16. Procedures/Appeals

Sanderson v. UIA – 16.94

Sanderson v. UIA
Digest No. 16.94

Section 421.32a & Section 421.62

Cite as: Sanderson v Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency, unpublished decision of the Court of Claims, issued June 5, 2017 (Case No. 16-000083-MM).

Court: Court of Claims
Appeal pending: Yes
Plaintiff: Judy Sanderson, Albert Morris, Antonyal Louis, and Madeline Browne
Defendant: Unemployment Insurance Agency
Date of decision: June 5, 2017

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HOLDING: The Court granted the defendant’s motion for summary disposition because plaintiffs failed to satisfy the requirements of MCL 600.6431.

FACTS: Claimant Sanderson began receiving unemployment benefits in June 2009. The UIA issued redeterminations on September 26, 27, and 28, 2011 determining that Claimant was not entitled to benefits because she made intentional misrepresentations. The UIA gives three years from the date of the last redetermination to initiate administrative action or court action to recover improperly paid benefits. The UIA began collection efforts against Claimant in May 2014. Interception of her tax refund occurred on or about April 9, 2015.

DECISION: Plaintiffs failed to comply with the notice requirements found in MCL 600.6431. Claimant Sanderson’s complaint was filed on April 11, 2016, far more than six months after the first instance of wrongful garnishment.

The Court denied the plaintiffs’ request to amend the complaint and rejects the claim that summary disposition is premature because discovery has not yet begun.

RATIONALE: Plaintiffs’ claims do no meet the timing requirements of MCL 600.6431. This applies a six month notice deadline to file a complaint. The Court assumed without deciding that Plaintiffs’ interpretation of Section 421.62 is correct, which sets a three year period for collecting a debt. However, plaintiffs’ complaints were filed on April 11, 2016 and in order for them to satisfy the requirements under MCL 600.6431, the wrongs need to occur within six months of the filing date. None of the claims asserted fit the timeframe.

The Court denied leave to amend because there is no manner in which they could amend the complaint so that it complies with the requirements under MCL 600.6431.

The Court also determined that plaintiffs’ assertions were not enough to demonstrate that discovery is warranted in this matter.

Digest author: Sara Posner, Michigan Law, Class of 2017
Digest updated: December 26, 2017

16. Procedures/Appeals

Barbee v. J.C. Penney – 16.73

Barbee v. J.C. Penney
Digest No. 16.73

Section 421.29(b), 421.33, 421.34, 421.38

Cite as: Barbee v JC Penney Corp, Inc, Unpublished Opinion of the Circuit Court for the County of Oakland, Issued January 26, 2006 (Docket No. 177083W).

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Appeal Pending: No
Claimant: Della M. Barbee
Employer: J.C. Penney Corporation, Inc.
Tribunal: Circuit Court for the County of Oakland
Date of Decision: January 26, 2006

HOLDING: The State of Michigan Employment Security Board of Review’s (“Board”) lacks jurisdiction to review untimely appeals.

FACTS: Claimant was employed by J.C. Penney as a Customer Service Associate until she was discharged for misconduct. Her alleged misconduct included obtaining fraudulent refunds, discount abuse, and unauthorized price adjustments. The Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) disqualified the claimant from benefits due to her misconduct under MCL 421.29(b).

Claimant appealed the ALJ’s decision to the State of Michigan Employment Security Board of Review (“Board”). The deadline to appeal was September 24, 2004, but claimant did not file her appeal until October 6, 2004. Pursuant to MCL 421.33, the Board dismissed the late appeal due to lack of jurisdiction.

Claimant did not seek rehearing or to reopen the case with the Board for good cause but instead, appealed to the Circuit Court (“Court”) for de novo review of the Board’s (1) arbitrary Appeal deadline and (2) the underlying determination in finding the Plaintiff guilty of misconduct.

DECISION: The Board’s deadlines cannot be challenged as arbitrary because they were set by the legislature and codified as MCL 421.33(2) and MCL 421.34. Additionally, the Circuit Court cannot de novo review claimant’s underlying determination because she appealed the Board’s decision. Finally, the Board’s order dismissing claimant’s appeal for lack of jurisdiction was proper.

RATIONALE: The Circuit Court ruled that the appeal deadlines were not arbitrary because they were established by the legislature through MCL 421.33(2) and MCL 421.34.

The Court also denied claimant’s appeal for de novo review of her underlying determination as guilty of misconduct. The Court noted that a claimant can appeal a referee’s (ALJ’s) decision to the Circuit Court directly under MCL 421.38(2). However, because the claimant appealed the Board’s decision and said decision did not include a review of claimant’s determination as guilty of misconduct, the Circuit Court lacks authority to de novo review the claimant’s guilty determination.

