Wednesday, March 17, 2010

UC - findings - no implicit findings - remand

Johnson v. UCBR - March 17, 2010 - unreported memorandum decision

Pro se claimant/appellant was successful in getting the case remanded to the UCBR, because the Board failed to make a critical finding of fact about claimant's knowledge of her duty to get state employment clearances.

The court said that

We decline to accept the “implicit” finding of fact that is critical to the outcome of this matter. Indeed, our Supreme Court has cautioned against such implicit findings stating, “[a]n appellate court or other reviewing body should not infer from the absence of a finding on a given point that the question was resolved in favor of the party who prevailed below, for the point may have been overlooked or the law misunderstood at the trial or hearing level.” Page's Department Store v. Velardi, 464 Pa. 276, 287, 346 A.2d 556, 561 (1975); see also Monroe G. Koggan Associates, Inc. v. UCBR, 472 A.2d 277, 280 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1984)

Moreover, we have held that a remand is appropriate: "where the findings of fact are inadequate and cannot be construed to resolve all of the factual issues necessary for proper appellate review, “[i]t is not for this Court . . . to make findings of fact because the duty to consider and evaluate testimony and to make findings of fact thereon is for the fact-finder. When the fact-finder in an administrative proceeding is required to set forth [its] findings in an adjudication that adjudication must include all findings necessary to resolve the issues raised by the evidence which are relevant to the decision.” Monroe G. Koggan, 472 A.2d at 280 (emphasis added) (quoting Lipchack v. UCBR, 383 A.2d 970, 972 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1978) (citations omitted)).