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.

Abdelrouf v. Administrator, Unemployment Compensation Act

Superior Court of Connecticut, Judicial District of New Haven, New Haven

October 1, 2015

Samer Abdelrouf
v.
Administrator, Unemployment Compensation Act

MEMORANDUM OF DECISION

Robin L. Wilson, J.

STATEMENT OF CASE

In this case, Samer Abdelrouf, [hereinafter plaintiff] has timely appealed the decision of the Employment Security Appeals Division Board of Review [hereinafter board] dismissing his appeal for lack of jurisdiction. The matter was heard on August 31, 2015. For the reasons stated herein, the plaintiff's appeal is dismissed.

FACTS

The record discloses the following facts. By decision issued on either June 16, 2014 or June 18, 2014, [1] the Administrator ruled the plaintiff eligible for unemployment benefits effective April 13, 2014. The Administrator found that the plaintiff was discharged for reasons other than wilful misconduct. On June 24, 2014, the employer timely appealed the Administrator's decision to the Waterbury office of the appeals division. The appeals division scheduled a hearing of the appeal for July 16, 2014, to which the employer attended. The plaintiff failed to appear. By decision issued on July 18, 2014, the appeals referee reversed the decision of the Administrator. The plaintiff should have filed his appeal within the twenty-one-day appeal period by Friday, August 8, 2014. The plaintiff's appeal to the board from the referee's decision was through the Internet which is dated August 9, 2011 (Record, p. 42), which is a Saturday, which was stamped received by the Employment Security Appeals Division on August 11, 2014 (Id. ), three days beyond the twenty-one-day appeal period allowed by law.

The board found that the plaintiff offered no reason for filing a late appeal, and thus, did not demonstrate good cause for the untimely filing of his appeal. Consequently, the board dismissed the plaintiff's appeal for lack of jurisdiction.

DISCUSSION

The court's standard of review in an unemployment compensation appeal is limited. " To the extent that an administrative appeal, pursuant to General Statutes § 31-249b, concerns findings of fact, a court is limited to a review of the record certified and filed by the Board of review." Latina v. Administrator, Unemployment Compensation Act, 54 Conn.App. 154, 159, 733 A.2d 885 (1999), quoting Mattatuck Museum-Mattatuck Historical Society v. Administrator, Unemployment Compensation Act, 238 Conn. 273, 276, 679 A.2d 347 (1996). " The court must not retry the facts nor hear evidence . . . If, however, the issue is one of law, the court has the broader responsibility of determining whether the administrative action resulted from an incorrect application of the law to the facts found or could not reasonably or logically have followed from such facts. Although the court may not substitute its own conclusions for those of the administrative board, it retains the ultimate obligation to determine whether the administrative action was unreasonable, arbitrary, illegal, or an abuse of discretion." (Citations omitted.) United Parcel Service, Inc. v. Administrator, Unemployment Compensation Act, 209 Conn. 381, 385-86, 551 A.2d 724 (1988).

" A reviewing court must accept the findings made by the Board as to witness credibility and must defer to the agency's conclusions to be drawn from the evidence. Howell v. Administrator, Unemployment Compensation Act, 174 Conn. 529, 391 A.2d 165 (1978); Briggs v. State Employees Retirement Commission, 210 Conn. 214, 217, [554 A.2d 292] (1989)." Cooper v. Administrator, Unemployment Compensation Act, Superior Court, judicial district of New London at Norwich, Docket No. CV 98 115055, 2000 Conn. Super. LEXIS 494 (February 24, 2000, Corradino, J.).

" [A]ppeals from the board to the Superior Court are specifically exempted from governance by General Statutes § 4-166, et seq., the Uniform Administrative Procedure Act. All appeals from the board to the court are controlled by General Statutes § 31-249b. Section 31-249b specifically provides that any finding of the board 'shall be subject to correction only to the extent provided by section 519 [now § 22-9] of the Connecticut Practice Book . . .' Practice Book § 519(a) specifies that the trial court 'does not retry the facts or hear evidence. It considers no evidence other than that certified to it by the board, and then for the limited purpose of determining whether . . . there was any evidence to support in law the conclusion reached. [The court] cannot review the conclusions of the board when these depend upon the weight of the evidence and the credibility of the witnesses . . . Practice Book § 515A [now § 22-4] provides the mechanism for the correction of the board's findings. If the appellant desires that the findings be corrected, the appellant must, within two weeks of the filing of the record in the Superior Court, file with the board a motion for correction of the findings . . . [A] motion for correction is a necessary prerequisite to a challenge to the board's decision. Because the plaintiff failed to comply with that prerequisite, she could not challenge the board's findings on appeal to the Superior Court." (Citations omitted.) Shah v. Administrator, Unemployment Compensation Act, 114 Conn.App. 170, 175, 968 A.2d 971 (2009).

" Our Supreme Court ratified this precedent in JSF Promotions, Inc. v. Administrator, Unemployment Compensation Act, 265 Conn. 413, 422, 828 A.2d 609 (2003), concluding that a plaintiff's 'failure to file a timely motion for correction of the board's findings in accordance with [Practice Book] § 22-4 prevents further review of those facts found by the board . . .'" Shah v. Administrator, Unemployment Compensation Act, supra, 114 Conn.App. 176.

The plaintiff in the present case did not file a motion for correction of the board's findings. Therefore, this court's review is limited " to determine, on the record, whether there is a logical and rational basis for the decision of the [board] or whether, in light of the evidence, [the board] has acted illegally or in abuse of [its] discretion." (Citation omitted; internal quotation marks omitted.) Calnan v. Administrator, Unemployment Compensation Act, 43 Conn.App. 779, 785, 686 A.2d 134 (1996).

" [A]ppeals within the unemployment compensation system must be taken in a timely fashion and, if they are not, they come 'too late' for review." Gumbs v. Administrator, 9 Conn.App. 131, 133, 517 A.2d 257 (1986). Connecticut General Statutes § 31-241 provides in relevant part that the " decision of the administrator shall be final and benefits shall be paid or denied . . . unless the claimant . . . within twenty-one calendar days after such notification was mailed . . . files an appeal from such decision and applies for a hearing." (Emphasis added); see also Regs., Conn. State Agencies, § 31-237g-15(a). Section 31-241 further provides that " any such appeal which is filed after such twenty-one-day period may be considered to be timely filed if the filing party shows good cause for the late filing ." (Emphasis added.); see also Regs. Conn. State Agencies § 31-237g-15(b).

Section ยง 31-237g-15(b) of the regulations provides that " a party has good cause for failing to file an appeal within twenty-one (21) calendar days of the issuance of the administrator's determination if a reasonably prudent individual under the same or similar circumstances would have been prevented from filing a timely appeal. In determining whether good cause has been shown, the referee shall consider all relevant factors, including but not limited to: (i) The extent to which the party has demonstrated diligence in its previous dealings with administrator and the employment security appeals division; (ii) Whether the party was represented; (iii) The degree of the party's familiarity with the procedures of the appeals division; (iv) Whether the party received timely and adequate notice of the need to act; (v) Administrative error by the administrator or employment security appeals division; or the failure of the administrator, the appeals division, or any other party to discharge its responsibilities; (vi) Factors outside the control of the party which prevented a timely action; (vii) The party's physical or mental impairment; (viii) Whether the party acted diligently in filing an appeal once the reason for the late filing no longer existed; (ix) Where there is substantial prejudice to an adverse party which prevents such party from adequately presenting its case, the total length of time that the action was untimely; (x) Coercion or intimidation which ...


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.