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Brown v. Del Dot

Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle

October 8, 2013

CAMERON BROWN, Appellant,
v.
DEL DOT and UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE APPEAL BOARD, Appellees.

Submitted: July 19, 2013.

On Appeal from the Decision of the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board.

Cameron Brown, Wilmington, Delaware, Pro Se Appellant.

James T. Wakley, Esquire, Delaware Department of Justice, Attorney for the Appellee, Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board.

ORDER

Scott, J.

Introduction

Before the Court is Appellant Cameron Brown's ("Appellant") appeal from the decision of the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board ("Board"). The Court has reviewed the parties' submissions and the record. For the following reasons, the Board's decision is AFFIRMED.

Background

Appellant was employed by DelDOT ("Employer") as an outdoor equipment operator from January 22, 2008 through July 27, 2012.[1] On June 30, 2012, Appellant's CDL driver's license was suspended.[2] Employer was notified of Appellant's suspended license by the Department of Motor Vehicles on July 3, 2012.[3] As a result, Appellant was suspended from work on July 5, 2012[4] and subsequently terminated on July 27, 2012 for failing to possess a valid CDL driver's license, which is required to perform his job.[5]

Appellant filed a claim for unemployment insurance benefits with the Delaware Department of Labor on October 10, 2012.[6] On October 27, 2012, the Claims Deputy determined that Appellant was discharged with just cause and thus ineligible to receive benefits pursuant to 18 Del.C. § 3314(2).[7] On October 30, 2012, Appellant appealed the Claims Deputy's decision to the Appeals Referee, alleging that the facts given by his former employer were false.[8] A hearing was scheduled for December 3, 2012.[9] Despite receiving notification of the hearing, Appellant did not attend.[10] The Referee dismissed the case due to Appellant's failure to appear to prosecute the appeal.[11]

On January 2, 2013, twenty days past the final date to file, Appellant filed an appeal to the Board explaining why he was unable to attend the hearing.[12] On January 9, 2013, the Board determined that Appellant's appeal was twenty days past the final date to file and therefore, not timely.[13]The Board declined to accept Appellant's late appeal, explaining that both the Notice of the Hearing and the Referee's Decision and Dismissal were sent to Appellant's address of record with the Department.[14]

Ultimately, the Board determined that there was no evidence of departmental error which prevented the Appellant from filing a timely appeal of the Referee's Decision and Dismissal and that in absence of any evidence of departmental error causing the late appeal, the Appellant was given notice and opportunity to be heard sufficient to satisfy due process requirements.[15] The Board denied Appellant's application for further review and determined that the decision of the Referee dismissing Appellant's case was final and binding.[16]

Appellant then filed a Notice of Appeal with this Court on January 28, 2013. On May 16, 2013, this Court issued a briefing schedule requiring Appellant to file an opening brief by June 5, 2013. No opening brief was filed and on June 11, 2013, and the Court sent a Final Delinquent Brief Notice to Appellant informing Appellant that the Court would dismiss the appeal if no further action of record was taken within ten days from the date of the notice.

Appellant replied to the notice with a one-page handwritten opening brief, dated June 27, 2013. Appellant only stated that he was unable to attend the hearing before the Referee because of a work assignment with a temporary employment agency, but he did not address the untimeliness of his ...


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