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Chavous v. Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board

Superior Court of Delaware

October 24, 2019

Kyasia Chavous, Appellant,
v.
Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, Appellee.

          Submitted: August 13, 2019.

          Upon Appeal from the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board

          Kyasia Chavous, pro se, Appellant.

          Victoria W. Counihan, Esq., Deputy Attorney General, Attorney for Delaware Department of Labor, Division of Unemployment Insurance.

          Daniel C. Mulveny, Esq., Deputy Attorney General, Attorney for Delaware Department of Labor, Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board

          Jennifer C. Jauffret, Esq., & Lori A. Brewington Esq., Attorneys for Appellee, Child, Inc.

          ORDER

          Sheldon K. Rennie, Judge.

         Before the Court is pro se appellant, Kyasia Chavous's ("Chavous"), appeal[1]from an April 30, 2019 decision[2] of the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board (the "Board"). Upon consideration of Chavous's briefs on appeal, [3] and the record in this case, it appears to the Court that:

         BACKGROUND

         1. On January 23, 2019 the Delaware Department of Labor, Division of Unemployment Insurance (the "Division") issued Determination No. 11113106 ("3106 Determination"), [4] ruling that Chavous was eligible for unemployment benefits from her employment with Child, Inc.

         2. On February 1, 2019, Child, Inc. appealed the 3106 Determination to an Appeals Referee.[5] On February 20, 2019, a hearing was held before the Appeals Referee. Child Inc. was present, but Chavous was absent, even though proper notice of the hearing had been mailed to her.[6] The Appeals Referee found that Child Inc. did not terminate Chavous for an unjust cause and reversed the 3106 Determination.[7]Notice of the Referee's decision was sent to Chavous on February 20, 2019 via first class mail.[8] On April 15, 2019, Chavous sought review of the Referee's decision.[9]On April 30, 2019, the Board issued a decision which affirmed the Appeals Referee. In its ruling, the Board denied review of the appeal because it was untimely and thereby found that the Referee's decision was final and binding.[10] On May 2, 2019, Chavous appealed the Board's decision to this Court.

         Standard of Review

         3. Title 29, Section 10142 of the Delaware Code provides that this Court has appellate jurisdiction over final agency decisions.[11] The Court upholds the agency decision so long as it is "free from legal error" and supported by "substantial evidence."[12] Substantial evidence amounts to "relevant evidence that a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion."[13] This Court considers the evidence in the light most favorable to the party prevailing from the Board's appeal.[14] The issue before this Court is limited solely to whether Chavous's appeal of the Referee's decision to the Board was timely filed. The Court finds that it was not.

         4.Title 19, Section 3318(c) provides that, the Referee's decision "shall be deemed to be final unless within 10 days after the date of notification or mailing of such decision further appeal is initiated."[15] The time limit is jurisdictional, but the Board may, pursuant to 19 Del. C. ยง3320, ...


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