Appeal from Shawnee District Court; REBECCA W. CROTTY, judge.
BY THE COURT
1. Whether jurisdiction exists is a question of law over which an appellate court's scope of review is unlimited.
2. An appellate court exercises unlimited review on questions of statutory interpretation without deference to an administrative agency's or board's interpretation or construction of its authorizing statutes.
3. Actions of the Kansas Employment Security Board of Review are subject to judicial review under the Kansas Judicial Review Act, K.S.A. 77-601 et seq., as provided in K.S.A. 2013 Supp. 44-709(i).
4. A party affected by the Kansas Employment Security Board of Review's decision may seek reconsideration by the Board within 16 days of the date of the Board's mailing of the decision. After 16 days, the Board's decision becomes final and is not subject to reconsideration by the Board pursuant to K.S.A. 2013 Supp. 44-709(i).
5. If reconsideration of the Kansas Employment Security Board of Review's decision has not been requested, a petition for judicial review of a final order shall be filed within 30 days after service of the order under K.S.A. 77-613(b).
6. If reconsideration of the Kansas Employment Security Board of Review's decision has been requested, a petition for judicial review of a final order shall be filed within 30 days after service of the order rendered upon reconsideration or within 30 days after service of an order denying the request for reconsideration under K.S.A. 77-613(c).
7. If the Kansas Employment Security Board of Review does not act on a petition for reconsideration within 20 days after the filing of the petition for reconsideration, the party may petition for judicial review of the final order at any time within 90 days of service of such final order as provided by K.S.A. 2013 Supp. 77-529(b) and K.S.A. 2013 Supp. 77-631(b).
Matthew C. Hull, of Topeka, for appellant.
Justin McFarland, deputy general counsel and special assistant attorney general, of Kansas Department of Labor, for appellee.
Before ARNOLD-BURGER, P.J., BUSER and STANDRIDGE, JJ.
[50 Kan.App.2d 70] Buser,
Patricia Norris appeals the district court's dismissal of her petition for review of the Kansas Employment Security Board of Review's (Board) decision denying her request for unemployment benefits. The district court ruled that it lacked jurisdiction over
Norris' petition because she failed to file it in a timely manner.
This case requires us to decide whether the time period to file a petition for judicial review from a decision of the Board is solely controlled by the Kansas Employment Security Law (KESL), K.S.A. 44-701 et seq., or whether, and to what extent, the Kansas Judicial Review Act (KJRA), K.S.A. 77-601 et seq., is also applicable. The Board contends the time period is controlled by the KESL alone and that Norris filed her petition for review out of time. We agree with Norris, however, that the KJRA also applies and that both acts should be read together and in harmony. Accordingly, we hold that Norris filed a timely motion for reconsideration with the Board and a timely petition for judicial review with the district court, which resulted in the district court having jurisdiction to consider this unemployment compensation case. We reverse and remand.
[50 Kan.App.2d 71]Factual and Procedural Background
Norris worked as a service technician for Air and Fire Systems from 2008 until 2011 when she voluntarily terminated her employment. As alleged by Norris, she left her employment because the company's president was wrongfully withholding commissions and behaving in an unprofessional manner.
Norris applied for unemployment benefits, but on August 30, 2011, an examiner for the Kansas Department of Labor (KDOL) denied her request, finding that Norris left work " without good cause attributable to the work or the employer." Norris timely appealed the examiner's decision. After a telephone hearing, the referee affirmed the examiner's decision because Norris " ha[d] not shown that her voluntar[y] separat[ion] from her employment was due to an emergency or that she could not have waited to quit until she found new employment."
Norris appealed the referee's adverse decision to the Board. On February 14, 2012, the Board mailed its decision to Norris affirming the referee's ruling and providing her ...