Submitted: July 6, 2017
EASON PRIMOS JUDGE
Quixote Dorman (hereinafter "Mr. Dorman) has appealed a
decision of the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board
(hereinafter the "UIAB" or the "Board"),
which denied Mr. Dorman's application for review. The
Court's review is confined to the facts contained in the
record, and it is those facts that are referenced herein.
matter was initiated on August 17, 2016, when a Department of
Labor claims deputy determined that Mr. Dorman was entitled
to receive unemployment insurance benefits. Mr. Dorman's
employer appealed this determination, and a hearing was
scheduled before an appeals referee. Mr. Dorman failed to
appear at the hearing.
the hearing, the referee reversed the claims deputy's
determination and found that Mr. Dorman was disqualified from
receiving unemployment benefits. Mr. Dorman appealed this
decision to the UIAB.
UIAB remanded the matter for an additional referee hearing to
create a full record for the UIAB appeal. The Referee again
reversed the Claims Deputy's decision. Mr. Dorman
appealed, and a hearing was scheduled before the UIAB for
December 28, 2016. Notice of the hearing was sent to Mr.
before the hearing, December 27, Mr. Dorman sent a fax to the
UIAB's secretary, requesting postponement because he
purportedly had received notice too late and did not have
time to conduct proper discovery or subpoena
witnesses. The request was denied. Mr. Dorman did not
appear at the December 28 hearing, and his appeal was
dismissed. Mr. Dorman filed a motion for rehearing, arguing
that he could not find the location where the hearing was
held and that the hearing should have been postponed. The
UIAB denied the motion for rehearing on January 11, 2017. Mr.
Dorman now appeals this denial.
appeal from an administrative board's final order to this
Court is confined to a determination of whether the
UIAB's decision is supported by substantial evidence and
is free from legal error. The party that attacks the Board's
decision as unreasonable and capricious bears the burden of
proof. "The grant or denial of a motion for
rehearing is solely within the discretion of the
[UIAB.]"However, the Board may abuse its discretion
in denying rehearing when an appellant acted with excusable
neglect. A finding of excusable neglect requires
more than mere negligence or carelessness: the Court must
find either that a person had a valid reason for his action
or inaction or that a reasonably prudent person might have
acted similarly under the circumstances.
the Court finds that the UIAB did not abuse its discretion,
as Mr. Dorman did not act with excusable neglect. Mr. Dorman
had full notice of the time and location of the hearing. The
only circumstances he alleges that contributed to his failure
to attend are (1) his failure to note the location of the
hearing, although clearly indicated on the face of the
hearing notice, and (2) the placement of the hearing office
in the rear of the building. In addition, the notice
instructed Mr. Dorman to arrive fifteen minutes in advance of
the scheduled time. This Court has previously held that the
Board did not abuse its discretion by denying a rehearing to
appellants who failed to appear on time to their scheduled
hearing because they had lost their way.
Court also finds that the UIAB did not err in denying Mr.
Dorman's request for postponement. Mr. Dorman's
request was sent the day before the hearing. However,
applications for postponements must be made "no later
than six days prior to the hearing, " unless there is an
unanticipated emergency. Mr. Dorman did not allege an emergency,
and the record shows that he had timely received notice of
the hearing and had opportunity to request postponement in a
timely fashion. Mr. Dorman failed to carry his burden of
proof in establishing that the decision was unreasonable or
for the reasons cited herein, Mr. Dorman's appeal is
DENIED. The decision of the Unemployment
Insurance Appeals Board is accordingly affirmed.
IS SO ORDERED.