Pinecrest Custom Homes v Meines – 16.70

Pinecrest Custom Homes v Meines
Digest no. 16.70

Section 32a

Cite as: Pinecrest Custom Homes v Meines, unpublished opinion of the Kent Circuit Court, issued October 8, 2002 (Docket No. 02-03823-AE).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Janis Meines
Employer: Pinecrest Custom Homes
Docket no.: B2001-14696-RM1-161795
Date of decision: October 8, 2002

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Detrimental reliance on incorrect advice from a representative of the Agency constitutes “good cause” for filing a late protest.

FACTS: Claimant quit her job due to abusive conduct by the husband of the owner. Claimant filed for benefits. A determination held her disqualified for benefits under Section 29(1)(a). Claimant telephoned the claims examiner who issued the determination to ask what would be required to reverse the determination. Claimant testified the claims examiner told her (incorrectly) she would have to “prove with medical records or police reports that she had been ‘physically injured.’” Claimant did not file a timely protest of the determination because she did not have such evidence. A few weeks later, claimant met the person who had replaced her. That person also quit due to abusive conduct from employer’s husband and was seeking benefits. She told claimant other employees had quit for the same reason and had received benefits. Claimant then filed an untimely protest.

DECISION: The claimant established good cause for her late protest.

RATIONALE: “What justifies considering the late filing of a new, additional or reopened claim seems intuitively to justify considering the late protest of the initial determination of a claim.” That definition of “good cause” is “a justifiable reason, determined in accordance with the standard of conduct expected of an individual acting as a reasonable person in light of all the circumstances, that prevented a timely filing or reporting to file….” The statement of a “representative of the Unemployment Agency that a protest could succeed only with evidence that one does not have compels the conclusion that there is no point to a protest; reasonable people do not do the futile. [I]t is not reasonable to expect lay-people to ignore whom the government holds out to be an expert.” Claimant “had good cause for not protesting until she learned that she had been misled.”

Digest Author: Board of Review (original digest here)
Digest Updated:
11/04

Pool v R S Leasing, Inc – 16.69

Pool v R S Leasing, Inc
Digest no. 16.69

Section 32a

Cite as: Pool v R S Leasing, Inc, unpublished opinion of the Wayne Circuit Court, issued May 3, 2002, (Docket No. 01-138871-AE).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Brinda J. Pool
Employer: R. S. Leasing, Inc.
Docket no.: B2001-08251-159781W
Date of decision: May 3, 2002

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Where claimant’s late protest was attributable to her parents’ medical problems, good cause for reconsideration was established.

FACTS: On January 2, 2001 claimant received a determination holding her disqualified. The Agency received claimant’s protest on March 12, 2001. The Agency requested an explanation for the untimely protest. Claimant disclosed that she had been out of town because her parents were ill. The Agency denied her request for redetermination. Claimant testified that after she received the determination, she left town to care for her parents, both seriously ill. She thought she would return before the 30-day appeal period expired, but did not return until February 28, 2001. She mailed her protest after the 30-day appeal period expired. She did not mail the protest before leaving town because her main concern was her parents’ health. The Board found she failed to show good cause for her late protest.

DECISION: The claimant demonstrated good cause for her late appeal of the Agency’s determination.

RATIONALE: The plain language of Rule 270(1) provides that the “Rule’s [specific] list of grounds for finding good cause is not exclusive,” and Rule 210(2)(e)(v) provides that “[g]ood cause for late filing of a new, additional, or reopened claim” includes “[p]ersonal physical incapacity or the physical incapacity or death of a relative . . ..” Reading the two Rules together leads to the conclusion good cause was established.

Digest Author: Board of Review (original digest here)
Digest Updated:
11/04

Kirby Grill Management, Inc v MESC – 2.21

Kirby Grill Management, Inc v MESC
Digest no. 2.21

Section 32a

Cite as: Kirby Grill Mgt, Inc v MESC, unpublished per curiam Court of Appeals, issued July 28, 1995 (Docket No. 166288).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: N/A
Employer: Kirby Grill Management, Inc.
Docket no.: L91-00461-2192
Date of decision: July 28, 1995

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COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: Good cause for late protest of a determination of successorship may be found where the employer submitted a revised registration report containing additional or corrected information regarding the percentage of assets acquired.

FACTS: In May, 1990 employer submitted a Liability Registration Report in which it indicated it had acquired 100% of predecessor Kings Manor. Employer was mailed a Notice of Successorship on June 22, 1990, which indicated that employer had purchased more than 75% of the assets of its predecessor. This was not protested until September, 1990. Request for redetermination denied on October 5, 1990, because employer failed to protest within thirty days or establish good cause for late protest. Employer submitted revised registration report showing it only acquired 15% of Kings Manor instead of the 100% in the original registration. Employer’s position is that submission of revised registration report meets good cause standard set forth in Unemployment Agency Administrative Rule 270(1)(b).

DECISION: Reversed and remanded for determination of whether good cause exists for reconsideration under Rule 270(1)(b).

RATIONALE: Under the statute, the Agency is authorized to redetermine a prior successorship determination for any “good cause” shown. The focus of a good cause inquiry is not limited to whether the employer could show good cause for not filing its protest within thirty days. Limiting the Agency’s discretion to deciding if there is good cause for untimely filing is overly technical and bureaucratic especially as Rule 270 expressly indicates good cause can be established on the basis of “additional or corrected information.” “That is, the additional or corrected information can provide the necessary good cause to reconsider the successorship determination and, hence, the all-important rate determination.”

