This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2002).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Gregory S. Crow,
Data Recognition Corp (1995),
Commissioner of Employment and Economic Development,
Filed June 1, 2004
Department of Employment and Economic Development
File No. 11472 03
Gregory S. Crow, 1158 Cumberland St., St. Paul, MN 55117-4851 (pro se relator)
Data Recognition Corp (1995), C/O ADP – UCS, P.O. Box 6501, Diamond Bar, CA 91765-8501 (respondent employer)
Lee B. Nelson, M. Kate Chaffee, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, 390 Robert Street North, St. Paul, MN 55101 (respondent commissioner)
Considered and decided by Peterson, Presiding Judge; Shumaker, Judge; and Anderson, Judge.
G. BARRY ANDERSON, Judge
The representative of the Commissioner of the Department of Employment and Economic Development (department) affirmed relator Gregory Crow’s disqualification from unemployment benefits because Crow refused an offer of suitable employment without good cause. We affirm.
Crow established an account with the department that became effective in July 2002. In May 2003, Data Recognition Corporation (DRC) offered Crow a temporary job. Crow accepted this job; he was scheduled to begin work on May 14, 2003. On May 13, 2003, Allied Security, Inc. (Allied) offered Crow full-time employment. The job offer from Allied was contingent on Crow successfully completing a training program. Crow accepted Allied’s offer and then contacted DRC and told the company that he had accepted another position and would not start work at DRC.
Crow met with Allied’s site supervisor who informed Crow that, as part of the training program, Crow was required to work one 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. training shift. Although Crow had indicated on his application for employment that he was available for any shift, Crow told the supervisor that he had a sleep disorder and could not work the night shift on such short notice. The supervisor allowed Crow one week to complete the overnight shift. Crow ultimately informed the supervisor that, due to the sleep disorder, Crow could not work the one overnight shift. Crow neither finished the training program nor worked at Allied.
Relying on Minn. Stat. § 268.095, subd. 8, the commissioner’s representative concluded that Crow was ineligible to receive unemployment benefits because Crow refused an offer of suitable employment without good cause. We agree.
We review the commissioner’s representative’s decision in unemployment benefits cases to determine whether the record reasonably supports the decision. Tuff v. Knitcraft Corp., 526 N.W.2d 50, 51 (Minn. 1995). We generally defer to the commissioner’s representative’s factual findings, but we exercise independent judgment with respect to questions of law. Ress v. Abbott Northwestern Hosp., Inc., 448 N.W.2d 519, 523 (Minn. 1989).
The commissioner’s representative found that Crow refused an offer of suitable employment without good cause. Crow refused to complete the training program at Allied because it required him to work a single 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. training shift. Crow argues that, because of a sleeping disorder, working even this one shift would have been detrimental to his health and he therefore had good cause to refuse the employment. But Crow offers no documentation regarding either his illness or the effects working one overnight shift would have on his health. Because Crow did not offer any persuasive evidence to document that he had good cause to refuse employment at Allied and because the record reasonably supports the commissioner’s representative’s conclusion that Allied’s training program—requiring trainees to work one night shift—was reasonable in the industry, the record reasonably supports the commissioner’s representative’s decision that Crow did not have good cause to refuse employment at Allied. See Tuff, 526 N.W.2d at 51 (concluding that we will not disturb the commissioner’s representative’s decision if it is has reasonable support in the record). We affirm the commissioner’s representative’s conclusion that Crow is disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits.
Crow argues that the department has violated his due process rights by refusing to grant Crow’s requests for hearings at various proceedings and by refusing to grant Crow sufficient time to properly present his “a-typical” case to the department. We disagree.
Crow was entitled to a hearing before the unemployment law judge (ULJ). See Minn. Stat. § 268.105, subds. 1, 2(d) (2002) (stating that relator has a right to a de novo review before a ULJ). But Crow is not statutorily entitled to a hearing before the commissioner’s representative. Id. Crow waived his right to attend the hearing with the UJL when he wrote to the department “I wish to thank you and the department for the offer of some face-to-face time [at the hearing with the ULJ], but I’ll politely decline your offer . . . I don’t plan to attend the appeals hearing with you.” Because Crow had the opportunity to attend the hearing before a ULJ, which he declined, and because Crow is not entitled to a hearing before the commissioner’s representative, his claim for violation of his due process rights fails.
Crow argues that he should be allowed to proceed in forma pauperis in this case and that an attorney should be appointed to help him in the presentation of his case. We disagree. Generally the right to appointed counsel “exist[s] only where the litigant may lose his physical liberty if he loses the litigation.” Lassiter v. Dept. of Soc. Servs., 101 S. Ct. 2153, 2158, 452 U.S. 18, 25 (1981) (concluding that failure to appoint counsel for indigent parents in proceeding for termination of parental status did not deprive parents of due process in light of circumstances). There is no general due process right to appointed counsel in civil cases. People v. $30,000 United States Currency, 35 Cal. App. 4th 936, 942 (Cal. Ct. App. 1995). Crow is not entitled to appointed counsel in this case.
Crow argues that the commissioner’s representative’s decision violates the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution. We disagree. Crow does not elaborate on how the decision violates the Bill of Rights. Crow’s failure to cite authorities or argue the issues results in a waiver of his argument. See Schoepke v. Alexander Smith & Sons Carpet Co., 290 Minn. 518, 519-520, 187 N.W.2d 133, 135 (1971) (stating assignment of error based on mere assertion and unsupported by argument or authority waived unless error is obvious).
Crow argues that the commissioner of the department and Allied are acting in collusion to obstruct justice in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.50, subd. 1(1) (2002) and Minn. Stat. § 268.184(e) (2002). We disagree.
Minn. Stat. § 609.50, subd. 1(1), a criminal statute, states that whoever intentionally obstructs the legal process in a civil case commits a crime. Not only is this issue inappropriate to bring in the context of an unemployment benefit appeal, but Crow has also not offered any evidence that either the commissioner of the department or Allied have intentionally obstructed justice. His claim therefore fails.
Minn. Stat. § 268.184(e) prohibits employers from making false statements, misrepresentations, or failing to disclose information which results in the prevention or reduction of unemployment benefits to the applicant. Crow does not present any evidence that Allied was untruthful at any point of the process to determine Crow’s unemployment benefits. Further, Minn. Stat. § 268.184(e), which does prohibit acts of collusion between an employer and employee, has no application to the department. Crow’s arguments of collusion and obstruction of justice therefore fail.
After careful consideration, we conclude that Crow’s remaining arguments are without merit.