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Tribbett v. Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board

Superior Court of Delaware, Kent

September 17, 2014

CHARLES E. TRIBBETT, JR., Appellant,
v.
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE APPEAL BOARD, Appellee.

Submitted: August 8, 2014

Upon Consideration of Appellant's Appeal from the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board

Charles E. Tribbett, Jr., Pro se.

Stacey Stewart, Esquire, Deputy Attorney General, Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware for Appellee.

ORDER

Robert B. Young J

SUMMARY

This is an appeal from a decision of the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board ("the Board") holding that Charles E. Tribbett, Jr.'s ("Appellant") appeal from a decision by the Appeals Referee w as untimely. Given the indisputable facts set forth in the record, this Court finds that the decision of the Board was proper. Appellant's appeal was filed thirteen days past the deadline set out by the Referee. Appellant has not provided any justification for the delay. Moreover, the Board's decision is founded in both the appropriate statute governing timely appeals and the substantial evidence in the record. There is, further, no evidence of an abuse of discretion on the part of the Board. Accordingly, the decision of the Board is AFFIRMED.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL POSTURE

On November 18, 2013, the Department of Labor ("the Department") issued a decision finding that, as Appellant was dismissed from his position at the Rockford Center for just cause, pursuant to 19 Del. C. § 3314(2), he was barred from receiving further unemployment insurance benefits. The decision also indicated Appellant would become eligible to receive benefits again, upon being employed for a period of at least 4 subsequent weeks. The reason for Appellant's dismissal from the Rockford Center was that he had failed to report to work on both October 15, 2013 and October 16, 2013, without notifying his employer of the justification for his absence. As it turns out, Appellant was being held at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center at this time, due to a D.U.I. arrest.

Appellant timely filed his appeal of the Department's decision with the Appeals Referee on November 26, 2013 – two days before the deadline set forth in the Department's decision. The hearing date for the appeal was set for December 23, 2013. However, on the set date, Appellant failed to appear before the Referee. Therefore, the matter was dismissed.

Appellant was given until January 3, 2014, to appeal the Referee's dismissal. Otherwise, pursuant to 19 Del. C. § 3318, the decision would become final. The Appellant did not file his appeal of the Referee's decision with the Board until January 16, 2014. On January 29, 2014, the Board issued its decision dismissing Appellant's appeal as untimely, given its being thirteen days overdue.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

For administrative board appeals, this Court is limited to reviewing whether the Board's decision is supported by substantial evidence and free from legal errors.[1]Substantial evidence is that which "a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion."[2] It is "more than a scintilla, but less than preponderance of the evidence."[3] An abuse of discretion will be found if the board "acts arbitrarily or capaciously...exceeds the bounds of reason in view of the circumstances and has ignored recognized rules of law or practice so as to produce injustice."[4] Where an agency has interpreted and applied a statute, the court's review is de novo.[5] In ...


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