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Shade v. First State Signs

Superior Court of Delaware, Kent

December 3, 2014

JOHN D. SHADE, Appellant,
v.
FIRST STATE SIGNS and UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE APPEALS BOARD, Appellees.

Submitted: September 15, 2014

Upon the Appeal from the Decision of the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board.

John D. Shade, Appellant, pro se.

Catherine Damavandi, Esquire, State of Delaware Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware; attorney for the Board.

ORDER

William L. Witham, Jr. Resident Judge

Before the Court is the pro se appeal of Appellant John Shade (hereinafter "Appellant") from the decision of the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board (hereinafter "the Board" or "the UIAB") denying Appellant's appeal as untimely pursuant to 19 Del. C. § 3318(b). The Court has reviewed the record in this matter and the parties' submissions. For the following reasons, the Board's decision is AFFIRMED.

BACKGROUND

On November 25, 2013, Appellant voluntarily quit his position at First State Signs. On February 5, 2014, a Claims Deputy with the Delaware Department of Labor (hereinafter "the Department") issued a Notice of Determination informing Appellant that he was disqualified for receiving benefits due to leaving work voluntarily without good cause pursuant to 19 Del.C. § 3314(1). The Notice of Determination was mailed to Appellant's address of record at that time in Harrington, Delaware, and stated that he had until February 15, 2014 to file an appeal. On April 7, 2014, Appellant filed an appeal challenging the Claims Deputy's determination stating that the reason for filing late was that Appellant believed he "would find work."

On April 14, 2014, the Claims Deputy issued a determination that Appellant's appeal of the February 5, 2014 Notice of Determination was untimely. The Claims Deputy concluded that the appeal was untimely pursuant to 19 Del. C. § 3318(b). The Claims Deputy noted that the Harrington, Delaware address to which the Notice of Determination was mailed was Appellant's address of record at the time.

On May 1, 2014, the Appeals Referee held a hearing solely on the timeliness of the appeal. Appellant stated he filed a late appeal because he thought he could find work. However, Appellant was unable to find work and thus was motivated to file the appeal.

By decision dated May 1, 2014, the Appeals Referee affirmed the Claims Deputy's determination that Appellant's appeal was untimely. The Appeals Referee noted that the Appellant verified his address on file is correct. Further, no evidence of improper service was introduced, as the Notice was never returned to the Department by the Post Office.

In the May 1, 2014 decision, Appellant was notified that the last day to file an appeal was May 11, 2014. Appellant untimely appealed the Appeals Referee's decision to the Board on May 15, 2014. On May 21, 2014, The Board found no error in the Appeals Referee's findings or conclusions. The Board concluded that both of the Appellant's appeals were untimely, through no fault of the Department. Accordingly, the Board affirmed the Appeals Referee's decision. Appellant timely appealed the Board's decision.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

When this Court reviews a procedural decision of the UIAB–which is a discretionary decision, as opposed to a factual decision that would trigger substantial evidence review–the Court must determine whether the UIAB abused its discretion in rendering its decision.[1] There is no abuse of discretion unless the Board based its procedural decision "on clearly unreasonable or capricious grounds" or the Board "exceeds the bounds of reason in view of the circumstances and had ignored recognized rules of law or practices so as to produce injustice."[2] If there ...


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