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Court Held that Revocation of a Real Estate License Was Not Authorized Where the Salesperson’s Conviction Was Dismissed

In Ryan-Lanigan v. Bureau of Real Estate, a California appellate court held that a revocation of a real estate license was not statutorily authorized where the salesperson’s misdemeanor hit and run conviction was dismissed. In Ryan-Lanigan, a salesperson was charged with a misdemeanor hit and run with property damage. She pleaded no contest and was convicted. The California Bureau of Real Estate (“CalBRE”) sought to revoke her license based on the conviction. Ryan-Lanigan moved to withdraw her plea. The trial court granted the motion and accepted her no contest plea to a violation of basic speed law and dismissed the hit and run charge in the “interests of justice.” The signed order of the trial court also indicated that the conviction was sent aside as of the date of the entry of the plea. Notwithstanding, CalBRE revoked her licensed based on the hit and run conviction.

The agent petitioned the trial court. The trial court entered judgment in the salesperson’s favor and ordered CalBRE to set aside the revocation and remanded the matter for reconsideration. CalBRE appealed contending that the revocation of the license was authorized under Business and Professions Code §10177 despite the plea withdrawal and the set aside of the conviction. The court of appeal affirmed the trial court’s ruling, holding that B&P §10177 did not authorize the revocation of Ryan-Lanigan’s license because the provision does not allow discipline when there has been a dismissal unless the dismissal is pursuant to an expungment.

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