Administrative appeals and exhaustion of remedies applied in dismissal of appeal: BLUEGRASS AUTOMOTIVE, INC. V. KENTUCKY UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE COMM. (COA 10/3/2008)

BLUEGRASS AUTOMOTIVE, INC. V. KENTUCKY UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
COMM.
EMPLOYMENT:  Administrative Appeals, exhaustion of remedies
2007-CA-001526
PUBLISHED: AFFIRMING
PANEL:  DIXON PRESIDING; COMBS, LAMBERT, JAMES CONCUR
FRANKLIN COUNT
DATE RENDERED: 10/3/2008

In 2002, Bluegrass acquired the assets of Tom Payette Jaguar, Inc. In August 2006, Bluegrass contacted the Kentucky Unemployment Insurance Commission (“the Commission”) to inquire about a transfer of the unemployment insurance reserve account of Tom Payette Jaguar.

On January 8, 2007, Bluegrass appealed the assessment to the Commission. The following day, Bluegrass filed a complaint against the Commission in Franklin Circuit Court appealing the assessment and contending the Commission acted outside of its statutory power. 

On January 12, 2007, the Commission filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, arguing the court did not have jurisdiction because Bluegrass failed to exhaust its administrative remedies pursuant to Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS) 341.430 and KRS 341.450. 
The circuit court dismissed the complaint and amended complaint and this appeal
followed.

There is no appeal to the courts from an action of an administrative agency as a matter of right. When grace to appeal is granted by statute, a strict compliance with its terms is required. Where the conditions for the exercise of power by a court are not met, the judicial power is not lawfully invoked. That is to say, that the court lacks jurisdiction or has no right to decide the controversy

Pursuant to KRS 341.450 and KRS 341.460, after the Commission renders a decision and all administrative remedies have been exhausted, an aggrieved employer may seek judicial review by filing a complaint against the Commission in Franklin Circuit Court within twenty days of the decision.

In the case at bar, it is evident that Bluegrass failed to follow the statutory mandate. Bluegrass filed its circuit court complaint against the Commission before the Commission had rendered a decision. 

Digested by Michael Stevens

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