Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A requests for reconsideration of a final administrative decision does not toll the running of the Statute of Limitations



A request for reconsideration of a final administrative decision does not toll the running of the Statute of Limitations
2015 NY Slip Op 03929, Appellate Division, First Department

In 2006 the New York City Teachers' Retirement System (TRS) calculated a teacher’s [Retiree] total service credit and found her to be ineligible for an early retirement incentive (ERI) program.

In 2013 Retiree, after making multiple unsuccessful efforts to get TRS to rectify its allegedly erroneous determination, filed an Article 78 petition seeking a court order directing TRS to “correct” its decision regarding Retiree’s eligibility for the ERI.

Supreme Court dismissed Retiree’s petition  challenging TRS's calculation of her total service credit and its determination finding her ineligible for the ERI program as time barred. The Appellate Division agreed with Supreme Court’s ruling.

The Appellate Division said that TRS's determination became final and binding for statute of limitations purposes upon Retiree’s receipt of TRS's letter dated September 15, 2006 calculating her total service credit and explaining that she was ineligible to participate in the ERI program. Retiree did not dispute her having received this letter within five days after it was mailed on September 15, 2006. Further, said the court, there is no evidence in the record to substantiate Retiree’s claims that TRS misled her or undermined the “finality of the letter.”

The Appellate Division explained that Retiree’s many efforts to get TRS to rectify its purported error were, in effect, “requests for reconsideration, which do not serve to toll the statute of limitations,” citing Cauldwest Realty Corp. v City of New York, 160 AD2d 489. Thus, said the court, because Retiree commenced her Article 78 proceeding in 2013, well beyond the four-month statute of limitations, her challenge was time-barred.

Addressing another claim advanced by Retiree, credit for “uncompensated annual leave and cumulative absent reserve time” allegedly withheld by the Department of Education of the City of New York (DOE), the Appellate Division said Retiree’s claim was barred by the doctrine of laches  as she had waited more than 10 years after she retired from her employment with DOE to demand such relief, and Retiree provided no excuse for the delay. Laches is typically defined as "an unreasonable delay by the plaintiff in bringing the claim."

Further, said the court, under these circumstances, DOE was not required to show that it was prejudiced by Retiree's delay in bringing her claim.

The decision is posted on the Internet at:

Handbooks focusing on State and Municipal Public Personnel Law continue to be available for purchase via the links provided below:

The Discipline Book at http://thedisciplinebook.blogspot.com/

Challenging Adverse Personnel Decisions at http://nypplarchives.blogspot.com

The Disability Benefits E-book: at http://section207.blogspot.com/

Layoff, Preferred Lists at http://nylayoff.blogspot.com/

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