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Fidelity Automotive Group, Inc. v. Review Board of Indiana Department of Workforce Development

Court of Appeals of Indiana

October 4, 2019

Fidelity Automotive Group, Inc., Appellant,
v.
Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development and J.R., Appellees.

          Appeal from the Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development Steven F. Bier, Chairperson Lawrence A. Dailey, Member Cause No. 19-R-0098

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Joshua T. Rose Abell Rose LLC Louisville, Kentucky

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Curtis T. Hill, Jr. Attorney General of Indiana Benjamin M. L. Jones Deputy Attorney General Indianapolis, Indiana

          BROWN, JUDGE.

         [¶1] Fidelity Automotive Group, Inc., ("Fidelity") appeals a decision by the Review Board of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (the "Board") which affirmed J.R.'s claim for unemployment benefits. Fidelity raises one issue which we revise and restate as whether it was denied a reasonable opportunity for a fair hearing. We affirm.

         Facts and Procedural History

         [¶2] J.R. began her employment with Fidelity on January 2, 2018, and her employment was terminated effective November 9, 2018. She filed a claim for unemployment benefits, and a claims investigator for the Department of Workforce Development ("DWD") issued a determination that J.R. was discharged for just cause and that her benefits would be reduced and suspended accordingly. J.R. appealed.

         [¶3] A Notice of Telephone Hearing indicates that it was mailed to Fidelity and J.R. on January 9, 2019. The notice states that a hearing by telephone was scheduled before an administrative law judge ("the ALJ") for January 22, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. It states "you will receive a call from the Judge at the number you provide by telephone or on the Acknowledgement Sheet." Exhibits at 8. Under the heading "IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT THIS PROCESS" on the first page, the notice states:

1) To participate in this hearing, you MUST deliver the enclosed Acknowledgement Sheet to the Appeals office by mail, fax, or in person OR provide your telephone number by calling the number below.
2) Provide only ONE telephone number on the Acknowledgement Sheet or by telephone. At the scheduled date and time of your hearing the Judge will call YOU at THIS telephone number.
3) If you have documents you want the Judge to consider you MUST deliver them by mail, fax, or in person to the Appeals office AND the other party. The documents must be received at least 24 hours BEFORE the date of the scheduled hearing.
* * * * *
5) Other IMPORTANT INFORMATION is provided in the enclosed U.I. APPEALS HEARING INSTRUCTIONS sheet.
6) If you have any questions, or would like to provide your telephone number for the hearing, contact the Appeals office ...

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