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Lee v ESC 16.26

Section 16, 32a

APPEALS, Time limits, One year limit, Disputed issue

CITE AS: Lee v ESC, 346 Mich 171 (1956).

Appeal pending: No

Employer: Vincent Lee d/b/a Master Polishing & Buffing Co

Docket No: L53 1161 880, 881

SUPREME COURT HOLDING: The one year statute of limitations on challenging determinations in Section 32a does not bar an employer from collecting a refund of erroneously collected contributions made more than one year after the determination setting the contribution rate, because even though Section 32a bans any protest of a legally contested issue, it is not applicable to a request for refund of contributions voluntarily paid and accepted. Section 16 allows a claim for refund of overpayment up to 3 years afterwards, if paid erroneously.

FACTS: One of the partners of a co-partnership purchased the other partner's interest at dissolution and filed a report to determine liability. There were errors in the report regarding the number of weeks and number of employees which the business had during the period in issue. A determination was issued, but the employer did not contest it for more than 1 year. After 1 year the employer filed for a refund. A commission audit in the interim observed the obvious errors but did not bring about an adjustment of the rate.

DECISION: The employer was entitled to a refund pursuant to Section 16.

RATIONALE: "Section 32a also provides that the commission may reconsider a determination for good cause, provided it is made within one year from the date of mailing of the original determination of the disputed issue.

The words 'disputed issue'. as used in Section 32a, refer to a contested issue or a matter in dispute between the employer and the commission. In such disputed matters relief must be requested within 15 days or within one year for good cause shown. In our opinion matters not in dispute, such as payments voluntarily made and accepted, do not fall within the restrictions of Section 32a."



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