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WSI v. Boechler, PC, et al.

Docket No. 20210225
Oral Argument: Monday, January 24, 2022 1:30 PM

Docket Info

Title
State of North Dakota by and through
Workforce Safety and Insurance, Plaintiff and Appellee
v.
Boechler, PC and Jeanette Boechler, Individually, Defendants and Appellants
Case Type
CIVIL APPEAL : WORKERS COMPENSATION
Appeal From
Case No. 2020-CV-2097
East Central Judicial District, Cass County
Tristan Jones Van de Streek

Parties' Statement of Issues

  • Appellant

    A. Plaintiff Workforce Safety & Insurance (WSI) proposed to flagrantly violate both the Procedural Due Process and the Substantive Due Process
    rights of the Boechler party defendants/appellants by virtue of the plaintiff/appellee WSI’s improper attempt to use a April 30, 2015 WSI order to impose liability upon the defendants for events that allegedly occurred years later during the periods July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019 and July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020.
    B. The assessment by plaintiff WSI of $11,486.00 in “penalties” against defendant Boechler P.C. on the basis of $261.99 in workers compensation premiums is violative of Boechler P.C.’s Procedural Due Process and Substantive Due Process, rights – because WSI never entered any
    administrative decision assessing those penalties and necessarily Boechler P.C. was never given an opportunity to appeal those onerous, outsized
    penalty assessments – first administratively and then through eventual judicial review.
    C. While the District Court decided correctly in dismissing Count II of the Complaint which related to alleged personal liability of defendant appellant Jeanette Boechler for unpaid workers compensation premiums and associated penalties, the Court erred in dismissing Count II of the Complaint on a “without prejudice” basis instead of “with prejudice.
    D. Where plaintiff WSI asserts that defendant Boechler P.C. owes a total of only $261.99 in workers compensation premiums themselves – but a whopping $11,486.00 in penalties and penalty interest – these penalties assessed by WSI are so egregiously disproportionate to Boechler P.C.’s
    underlying liability of $261.99 that these penalties and penalty interest violate Boechler P.C.’s Procedural Due Process, Substantive Due Process
    and Excessive Fines Clause constitutional rights under both the United States and North Dakota Constitutions.
    E. Contrary to the erroneous assertions of plaintiff WSI – the defenses interposed by the Boechler P.C. defendants’ based on state and federal constitutional provisions are in no way precluded by application of the doctrine of res judicata – for the foundational reason that administrative agencies are without jurisdiction to adjudicate such constitutional arguments.

  • Appellee 1

    [1] Whether the imposition of penalties under N.D. Admin. R. 92-01-02-14(7) for failure to timely submit payroll reports; under N.D.C.C. § 65-04-33(6)(c) for failure to respond to requests to supply information; and N.D.C.C. § 65-04-33(6)(a) for failure to
    submit payroll report violate procedural due process, substantive due process, or the excessive fines clause under the North Dakota and United States Constitutions.
    [2] Whether the District Court’s correctly dismissed Count II of Plaintiff’s Complaint related to personal liability of Jeanette Boechler under N.D.C.C. § 65-04-26.1 without prejudice.


Summary

Boechler, P.C., and Jeanette Boechler (collectively, “Defendants”) appeal from a judgment holding Boechler, P.C., liable for unpaid workers compensation premiums, penalties, and interest; and dismissing a claim against Jeanette Boechler in her personal capacity without prejudice.

WSI sued the Defendants to collect unpaid workers compensation premiums, penalties, and interest; and to enjoin them from employing others until they have complied with the North Dakota Workers Compensation Act. WSI moved for summary judgment. The district court granted summary judgment as to Boechler, P.C., concluding the law firm was liable for premiums, penalties, and interest, and injunctive relief was appropriate. The court denied summary judgment as to Jeanette Boechler. After a bench trial, the court concluded WSI failed to satisfy the requirements of N.D.C.C. § 65-04-26.1(3), and dismissed the count against Jeanette Boechler without prejudice.

On appeal, the Defendants argue the district court erred by holding Boechler, P.C., liable for penalties in violation of procedural due process, substantive due process, and the excessive fines clause; and dismissing the claim against Jeanette Boechler in her personal capacity without prejudice, instead of with prejudice.


Briefs

Filing Date Description
11/05/2021 APPELLANT BRIEF View
12/06/2021 APPELLEE BRIEF View
01/07/2022 REPLY BRIEF View

Counsel

Party Type Name
APPELLANT PRIVATE PRACTICE David C. Thompson - 03921
APPELLEE SPEC. ASST. ATTY. GEN. Jacqueline Sue Anderson - 05322

(Note: Attachments may not be available for recently filed cases and/or confidential documents.)

Seq. # Filing Date Description Attachment
1 08/12/2021 NOTICE OF APPEAL : 08/12/2021
2 08/16/2021 Rec'd $125 filing fee
3 08/16/2021 NOT. OF FILING NOT. OF APPEAL AND PROOF OF SERV.
4 08/16/2021 Notice served on David C. Thompson & Jacqueline S. Anderson
5 09/13/2021 ELEC. RECORD ON APPEAL DATED SEPTEMBER 10, 2021 (ENTRY NOS.1-88)
6 09/21/2021 MOT. EXT/TIME APPELLANT BRIEF
7 09/22/2021 ACTION BY CLERK - Granted : 10/19/2021
8 10/19/2021 SECOND MOT. EXT/TIME APPELLANT BRIEF
9 10/21/2021 ACTION BY CHIEF JUSTICE - Granted : 11/09/2021
10 11/05/2021 APPELLANT BRIEF View
11 11/05/2021 APPELLANT APPENDIX
12 11/08/2021 Rec'd non-substantive corrections to ATB (paragraph numbering & hard page breaks)
13 11/09/2021 Rec'd 3 ATB & 2 ATA from CSD
14 11/12/2021 Rec'd $31 ATA overage fee (receipt #28283)
15 12/06/2021 APPELLEE BRIEF View
16 12/06/2021 Oral Argument Request by Appellee
17 12/09/2021 Rec'd AEB from CSD
18 12/18/2021 MOT. EXT/TIME REPLY BRIEF
19 12/18/2021 ACTION BY CLERK - Granted : 01/07/2022
20 12/21/2021 NOTICE OF ORAL ARGUMENT SENT
21 12/22/2021 Intent to Particpate in Oral Argument by Appellant
22 01/07/2022 REPLY BRIEF View
23 01/10/2022 Rec'd non-substantive correction to RYB
24 01/10/2022 Rec'd non-substantive RYB C.O.S.
25 01/11/2022 Rec'd 3 copies of RYB from CSD