This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2002).







Marc V. Harris,





Efunds IT Solutions Group, Inc.,



Commissioner of Economic Security,



Filed April 8, 2003


Lansing, Judge


Department of Economic Security

File No. 932502




David S. Holman, Attorney at Law, Suite 225, 201 W. Travelers Trail, Burnsville, MN  55337 (for relator)


M. Kate Chaffee, Lee B. Nelson, Minnesota Department of Economic Security, 390 North Robert Street, St. Paul, MN  55101 (for respondent Commissioner of Economic Security)


            Considered and decided by Klaphake, Presiding Judge, Lansing, Judge, and Stoneburner, Judge.


U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N


            Marc Harris appeals, by writ of certiorari, the dismissal of his appeal of an unemployment law judge’s denial of unemployment benefits.  Because the appeal was not filed within the thirty-day statutory time period, the commissioner’s representative did not have legal authority to hear the appeal, and we affirm.



            Efunds IT Solutions Group Inc. terminated Marc Harris’s employment in April 2002, and he applied for unemployment benefits.  An adjudicator with the Department of Economic Security determined that Harris was disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits because he was terminated for employment misconduct.  An unemployment law judge affirmed this determination on appeal, and a notice of decision was mailed to Harris on August 12, 2002.

The notice states that the unemployment law judge’s decision is final unless an appeal to the representative of the commissioner is filed within thirty calendar days “from the date below that shows when the decision was mailed.”  The date “August 12, 2002,” was clearly displayed at the bottom of the notice.  The notice identifies five methods for filing an appeal and states that mailed appeals will be considered filed on the postmark date. 

            Harris mailed his appeal to the commissioner’s representative on September 12, 2002, thirty-one calendar days from the date the notice of decision was mailed.  The commissioner’s representative determined that he had no legal authority to review Harris’s untimely appeal and dismissed the appeal.  Harris appeals the dismissal by writ of certiorari.



            An unemployment-compensation applicant has a right to appeal a benefit-account determination within thirty calendar days after mailing of the unemployment law judge’s decision.  Minn. Stat. § 268.105, subd. 2(a) (2002).  The time limit for filing an appeal is “absolute and unambiguous.”  See Semanko v. Dep’t of Employment Servs., 309 Minn. 425, 430, 244 N.W.2d 663, 666 (1976) (considering deadline in predecessor statute).  Mitigating circumstances do not weigh against the strict construction of the appeal period.  Kenzie v. Dalco Corp., 309 Minn. 495, 497, 245 N.W.2d 207, 208 (1976); see also King v. Univ. of Minn., 387 N.W.2d 675, 677 (Minn. App. 1986) (stating that statutes designating time for appeal from decisions of all levels of department should be strictly construed, regardless of mitigating circumstances), review denied (Minn. Aug. 13, 1986).  Dismissal of an appeal as untimely is subject to de novo review.  Stottler v. Meyers Printing Co., 602 N.W.2d 916, 918 (Minn. App. 1999).

            Harris does not dispute that he received the unemployment law judge’s decision or that his appeal was untimely.  He correctly points out that his appeal would have been timely if August had thirty instead of thirty-one days or if the final day had fallen on the weekend instead of a weekday.  But neither of these saving circumstances occurred.  The appeal was not taken within thirty days of the date prominently displayed on the notice, and, unfortunately, Harris’s reasons for failing to meet the deadline are legally immaterial.  The commissioner’s representative did not err in dismissing Harris’s untimely appeal.