PROCEDURE, Adequacy of Referee hearing
CITE AS: Downtown Properties, Inc v Traylor, No. 93796 (Mich App August 26, 1987).
Appeal pending: No
Claimant: Jack Traylor
Employer: Downtown Properties, Inc
Docket No: B84 01336 95636
COURT OF APPEALS HOLDING: When the party having the burden of proof on a matter does not appear at a Referee Hearing but the appealing party does appear, the Referee is required as fact finder to take sworn testimony and evidence on the issue appealed.
FACTS: Claimant appealed a redetermination which held him disqualified for misconduct. At the Referee hearing the employer did not appear. The Referee took no substantive evidence from the claimant yet the Referee found claimant denied the allegations and reversed the redetermination, stating the employer had not carried its burden of proof.
DECISION: The Court of Appeals affirmed a circuit court remand for testimony on the merits and the assessment for the costs of the appeal against the MESC.
RATIONALE: The Referee did not inquire of claimant as to the reason for his discharge although prior statements to the Commission were part of the file before the Referee. The court found the Referee hearing was conducted in a totally inefficient manner since the record lacked any competent, material, and substantial evidence to support the Referee's findings.