A recent lawsuit reguarding DataQ challenges was filed by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) on behalf of its members and resulted in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit agreeing to hear the case. The ruling allows the association to file a federal district court challenge.

The case was filed because the OOIDA’s claims that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) refuses to remove certain safety events from its Safety Measurement System (SMS). The OOIDA filed the suit for a member who was cited by a Montana Department of Transportation Officer for failure to stop at a weigh station. A Montana state court dismissed the charge, The OOIDA member filed a DataQ requesting to have the violation removed from the SMS. The FMCSA denied the request, and the event attributed to the driver remained in the federal database.

The OOIDA asserts that truck drivers are entitled to challenge (in federal court) the agency’s management of the DataQs program. OOIDA filed a similar challenge on behalf of four other association members. This case is currently pending in federal district court. The Department of Justice indicated that the case was filed in the wrong court. A federal appellate court needs to hear the drivers’ challenges instead.

The OOIDA filed the one member’s case in the federal appeals court, asking it to rule on the jurisdictional issue and to transfer the case to district court if it agreed with the OOIDA’s position. The federal district court hearing the case filed by the other four members stayed further action pending the outcome of this particular appeal.