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Friends of Duane Sand - 2012 v. Job Serv. North Dakota

Supreme Court of North Dakota

February 18, 2016

Friends of Duane Sand - 2012, Petitioner and Appellant
v.
Job Service North Dakota, and Joseph Meyer, Respondents Job Service North Dakota, Appellee

Appeal from the District Court of Burleigh County, South Central Judicial District, the Honorable David E. Reich, Judge.

Deborah J. Carpenter, Bismarck, N.D., for petitioner and appellant.

Michael T. Pitcher, Assistant Attorney General, Bismarck, N.D., for respondent and appellee, Job Service North Dakota.

Daniel J. Crothers, Lisa Fair McEvers, Carol Ronning Kapsner, Dale V. Sandstrom, Gerald W. VandeWalle, C.J. Opinion of the Court by Crothers, Justice.

OPINION

Crothers, Justice.

[¶1] Friends of Duane Sand 2012 appeals from a district court order denying a motion for reconsideration of a judgment affirming a Job Service decision that Friends of Duane Sand was an employing unit and that Sarah Mohler was an employee. Post-judgment motions under N.D.R.Civ.P. 59 and 60 are not applicable to a district court's review of an appeal from a Job Service decision, and we dismiss

Page 434

the appeal because Friends of Duane Sand has not timely appealed from the judgment affirming Job Service's decision.

I

[¶2] Friends of Duane Sand was a political campaign committee formed for the 2012 election of Duane Sand as a United States Senator from North Dakota. Friends of Duane Sand ceased operation in June 2012, when Sand was defeated in the state primary election. In 2013 Job Service received an interstate request to investigate whether Friends of Duane Sand was required to pay unemployment insurance for Joe Meyer, a campaign worker who filed a claim for unemployment benefits in Minnesota. Friends of Duane Sand claimed its campaign workers were either independent contractors or volunteers and it was not subject to charges for unemployment insurance. After an investigation and a hearing, an administrative law judge determined Friends of Duane Sand was an employing unit, Meyer was an independent contractor and not an employee, and another campaign worker, Sarah Mohler, was an employee. Job Service declined to review the administrative law judge's decision.

[¶3] On appeal, the district court concluded the administrative law judge's determinations that Friends of Duane Sand was an employing unit and that Mohler was an employee were supported by the weight of the evidence. Notice of entry of a judgment was served on March 30, 2015. Friends of Duane Sand moved in the district court on May 20, 2015 for reconsideration under N.D.R.Civ.P. 59, or for relief from the judgment under N.D.R.Civ.P. 60. The court denied the motion, concluding Friends of Duane Sand was not entitled to seek relief under N.D.R.Civ.P. 59 and 60 in an administrative appeal and no statutory authority exists under N.D.C.C. ch. 28-32 or title 52 for the requested relief. Friends of Duane Sand appealed to this Court from the order denying its post-judgment motion.

II

[¶4] Job Service moved to dismiss Friends of Duane Sand's appeal from the post-judgment order. Job Service argues no statutory authority exists for a motion to the district court for reconsideration in an administrative appeal. Friends of Duane Sand responds that a motion for reconsideration may be made in an agency decision timely appealed to the district court and claims " there does not appear to be anything in Rules 59 and 60 N.D.R.Civ.P. . . that would prohibit this avenue in an administrative case."

[¶5] In Lewis v. North Dakota Workers Comp. Bureau,2000 ND 77, ¶ ¶ 1, 14, 609 N.W.2d 445, we dismissed an appeal from a district court order denying a motion for reconsideration under N.D.R.Civ.P. 60(b), holding Rule 60(b) did not apply to the district court's review of an appeal from a decision by the Workers Compensation Bureau. We examined the interplay between the procedures ...


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