Unfair Standard of Proof

CMVI hearings which hazard driver’s licenses under G.L. c. 90C, § 3 are governed by a constitutionally defective evidentiary standard – a “preponderance of the credible evidence.” An intermediate standard of proof – “clear and convincing evidence” – is mandated when the individual interests at stake in a government-initiated proceeding are “particularly important” and “more substantial than the mere loss of money” (e.g., a significant deprivation of liberty or stigma). Santosky v. Kramer (“Notwithstanding the state’s civil labels and good intentions, the Court has deemed this level of certainty necessary to preserve fundamental fairness…”).