Jurisdictional Deadlines

In workers’ compensation cases, a variety of pre-hearing and hearing jurisdictional deadlines must be met. In Parker Movers v. DBA Gentle Hands Moving and Storage, the Industrial Claims Appeals Office (“Panel”) discussed that requirements to file timely petitions are jurisdictional, and therefore must be strictly enforced and may not be extended. Because there is no way to obtain more time, meeting jurisdictional deadlines is of the utmost importance in workers’ compensation cases.

In Parker Movers, the Director of the Division of Worker’s Compensation (“the Director”) entered an Order requiring Parker Movers (“Movers”) to pay fines for failing to maintain workers’ compensation insurance on February 21. The Director sent the Order to the Movers’ registered agent that same day. The Order explained that Movers could appeal the decision within 20 days of the Order. On March 18, Movers filed a Petition to Review – after the 20 day period had passed. The Director then entered an Order dismissing the Petition to Review as untimely. Movers appealed this dismissal, claiming it had not learned of the Order to pay fines until February 25.

The Panel cited both statute and case law in its determination that the jurisdictional deadline for the Petition to Review was immovable. First, it mentioned section 8-43-301(2) C.R.S., which provides that an order is final unless a petition to review the order is filed within 20 days after the date of the certificate of mailing of that order. It then explained that according to case law, jurisdiction may not be conferred by waiver, consent or estoppel. Additionally, the requirement for timely petition is jurisdictional and must be strictly enforced. Therefore, a court lacks jurisdiction to review an order unless the record demonstrates a timely petition to review has been filed.

Because jurisdictional deadlines are so strict and Movers failed to timely respond to the Order within the 20 day time period, the Panel affirmed the Director’s Order to dismiss the Petition to Review for a lack of jurisdiction. For that reason, the Director’s February 21 Order became final and not subject to appeal.

Parker Movers LLC v. Gentle Hands Moving and Storage, FEIN: TP-FN05043 (ICAO, July 10, 2020)

Want to know more? Contact Brad Miller at bmiller@pollartmiller.com or 877-259-5693.

August 2020 Newsletter