This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1994).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Diana A. Garcia,
Commissioner of Economic Security,
Filed August 20, 1996
Department of Economic Security
File No. 501743000
Diana A. Garcia, 2223-12th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55404 (for Relator Pro Se)
Macalester College, Attn: Payroll, 1600 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55015 (for Respondent/Employer Pro Se); Kent E. Todd, Department of Economic Security, 390 North Robert Street, St. Paul, MN 55101 (for Respondent Commissioner)
Considered and decided by Klaphake, Presiding Judge, Toussaint, Chief Judge, and Peterson, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
After resigning from her job with respondent Macalester College, relator Diana A. Garcia filed a claim for reemployment insurance benefits. On October 28, 1995, the Department of Economic Security determined Garcia was disqualified from receiving benefits because she voluntarily discontinued employment without good cause attributable to her employer. Garcia did not file an appeal until November 16, 1995, 19 days after the Department had mailed its initial determination. Following an evidentiary hearing before a reemployment insurance judge, Garcia's appeal was dismissed as untimely because she failed to file the appeal within 15 days of the initial determination as required by statute. A representative of the respondent Commissioner of Economic Security subsequently affirmed the reemployment insurance judge's decision, and Garcia now appeals by writ of certiorari. Because we agree that Garcia's appeal was not timely filed, we affirm.
D E C I S I O N
A claimant must file an appeal "within 15 days after the mailing of the notice of * * * determination." Minn. Stat. § 268.10, subd. 2(3) (1994). This time limit may not be extended, and an untimely appeal must be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. Cole v. Holiday Inns, Inc., 347 N.W.2d 72, 73 (Minn. App. 1984); see also Johnson v. Metropolitan Med. Ctr., 395 N.W.2d 380, 382 (Minn. App. 1986) (appeal period runs even if claimant has not received Department's decision); Baldinger Baking Co. v. Stepan, 354 N.W.2d 569, 570-71 (Minn. App. 1984) (appeal period runs against employer even if initial determination mishandled by bookkeeper and management not aware of claim). Thus, neither the Department nor this court has the discretion to extend the appeal period.
Even if we had the discretion to extend the appeal period, we would not do so in this case. We find Garcia's interpretation of the term "days" as meaning business days rather than calendar days unacceptable because it would lead to inconsistent results depending upon the nature of the business. We must also reject Garcia's claim that the notices and information she received from the Department should have been more specific and informative. This court has held that the appeal procedure instructions on the Department's determination are "adequately clear and prominent" and conform to the statutory requirements. Cole, 347 N.W.2d at 74. Indeed, the language in the determination regarding the appeal process essentially mirrors that of Minn. Stat. § 268.10, subd. 2(3). Moreover, lay persons and pro se litigants must act reasonably. In at least one booklet entitled "Appeals Information," Garcia was warned that her appeal would be dismissed if it was late. If unsure of the exact computation of the 15-day time period, Garcia should have filed her appeal promptly.
The decision of the Commissioner's representative is affirmed.