complaint July 15 in U.S. District Court in Nevada.
The Las Vegas Sun reports:
The complaint alleges Linlor requested a personalized license plate of “GOPALIN” in 2009 and 2010, but the DMV denied his applications, stating the request was "vulgar or obscene or expressing superiority of political affiliation."
Linlor says he tried again in June 2010 — this time requesting “PALIN,” “PALIN12” or “PALIN16.” The DMV’s Special Plates Committee, which reviews applications, again denied his requests, deeming them inappropriate because they were “political,” according to the complaint.
According to the Nevada Administrative Code, the DMV rejects personalized license plates with any combination of letters, numbers or spaces that “express contempt, ridicule or superiority of ... political affiliation.” It can also deny plates it deems “inappropriate.”
After a hearing before an administrative law judge, the lawsuit claims the judge reversed the DMV’s denial of Linlor’s requests for plates with “PALIN,” “PALIN12” and “PALIN16.” The judge determined the DMV wasn't authorized to deny requests simply because they were “political,” according to the complaint.
But even after the judge's decision, Linlor alleges the DMV denied his request for GOPALIN yet again and said he learned the DMV had actually issued other political license plates, including “GOGREEN,” “DMOCRAT,” “AL GORE,” “KERRY,” “EDWARDS,” “DEAN,” “HILLARY” and “RONPAUL.” Conversely, Linlor said requests for “REPBLCN” and “BUSH,” were rejected by the DMV.
To make matters worse, Linlor allegedly applied for a “GO OBAMA” plate he claims was approved by the DMV.
One DMV spokesman, however, said a GOPALIN plate had been issued by the department in 2010 and that he would not have denied such a request:
Bruce Breslow, director of the Nevada DMV, said Monday he’s not sure why Linlor brought a lawsuit this month because the “GOPALIN” plate was issued Dec. 30, 2010.
The DMV, however, is reviewing its policy about personalized license plates and likely will have the director or a deputy director make decisions about whether to approve such requests in the future, he said.
“I would not have denied it,” Breslow said, referring to the “GOPALIN” plate.
So have any of you ever applied for a personalized license plate with a conservative message and been denied? Have you seen any notable ones on the road lately? Please tell us...