The critical lesson set out in this decision by the Appellate Division is that a request to reconsider a "final administrative determination" does not toll the running of the statute of limitations for initiating litigation challenging the decision.
The Appellate Division said it agreed with the Supreme Court's determination that the commencement of a proceeding pursuant to CPLR Article 78 was untimely as the retiree [Petitioner] did not file the action within four months of receiving the Retirement Systems determination informing her of the effective date of her retirement. Although Petitioner's subsequent asked the Retirement System to reconsider its determination regarding the effective date of her retirement, requests for "administrative reconsideration" do not extend or toll the running of the statute of limitations.
A related question concerns the timeliness of filing an administrative appeal of an agency's determination concerning a matter when a statute authorizes an individual to file an appeal from an administrative determination by mail. Is the controlling date the date the appeal was mailed to the agency's administrative appellate body or the date on which the appeal was received by the administrative appellate body?
In McLaughlin v Saga Corp., NYS Appellate Division, 242 A.D.2d 393, the Appellate Division overturned the traditional view was that the notice of appeal is untimely if it physically received by the appellate body after the Statute of Limitations had passed.
Rather, decided the Appellate Division, if the party is able to submit "proof of mailing within the limitations period," the application or appeal is timely.
The case arose under a provision of the Workers' Compensation Law that allowed a party to "serve" its appeal on the WCB by mailing it to the Board within 30 days. However, the Board took the position that unless it received the application for review on or before the last day of the 30-day limitations period, it was untimely. In Saga's case, although mailed within the 30-day period allowed for filing the application, WCB did not physically receive it until eight days after the statute of limitations had expired.
The rationale underlying the revised ruling is clear. If a person has a statutory right to make a decision, which may be then filed by mail, this period would necessarily be shortened if the appellate body could insist that it physically receive the mailed notice no later than the last day of the period of limitation.
In effect the Appellate Division concluded that the method of service of a notice of appeal, mail or personal delivery, should not determine the time period available to the party to decided whether or not to appeal an administrative ruling.
However, it appears that such a final action must be reduced to writing in order to start the running of the statute of limitations. In McCoy v San Francisco, City and County, 14 F.3d 28 , theU.S. Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit, ruled that a public employee's civil rights suit against his employer accrued when the appointing authority issued a written statement suspending him from work, rather than from the date of a hearing held earlier at which time McCoy was orally told he was suspended from his position.
The Retirement System decision is posted on the Internet at:
The McLaughlin v Saga decision is posted on the Internet at:
The McCoy v
decision is posted on the Internet at: San Francisco