Michigan Reentry Law Wiki

Sample Occupational License Appeal Letter

From Reentry

July 8, 2004

Department of Consumer and Industry Services
Board of Mechanical Rules
P.O. Box 30254
Lansing, MI 48909

Re: Appeal from Denial of Mechanical License for John Doe

Dear Boardmembers,

We are writing to appeal the Board's determination, issued June 15, 2004, denying John Doe a mechanical license on the grounds that he lacks good moral character. This determination was based on the fact that Mr. Doe has a felony record.

Pursuant to the Former Offenders Act, MCL 338.41, et. seq., a criminal record shall not be used, in and of itself, by a licensing board or agency as proof of a person's lack of good moral character. MCL 338.42. While a criminal record may be used as evidence in assessing moral character, the applicant is permitted to rebut the evidence by showing that at the current time he or she has the ability to, and is likely to, serve the public in a fair, honest, and open manner, or by showing that he or she is rehabilitated.

During the mid-1980s, when Mr. Doe was in his early 20s, he committed several property offenses while drinking with his buddies. In addition, Mr. Doe was convicted of attempted escape after he broke a window in a jail visiting room; Mr. Doe was not actually trying to escape. Mr. Doe did not commit any assaultive offenses. Mr. Doe's most recent criminal offense occurred 16 years ago. He has not been in trouble with the law since then.

Mr. Doe's conduct while incarcerated was exemplary. He took college classes through Montcalm Community College, tutored other inmates, completed an Alcoholics Anonymous program, and took up mechanical drafting. (See Certificates of Completion for Architectural Drafting and Mechanical Drafting, Ex. A, B. Mr. Doe was unable to obtain other records from his incarceration as those records have been destroyed.). He did not receive a single ticket for poor conduct, and was released at his earliest parole date. He successfully completed his parole in 1995. His parole agent states that Mr. Doe presented no problems and maintained a stable placement and job. (See Letter from EB, Kent County Parole Office, and parole records, Ex. C, D, E.)

Since his release from incarceration, Mr. Doe has worked in the construction and heating/cooling business. He worked at G. Construction from April 1993 to June 1995, where he did home repairs. (See resume, Ex. F.) From September 1995 through February 2001 he worked as a HVAC technician for O. Heating & Cooling. The company owner, TO, describes Mr. Doe as very professional. (See letter from TO, Ex. G). During this time Mr. Doe successfully completed a course in Intermediate Electricity in HVAC applications and was certified as a Technician Type I, II. (See Certificates of Completion, Ex. H, I.)

Mr. Doe was laid off from O. in 2001 due to the slowdown in the economy. He then worked as a plumber for TI. (See letter from TI, Ex. J). In addition, since 1995 Mr. Doe has provided handyman and maintenance services to F&R Rental. According the proprietors, Mr. Doe has proven over the years to be very dependable as well as reliable. (See letter from FS, Ex. K.) Mr. Doe has also earned a taxicab license, and worked as a taxicab driver on the side in 1994 and 1995. (See taxicab license, Ex. L.)

Mr. Doe prides himself on his workmanship and dependability. According to HH, a Minister with the Jehovah's Witnesses, Mr. Doe is a very honest and trustworthy businessman. Mr. Doe did work in Reverend H's home on several occasions, and always acted in a respectful and professional manner. (See letter from Reverend HH, Ex. M.)

Given that Mr. Doe's record is over 16 years old, given that Mr. Doe has a strong work history, given that Mr. Doe has in fact served the public in a fair, honest, and open manner since he was released, and given that Mr. Doe's conduct demonstrates full rehabilitation, we respectfully request that Mr. Doe be granted a mechanical contractor's license.

Finally, we request the opportunity to appear before the Board. In preparation for that appearance, we also request a copy of all application materials submitted by Mr. Doe, a copy of any rules governing this appeal, as well as a copy of any rules promulgated by the Department of Consumer and Industry Services pursuant to MCL 338.43(3) specifying which offenses it considers relevant to mechanical licenses.


Miriam Aukerman
Attorney at Law

John Doe

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