Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Alcock v. DPNL LLC

Supreme Court of Delaware

July 11, 2017

PAULA G. ALCOCK, Appellant Below, Appellant,
v.
DPNL LLC and UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE APPEAL BOARD, Appellees Below, Appellees.

          Submitted: April 13, 2017

         Court Below-Superior Court of the State of Delaware C.A. No. N15A-07-007

          Before STRINE, Chief Justice; VAUGHN and SEITZ, Justices.

          ORDER

          COLLINS J. SEITZ, JR. JUSTICE

         This 11th day of July 2017, upon consideration of the parties' submissions on appeal, it appears to the Court that:

         In its May 31, 2016 decision, the Superior Court correctly found that the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board properly denied Ms. Alcock's request for unemployment benefits based on her June 17, 2015 testimony before the Board that she was medically unable to work.[1] Under Delaware law, medical disability renders an employee ineligible for unemployment benefits during the time of medical disability.[2]

         The Superior Court also correctly decided not to remand the case for further proceedings. When Ms. Alcock appealed the Board's decision to the Superior Court as a self-represented party, she included with her opening brief a letter from a physician claiming she was medically cleared to return to work as of June 22, 2015.[3] An employee becomes eligible for unemployment benefits when her medical disability ends.[4] Because Ms. Alcock had not submitted the physician's letter to the Board in the first instance, [5] the Board's attorney wrote to the Superior Court and requested that the court remand the case to the Board to consider the letter.[6] The Superior Court asked for an explanation of what would happen if the case was remanded to the Board.[7] The Board responded that if, as her physician concluded, Ms. Alcock's medical disability had ended, "were this case remanded and absent any significant testimony or evidence to the contrary, the Board would reverse its earlier decision and find that Ms. Alcock was medically able to work effective June 22, 2015."[8] In other words, if nothing changed following remand, Ms. Alcock would be eligible to receive unemployment benefits. The Superior Court nonetheless denied the Board's request for a remand, ruling that "[b]ecause the Board's decision was manifestly correct and because the new 'evidence' submitted with this appeal related to events occurring after the Board made its decision, the request to remand the matter is denied."[9]

         Instead of seeking a remand, the Board should have done what appears to be the standard practice-request affirmance without prejudice to Ms. Alcock's ability to submit her physician's recent letter with her change in status to the Board for its consideration.[10] Even without the Board's explicit request, the Superior Court probably contemplated this very result would occur-following affirmance of the appeal, Ms. Alcock would submit the physician's letter to the Board for consideration. Ms. Alcock also could have avoided the dispute entirely if she had followed the Board's advice while this appeal was pending-"report to the Division of Unemployment Insurance and reopen her claim with her doctor's certificate."[11] She did not follow through. It might be that Ms. Alcock's claim is now untimely, [12] but that is no reason to quarrel with the result reached by the Superior Court. Thus, we affirm the judgment of the Superior Court.

         NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED that the judgment of the Superior Court is AFFIRMED.

---------

Notes:

[1] Alcock v. DPNL LLC, 2016 WL 3208059 (Del. Super. May 31, 2016).

[2] 19 Del. C. § 3314(8) (Supp. 2017).

[3] Docket at 10, Alcock v. DPNL LLC, Del. Super., C.A. No. N15A-07-007 (Oct. 7, 2015) (appellant's ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.