The Circuit Court reviewed the whole record to determine if claimant’s appeal was untimely. Pursuant to MCL 421.38(1), the standard for finding an appeal untimely is support by competent, material, and substantial evidence. After finding that the appeal was untimely under the standard, the Court affirmed the Board’s decision dismissing claimant’s untimely appeal for lack of jurisdiction under MCL 421.33.

Digest Author: Sean Higgins, Michigan Law, Class of 2017
Digest Updated: 3/27/2016

16. Procedures/Appeals

Zuber v Ameritech Publishing, Inc – 16.72

Zuber v Ameritech Publishing, Inc
Digest no. 16.72

Section 32a(2)

Cite as: Zuber v Ameritech Publishing Inc, unpublished opinion of the Michigan Employment Security Board of Review, issued January 29, 2004 (Docket No.  2002 BR 171048 (B2003-09495).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Kathy L. Zuber
Employer: Ameritech Publishing, Inc.
Docket no.: B2003-09495-171048
Date of decision: January 29, 2004

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BOARD OF REVIEW HOLDING: A protest or appeal is timely if received before midnight of the deadline date.

FACTS: The determination was issued May 6, 2003. Employer faxed its appeal June 5, 2003 at 4:04 p.m. Central time. The Agency issued a redetermination August 27, 2003. Employer appealed the redetermination by fax on September 26, 2003 at 4:13 p.m. Central time. The Agency stamped employer’s appeal as received on September 29, 2003; there was also a stamp indicating the fax was received September 26.

DECISION: The Agency timely received both the employer’s protest of the determination and the employer’s appeal of the redetermination.

RATIONALE: Claimant asserted the protests were untimely because they were submitted after the close of business. Section 32a states in relevant part that a protest of a determination or an appeal of a redetermination must be filed with the Agency “within 30 days after the mailing or personal service.” The Act does not define the word “day.” Rule 105(2) of the Rules of Practice states: “The calendar day on which compliance is required shall be included in the computation of time.” Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, defines “day” in relevant part: “the mean solar day of 24 hours beginning at mean midnight.” We find the word should be given its ordinary meaning.

If the particular protest or appeal is in fact received on or before the date due, then the protest or appeal will be treated as timely. However, the Board is not mandating the Board or Agency to keep fax machines on 24 hours. Parties assume the risks associated with their choice of media. A party attempting a last minute appeal may find the fax number busy or turned off. Attempt does not equal receipt.

Digest Author: Board of Review (original digest here)
Digest Updated:

16. Procedures/Appeals

Lewis v Oakwood Healthcare Corp – 16.68

Lewis v Oakwood Healthcare Corp
Digest no. 16.68

Section 38

Cite as: Lewis v Oakwood Healthcare Corp, unpublished opinion of the Wayne Circuit Court, issued April 29, 2003 (Docket No. 02-243366-AE).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Donna M. Lewis
Employer: Oakwood Healthcare Corporation
Docket no.: B2002-10089-RO1-165903W
Date of decision: April 29, 2003

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: An appeal to circuit court must be filed within 30 days of the mailing date of the Board’s decision or order. Attempts to re-litigate an issue from an earlier appeal are barred under the doctrine of res judicata.

FACTS: Claimant appealed a November 15, 2002 Board decision to circuit court. The Board decision held claimant owed restitution under Section 62(a) of the MES Act. The claimant previously appealed the Board’s June 2, 2000 decision holding her disqualified under Section 29(1)(a) to circuit court, and the court affirmed the Board in an order issued March 2, 2001. The claimant did not file a further appeal from that Section 29(1)(a) decision.

DECISION: The Board’s November 15, 2002 decision is affirmed.

RATIONALE: The claimant’s circuit court brief attempted to re-litigate the issue of her disqualification under Section 29(1)(a) and did not address the issue of restitution. The court lacked jurisdiction over the Section 29(1)(a) issue since the claimant had not filed her appeal within 30 days of the mailing date of the decision on that issue pursuant to Section 38(1). The court further noted that claimant’s appeal was barred by the doctrine of res judicata since the issues were identical to her appeal to that court in 2000 and ruled on by the court in an order issued March 2, 2001. Res judicata applies where 1) the former suit was decided on the merits, 2) the issues in the second action were or could have been resolved in the former one, and 3) both actions involve the same parties. In Michigan res judicata is applied broadly. See Energy Reserves v Consumers Power Co, 221 Mich App 210 (1997)Pierson Sand and Gravel, Inc v Keeler Brass Co, 460 Mich 372 (1999)Sewell v Clean Cut Mgmt, Inc, 463 Mich 569 (2001)Dart v Dart, 460 Mich 573 (1999).

Digest Author: Board of Review
Digest Updated: