Fishback v. American Steel & Industry Supply

Fishback v. American Steel & Industry Supply, WCCA No. WC16-5943 (April 17, 2017).

American Steel & Industrial Supply and RTW Group filed an appeal on March 1, 2017.  The Statement of the Case filed with relators’ Petition for Writ of Certiorari to review the Workers’ Compensation Court of Appeals decision indicated that the transcript from the proceeding before the compensation judge had already been delivered to the parties and was a part of the record.  Relator’s opening brief was due on or before March 31, 2017 under Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 131.01, subd. 1, which states that if the transcript is obtained prior to appeal, then the appellant shall serve and file a brief and addendum with the clerk of the appellate courts within 30 days after the filing of the petition which initiates the appeal.

On April 5, 2017, relators filed a motion to accept a late brief as well as the proposed brief.  Respondents opposed the motion, stating the motion was late and no good cause was shown of why the brief was late.

The Supreme Court agreed stating a motion to extend time must be “made within the time specified for the filing of the brief” and is granted only “for good cause shown”.  Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 131.02, subd. 1.  Relators offered no reason why the brief was filed late or why they did not seek an extension until after the deadline.  Relators also cited Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 102 (allows the court to suspend the requirements of the rules) and Minn. R. Civ. App. P. 126.02 (permit an act to be done after the expiration).  However, both of these rules require a good-cause showing.  Just because an issue is important does not, in and of itself, establish good cause.

The motion was denied, the appeal was dismissed and the writ of certiorari was discharged.