Digest Author: Board of Review (original digest here)
Digest Updated: 7/99

MESC v Regis Associates – 2.16

MESC v Regis Associates
Digest no. 2.16

Section 18(d)(2)

Cite as: MESC v Regis Assoc, unpublished memorandum of the Court of Appeals of Michigan, issued May 27, 1994 (Docket No. 162000).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: N/A
Employer: Regis Associates
Docket no.: L90-08433-2113
Date of decision: May 27, 1994

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COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: Where employer’s agent advised it to file a late quarterly report and it nonetheless failed to do so, this was negligence on employer’s part and it did not establish good cause for late protest of its contribution rate.

FACTS: Employer filed an untimely protest of its contribution rate. Employer claimed its agent was negligent for failing to timely file a quarterly report. However, the agent advised employer to file the late quarterly report within the 30 day extension period provided in Section 18(d)(2) but the employer failed to follow this advice.

DECISION: No good cause shown, contribution rate determination became final.

RATIONALE: “Had plaintiff filed the report when advised to do so by its agent, no protest would have been necessary under Section 18(d)(2) of the MESA.”

Editor’s Note: This case was decided one year before the court of Appeals decision in Bennett Fuel, see Digest 2.15. The Regispanel of the Court of Appeals expressly distinguished Bennett Fuel, which had been decided by the Kent Circuit Court and was then pending at the Court of Appeals, on the basis the Bennett Fuel employer did not receive the rate determination in question because of an employee’s wrongful action.

Digest Author: Board of Review (original digest here)
Digest Updated: 7/99

Contemporary Life Services v MESC – 2.12

Contemporary Life Services v MESC
Digest no. 2.12

Sections 13a, 32a, 41

Cite asContemporary Life Services v MESC, unpublished per curiam Court of Appeals of Michigan, issued May 24, 1994 (Docket No. 151027).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: N/A
Employer: Contemporary Life Services
Docket no.: L89-07129-2075
Date of decision: May 24, 1994.

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COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: Where employer requested reclassification from contributing to reimbursing status more than one year after notice of determination of status was mailed, the one year limitation bars retroactive reconsideration of employer’s status.

FACTS: Employer was classified as a contributing employer for failure to answer question 7 on form MESC 1010 even though elsewhere on that form the employer attested it was a tax exempt entity under 26 USC 501(a). The instructions for question 7 specifically stated failure to answer would result in classification as a contributing employer. Determination of contributing employer status was mailed on January 31, 1986. Thereafter, employer failed to file quarterly reports and received notice of this lapse on March 8, 1989. Employer requested reclassification on March 16, 1989. Employer had accumulated arrearages of unpaid unemployment payroll taxes between 1985 and 1989. Employer argued one year time limit should be tolled until March 8, 1989, or that the time limit should be extended on equitable grounds.

DECISION: Employer’s request for redetermination time barred under Section 32a.

RATIONALE: The March 16, 1989 letter was not filed within a year of the January 31, 1986 determination. Also, the employer was not entitled to equitable relief since it set the chain of events in motion by failing to properly complete form MESC 1010. Employer should have known when it received quarterly report forms that something was amiss. Employer is presumed to know the law as it relates to the operation of its business.

Digest Author: Board of Review (original digest here)
Digest Updated: 7/99

Garza v Hilltop Orchards & Nurseries, Inc – 18.05

Garza v Hilltop Orchards & Nurseries, Inc
Digest no. 18.05

Section 62(a)

Cite as: Garza v Hilltop Orchards & Nurseries Inc, unpublished opinion of the Van Buren Circuit Court, issued December 17, 1981 (Docket No. B79 13459 70571).

Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Silvestra J. Garza
Employer: Hilltop Orchards & Nurseries, Inc.
Docket no.: B79 13459 70571
Date of decision: December 17, 1981

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CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: An administrative clerical error is good cause for a reconsideration of a determination no longer subject to review due to expiration of the protest period.

FACTS: The Commission held that claimant was disqualified and must serve a 13 week requalification period. Claimant’s benefit entitlement was shown reduced from 16 to 3 weeks. After claimant completed requalification requirements, a determination was issued which erroneously showed that claimant was entitled to 16 weeks of benefits rather than 3 weeks. Claimant thus received 16 benefit checks. Upon receipt of information from the employer that an error had been made in claimant’s entitlement, the Commission issued a reconsideration holding that claimant must repay the excess benefits.

DECISION: The claimant must repay the excess benefits.

RATIONALE: “The evidence shows a reduction was contemplated by the Commission but was not consummated. There is no doubt that the Commission determined that [claimant] must wait 13 weeks for her benefits. When [claimant] became entitled to her benefits, the very document which granted 16 weeks of benefits recognized that she had requalified after 13 weeks, but failed to make the required reduction. That the benefits were not reduced according to MCLA 421.29(4); MSA 17.531 (4), can only be attributed to an administrative clerical error, since no new determination or redetermination was made that [claimant] should not have had to fulfill the 13 week requalification period, and it was, therefore, clear that the statutory formula should have been applied. Further, at the point at which the formula should have been applied to reduce the benefit entitlement, the act of reduction is a statutory requirement, not a discretionary decision.”

Digest Author: Board of Review (original digest here)
Digest Updated:
6/91