APPEAL, Timeliness of appeal to Board, Administrative clerical error, Delay of mail, Filing appeal by mail, Good cause, Postal delay,
CITE AS: Bertels v Ironwood Products Co., No. 74-133 AE, Gogebic Circuit Court (January 25, 1978).
Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Joseph H. Bertels
Employer: Ironwood Products Co.
Docket No: B73 1567 RO RO 46033
CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: Where an appeal is late because the United States Postal Service took nine days to deliver a letter of appeal betweeen two cities in Michigan, and there is other evidence of poor mail service between the two points, the postal delay constitutes an administrative clerical error.
FACTS: The claimant mailed a letter of appeal in Bessemer, Michigan, on October 23, 1973. The deadline for appealing was October 26, 1973. The letter was delivered to the Appeal Board in Detroit on November 1, 1973. The appeal was rejected as untimely. A subsequent request for reopening was denied by the Referee. The claimant's copy of the order of denial was apparently lost in the mail. The Appeal Board affirmed the denial.
DECISION: The claimant has good cause for late appeal.
RATIONALE: "[W]hile I assume that the provisions of Regulation 270 relating to administrative clerical errors relates to the M.E.S.C., the fact that the United States Postal Service took nine days to deliver a letter from Bessemer, Michigan, to Detroit, Michigan, containing the Claim of Appeal of the Plaintiff here, it certainly could constitute a clerical error of some kind insofar as the Postal Service is concerned."
"[I]t would appear at least, that mail communication between Bessemer, Michigan, and Detroit, Michigan, leave much to be desired. As stated in the brief of the Defendant, M.E.S.C., the term good cause as used in the Act presents a mixed question of law and fact. This court does not believe that one administrative agency of our State Government can hold the failure of an administrative agency of the Federal Government to promptly deliver mail does not constitute good cause for reopening ... "