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Tilles v Shaw College at Detroit 16.40

Section 34, 29(1)(a)

PROCEDURES, Abuse of discretion defined

CITE AS: Tilles v Shaw College at Detroit, No. 79-17700-AE, Washtenaw Circuit Court (July 31, 1980).

Appeal pending: No

Claimant: Catherine A. Tilles

Employer: Shaw College of Detroit

Docket No: B77 7341 R0 58530

CIRCUIT COURT HOLDING: To show a Referee abused his discretion in denying a rehearing required a finding the Referee's decision evidenced a perversity of will, defiance of judgement or the exercise of passion or bias. Mere disagreement with the results is insufficient.

FACT: Claimant was a Physical Education instructor. She had a Master of Arts in teaching Social Studies. She quit citing health reasons. At the hearing she raised other issues but admitted the health matters were her primary concern. Claimant also conceded she was not medically prevented from teaching Social Studies. The Referee found claimant disqualified under Section 29(1)(a). Claimant requested a rehearing because Social Studies are not a college level discipline. The Referee denied a rehearing which was affirmed by the Board of Review and circuit court since claimant was not prevented from raising that information at the initial hearing.

DECISION: Claimant disqualified under Section 29(1)(a). Referee denial of rehearing was not an abuse of discretion.

RATIONALE: The court adopted the following from Spaulding v Spaulding, 355 Mich 382 (1959) as the standard for an abuse of discretion:

"Where, as here, the exercise of discretion turns upon a factual determination made by the trier of the facts, an abuse of discretion involves more than a difference in judicial opinion between the trial and the appellate courts. The term discretion itself involves the idea of choice, of an exercise of will, for a determination made between competing considerations. In order to have an 'abuse' in reaching such determination, the result must be so palpably and grossly violative of fact and logic that it evidences not the exercise of will but the perversity of will, not the exercise of judgment but the defiance thereof, not the exercise of reason but rather of passion or bias ..."



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