Workers' Compensation

Missouri: Lack of 92 Cents in Postage Dooms Claimant’s Notice of Appeal

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where delivery of an envelope containing claimant’s notice of appeal was refused by the U.S. Postal Service because of insufficient postage and the envelope was returned to claimant who then re-mailed the envelope and its contents to the Commission—this time with sufficient postage—and the second envelope was received two weeks after the expiration of claimant’s 30-day appeal period, claimant’s notice of appeal was untimely. Claimant argued that the original envelope, which had a private postage meter time date one day prior to the expiration of the 30-day period, was “received” by the Commission, but refused because the Commission refused to pay $.92 in additional postal charges. The appellate court disagreed. Under Missouri law, generally, proof of mailing required proof that the paperwork was placed in an envelope with sufficient postage and the recipient’s correct address, and placed in the mail. Proof that these requirements had been met raised a presumption of delivery. The court said that no such presumption arose, as here, where claimant failed to place adequate postage on the envelope. In addition, for timely filing, Mo. Rev. Stat. § 287.480.1 required not only that the notice of appeal be mailed, but also that it be received by the Commission. The court was not persuaded by claimant’s argument that the original envelope had been “received” and then refused by the Commission due to the inadequate postage. The court noted that the U.S. Postal Service’s Domestic Mail Manual provides that mail received at either the office of mailing or at the delivery address without enough postage is marked to show the total postage and fees due. Claimant had not presented sufficient evidence to support her contention that the envelope was received and refused by the Commission.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is the co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. Bracketed citations link to lexis.com.

See Marciante v. Treasurer of Mo., 2015 Mo. App. LEXIS 1265 (Dec. 8, 2015) [2015 Mo. App. LEXIS 1265 (Dec. 8, 2015)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 124.08 [124.08]

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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