Jus­tices to hear job­less case

The Detroit News - - Metro - BY BETH LEBLANC Detroit News Lans­ing Bureau

Lans­ing — The Michi­gan Supreme Court will hear oral ar­gu­ments on a case brought by res­i­dents who said they were falsely ac­cused of un­em­ploy­ment fraud.

Judges will hear ar­gu­ments in Bauser­man v Un­em­ploy­ment In­sur­ance Agency Oct. 10 dur­ing the court’s af­ter­noon ses­sion, ac­cord­ing to a no­tice from the courts.

The case stems from wide­spread prob­lems with an au­to­mated com­puter sys­tem the state used to de­ter­mine un­em­ploy­ment fraud. The Michi­gan Un­em­ploy­ment In­sur­ance Agency re­versed more than 40,000 de­ter­mi­na­tions made by the sys­tem be­tween Oc­to­ber 2013 and Au­gust 2015.

The class-ac­tion suit ar­gues the state, based on those faulty de­ter­mi­na­tions, seized res­i­dents’ prop­erty with­out proper no­tice, vi­o­lat­ing their con­sti­tu­tional due process rights.

“Af­ter more than five years, it’s time for these peo­ple to have their day in court,” said Jen­nifer Lord, one of the lead at­tor­neys for the case.

The case had been tossed by the state Court of Ap­peals in July 2017 in a rul­ing that de­ter­mined res­i­dents failed to file their clas­s­ac­tion law­suit within six months of the harm hav­ing oc­curred, a time­line re­quired in suits seek­ing fi­nan­cial dam­ages against the state.

The state has ar­gued the harm hap­pened when the in­di­vid­u­als first re­ceived no­tices of the penal­ties, while res­i­dent said it oc­curred when their in­come taxes were seized.

The state has paid roughly $21 mil­lion in resti­tu­tion, penal­ties and in­ter­est to peo­ple wrong­fully ac­cused be­tween 2013 and 2015.

David Guralnick / The Detroit News

The case to be heard in Oc­to­ber stems from prob­lems with a com­puter sys­tem the state used to de­ter­mine un­em­ploy­ment fraud.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.