Eloise B. Luckett, Appellant,
Kansas Employment Security Board of Review, Appellee.
BY THE COURT
Under the Kansas Judicial Review Act, K.S.A. 77-601 et seq.,
a prerequisite to filing a petition for judicial review is
the exhaustion of all administrative remedies available
within the agency.
K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 44-709(b)(3) provides that the decision of
the unemployment compensation examiner shall be final unless
the claimant files an appeal within 16 calendar days after
either mailing or delivery of the notice to the claimant.
K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 44-709(b)(2) allows an unemployment
compensation examiner to reconsider a decision, provided good
cause is shown, prior to the termination of the benefit year,
which, according to K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 44-703(d), lasts for
one year following a valid claim for benefits.
a claimant seeks reconsideration of an unemployment
compensation examiner's decision, the 16-day time limit
for appeals set forth in K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 44-709(b)(3) is
inapplicable. Instead, the one-year time limit as set forth
in K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 44-709(b)(2) and K.S.A. 2018 Supp.
Under the facts of this case, when the unemployment
compensation examiner denies a request for benefits on the
grounds that required documentation has not been received
from the claimant, but the decision denying benefits
expressly states that the claim will be reevaluated should
the proper documentation be provided, the claimant's
subsequent submittal of the required documents or a request
that the examiner reconsider whether the claimant had
presented the required documents is not an appeal of the
examiner's adverse decision but a request for
reconsideration unless the claimant indicates otherwise.
Code of Civil Procedure, K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 60-101 et seq.,
may be used by the district court to supplement the Kansas
Judicial Review Act if the provision is a logical necessity
that is not addressed within the Act. Therefore, a
petitioner's motion to amend its petition for judicial
review to add an unrelated claim in mandamus pursuant to
K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 60-215 is not barred by the Act.
from Geary District Court; Benjamin J. Sexton, judge.
Charles Rombold, of Hoover, Schermerhorn, Edwards, Pinaire
& Rombold, of Junction City, for appellant.
McFarland, special assistant attorney general and deputy
general counsel, Kansas Department of Labor, for appellee.
Leben, P.J., Green and Powell, JJ.
B. Luckett appeals the district court's dismissal of her
petition for judicial review of the Kansas Employment
Security Board of Review's (Board) denial of her
unemployment insurance benefit claims. Before us, she argues
the district court erred in granting the Board's motion
to dismiss for three reasons: (1) A disputed material fact
precluded the district court's dismissal of her petition;
(2) she established excusable neglect sufficient to justify
her untimely appeal of the examiner's August 4, 2017
decision; and (3) the district court failed to address her
motion to amend.
Luckett's claims before the Kansas Department of Labor
(KDOL) did not really involve appeals from a denial of
benefits. According to the record, in her letter to the KDOL
in November 2017, she principally sought payment for benefits
authorized by the examiner but that were never paid.
Additionally, she sought reconsideration of the
examiner's determination that she had not provided the
proper documentation to allow for the award of benefits.
Instead of directly addressing these claims, the KDOL, to put
it in the vernacular, "blew her off" and instead
applied a "cookie-cutter" appeal-track approach
which doomed her claims because she had submitted her
requests well after the time limit allowed for appeals.
the Board erred in affirming the referee's decision to
construe Luckett's reconsideration claim as an appeal
from the denial of benefits. The KDOL should have considered
Luckett's letter as one seeking reconsideration of the
examiner's order and allowed the examiner to make a
determination on the merits as to the sufficiency of
Luckett's documentation. Moreover, because Luckett timely
appealed the referee's decision construing her request
for reconsideration as an appeal, her appeal to the Board was
timely. Once the Board denied her claim, she exhausted her
administrative remedies and properly and timely sought
judicial review. The district court thus erred by dismissing
her petition for judicial review on exhaustion grounds.
Luckett's claim that the KDOL had failed to pay her
benefits the examiner found she was owed, we find the
district court erred by failing to consider her amendment to
her petition seeking relief in mandamus for this nonpayment.
As our review of the relevant statutes involving
administrative proceedings within the KDOL reveals no
administrative procedure allowing a claimant to seek
enforcement of an examiner's decision to award benefits,
Luckett may have a valid claim. Moreover, Luckett's claim
for the payment of benefits authorized by the examiner is not
subject to the exhaustion requirement because there were no
administrative remedies to exhaust. Thus, the district court
erred by dismissing Luckett's petition without
considering her amendment.
we reverse and remand.
and Procedural Background
to this appeal, the record shows Luckett filed for weekly
unemployment insurance benefit claims with the KDOL and
received four examiner's decisions finding her eligible
and ineligible for unemployment insurance benefits on
different dates as follows:
• On May 22, 2017, the examiner found Luckett medically
ineligible for benefits beginning April 30, 2017, based on a
licensed health care provider's certified statement. The
decision advised Luckett to report any changes in status, to
appeal the decision within 16 days, to continue filing ...