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Court Of Appeals Finds Letter To The Bureau Could Be Construed As An Appeal Of An Administrative Decision

In Alhamarshah v. Indus. Comm., 10th Dist. No. 12AP – 220, 2013 – Ohio – 2737 the Bureau allowed a claim, issuing its standard order containing language that an appeal must be filed within 14 days of receipt of the order.  Upon receiving the order, the employer faxed a somewhat ambiguous letter to the Bureau, which did not contain the words “Notice of Appeal” and which was not on a Commission or Bureau appeal form.  Although the staff and district hearing officers found the letter was not an appeal, the full Commission granted the employer the right to appeal because the letter contained the claimant’s name and contested one of the essential elements of the claim. The Tenth District Court of Appeals upheld the Commission’s order, finding the appeal substantially complied with the law and the Commission properly construed the letter as an appeal of the Bureau order.  Despite the court’s decision, as a matter of good practice, employers should use the Bureau’s or Commission’s forms when filing an appeal.

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