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12/03/75 MICHIGAN EMPLOYMENT SECURITY COMMISSION v.

December 3, 1975

MICHIGAN EMPLOYMENT SECURITY COMMISSION
v.
WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY



Appeal from Ingham, Jack W. Warren, J.

Leave to appeal denied, 396 Mich 857.

J. H. Gillis, P. J., and Bronson and T. M. Burns, JJ.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

1. Unemployment Compensation -- Employment Security Act -- Construction -- Service of Process -- Court Rules -- Claim of Appeal.

The Michigan Employment Security Act was designed to protect the welfare of the working people of Michigan and the act should be liberally construed to effectuate that legislative policy; therefore, the failure of a party in an action before the Employment Security Appeal Board to serve all interested parties with a copy of the claim of appeal within five days after filing it, as required by court rule, should not be construed to deny the circuit court jurisdiction over the appeal; jurisdiction vests when the appeal is filed (MCLA 421.2; MSA 17.502, GCR 1963, 706.2[2]).

2. Unemployment Compensation -- Employment Security Board -- Appeals -- Notice -- Tardiness -- Harm.

An appellee from a decision of the Employment Security Appeal Board may not complain of an appellant's tardiness by two days in failing to notify the appellee of his intent to claim an appeal in the circuit court where the appellee himself was approximately 30 days late in filing his notice of appearance in the circuit court, the appellant offered a readily understandable explanation of its delay, and the appellee does not claim any harm due to the late filing.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gillis

Claim before the Employment Security Commission by Victor E. Bibbins, Jack D'Urso, Marijo Powder and Denise M. Marcelt for unemployment compensation. Compensation denied. The Employment Security Appeal Board affirmed. The Employment Security Commission (MESC) appealed to the circuit court the ruling upholding the denial of benefits. Wayne State University, the former employer of plaintiffs, moved for dismissal in circuit court. Motion granted. The MESC appeals by leave granted.

Plaintiffs, Bibbins, D'Urso, Powder and Marcelt, were students at Wayne State University. They also were all employed by the University in various capacities. The University laid off each of the plaintiffs; each then filed for unemployment compensation benefits with the Michigan Employment Security Commission (hereinafter referred to as MESC). The students' claims were consolidated for a single hearing and, on July 30, 1973, a MESC referee issued an opinion denying them any unemployment compensation. *fn1 On appeal, the Employment Security Appeal Board affirmed the referee's decision.

Within 15 days, the Attorney General, on behalf of MESC, filed an appeal in the Ingham County Circuit Court. *fn2 The appellee, Wayne State University, was served with a copy of the claim of appeal seven days after the filing. Some 40 days after being served with the claim of appeal, Wayne State filed an appearance in circuit court and a motion to dismiss, claiming that the court was without jurisdiction to hear the case. The trial Judge agreed and dismissed the appeal. MESC was granted leave to appeal by this Court. We reverse.

In ruling that he was without jurisdiction to hear the appeal, the circuit court Judge based his decision both on language found in GCR 1963, 706.2(2), and a Supreme Court case, In re Koss Estate, 340 Mich 185; 65 NW2d 316 (1954). In pertinent part, GCR 1963, 706.2(2) reads as follows:

"Appellant shall file in the circuit court a claim of appeal within 15 days after the mailing to him of a copy of the decision of the said appeal board or within such other period as may be provided by said act. Such claim of appeal shall conform substantially to the provisions of sub-rule 701.5. Within 5 days after filing such claim of appeal, a copy thereof shall be served on the said appeal board and on all interested parties as appellees, and proof of service thereof shall be filed in the circuit court within 5 days thereafter. The said appeal board shall not be deemed a party appellee. The timely filing of the claim of appeal shall constitute the taking of an appeal and the failure to take any further steps to secure the review of the matter appealed from shall have like effect as set forth in sub-rule 701.3."

The trial Judge ruled that the requirement that all interested parties be served with a copy of the claim of appeal within five days after filing was a jurisdictional requirement. Because the Attorney General waited seven days to serve Wayne State, the court ...


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