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Title 5Chapter IISubchapter APart 1201Subpart B → Subject Group

Title 5: Administrative Personnel
Subpart B—Procedures for Appellate Cases

Appeal of Agency Action; Pleadings

§1201.21   Notice of appeal rights.

When an agency issues a decision notice to an employee on a matter that is appealable to the Board, the agency must provide the employee with the following:

(a) Notice of the time limits for appealing to the Board, the requirements of §1201.22(c), and the address of the appropriate Board office for filing the appeal;

(b) A copy, or access to a copy, of the Board's regulations;

(c) A copy, or access to a copy, of the MSPB appeal form available at the Board's Web site (http://www.mspb.gov), and

(d) Notice of any right the employee has to file a grievance or seek corrective action under subchapters II and III of 5 U.S.C. chapter 12, including:

(1) Whether the election of any applicable grievance procedure will result in waiver of the employee's right to file an appeal with the Board;

(2) Whether both an appeal to the Board and a grievance may be filed on the same matter and, if so, the circumstances under which proceeding with one will preclude proceeding with the other, and specific notice that filing a grievance will not extend the time limit for filing an appeal with the Board;

(3) Whether there is any right to request Board review of a final decision on a grievance in accordance with §1201.155 of this part; and

(4) The effect of any election under 5 U.S.C. 7121(g), including the effect that seeking corrective action under subchapters II and III of 5 U.S.C. chapter 12 will have on the employee's appeal rights before the Board.

(e) Notice of any right the employee has to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or to grieve allegations of unlawful discrimination, consistent with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 7121(d) and 29 CFR 1614.301 and 1614.302.

(f) The name or title and contact information for the agency official to whom the Board should send the Acknowledgment Order and copy of the appeal in the event the employee files an appeal with the Board. Contact information should include the official's mailing address, email address, telephone and fax numbers.

[74 FR 9343, Mar. 4, 2009, as amended at 77 FR 62364, Oct. 12, 2012; 78 FR 21518, Apr. 11, 2013]

§1201.22   Filing an appeal and responses to appeals.

(a) Place of filing. Appeals, and responses to those appeals, must be filed with the appropriate Board regional or field office. See §1201.4(d) of this part.

(b) Time of filing. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, an appeal must be filed no later than 30 days after the effective date, if any, of the action being appealed, or 30 days after the date of the appellant's receipt of the agency's decision, whichever is later. Where an appellant and an agency mutually agree in writing to attempt to resolve their dispute through an alternative dispute resolution process prior to the timely filing of an appeal, however, the time limit for filing the appeal is extended by an additional 30 days—for a total of 60 days. A response to an appeal must be filed within 20 days of the date of the Board's acknowledgment order. The time for filing a submission under this section is computed in accordance with §1201.23 of this part.

(2) The time limit prescribed by paragraph (b)(1) of this section for filing an appeal does not apply where a law or regulation establishes a different time limit or where there is no applicable time limit. No time limit applies to appeals under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (Pub. L. 103-353), as amended; see part 1208 of this title. See part 1208 of this title for the statutory filing time limits applicable to appeals under the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act (Pub. L. 105-339). See part 1209 of this title for the statutory filing time limits applicable to whistleblower appeals and stay requests.

(3) An appellant is responsible for keeping the agency informed of his or her current home address for purposes of receiving the agency's decision, and correspondence which is properly addressed and sent to the appellant's address via postal or commercial delivery is presumed to have been duly delivered to the addressee. While such a presumption may be overcome under the circumstances of a particular case, an appellant may not avoid service of a properly addressed and mailed decision by intentional or negligent conduct which frustrates actual service. The appellant may also be deemed to have received the agency's decision if it was received by a designated representative or a person of suitable age and discretion residing with the appellant. The following examples illustrate the application of this rule:

Example A: An appellant who fails to pick up mail delivered to his or her post office box may be deemed to have received the agency decision.

Example B: An appellant who did not receive his or her mail while in the hospital may overcome the presumption of actual receipt.

Example C: An appellant may be deemed to have received an agency decision received by his or her roommate.

(c) Timeliness of appeals. If a party does not submit an appeal within the time set by statute, regulation, or order of a judge, it will be dismissed as untimely filed unless a good reason for the delay is shown. The judge will provide the party an opportunity to show why the appeal should not be dismissed as untimely.

(d) Method of filing an appeal. Filing of an appeal must be made with the appropriate Board office by commercial or personal delivery, by facsimile, by mail, or by electronic filing under §1201.14.

(e) Filing a response. Filing of a response must be made with the appropriate Board office by commercial or personal delivery, by facsimile, by mail, or by electronic filing under §1201.14.

[54 FR 53504, Dec. 29, 1989]

Editorial Note: For Federal Register citations affecting §1201.22, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and at www.govinfo.gov.

§1201.23   Computation of time.

In computing the number of days allowed for complying with any deadline, the first day counted is the day after the event from which the time period begins to run. If the date that ordinarily would be the last day for filing falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal holiday, the filing period will include the first workday after that date. Unless a different deadline is specified by the Board or its designee, 5 days are added to a party's deadline for responding to a document served on the party by mail.

Example 1: If an employee receives a decision notice that is effective on July 1, the 30-day period for filing an appeal starts to run on July 2. The filing ordinarily would be timely only if it is made by July 31. If July 31 is a Saturday, however, the last day for filing would be Monday, August 2.

Example 2: The judge orders the appellant to file a response to a jurisdictional order no later than October 15, 2012, and that the agency's response is due 10 days after the filing of the appellant's pleading. If the appellant serves the agency with a pleading via regular mail on October 15, the agency's deadline for filing a response will be October 30, not October 25.

[77 FR 62364, Oct. 12, 2012]

§1201.24   Content of an appeal; right to hearing.

(a) Content. Only an appellant, his or her designated representative, or a party properly substituted under §1201.35 may file an appeal. Appeals may be in any format, including letter form. An appeal may be filed in electronic form provided that the requirements of §1201.14 have been satisfied. All appeals must contain the following:

(1) The name, address, and telephone number of the appellant, and the name and address of the agency that took the action;

(2) A description of the action the agency took and its effective date;

(3) A request for hearing if the appellant wants one;

(4) A statement of the reasons why the appellant believes the agency action is wrong;

(5) A statement of the action the appellant would like the judge to order;

(6) The name, address, and telephone number of the appellant's representative, if the appellant has a representative;

(7) Where applicable, a copy of the notice of proposed action, the agency decision being appealed and, if available, the SF-50 or similar notice of personnel action. No other attachments should be included with the appeal, as the agency will be submitting the documents required by 1201.25 of this part, and there will be several opportunities to submit evidence and argument after the appeal is filed. An appellant should not miss the deadline for filing merely because he or she does not currently have all of the documents specified in this section.

(8) A statement telling whether the appellant or anyone acting on his or her behalf has filed a grievance or a formal discrimination complaint with any agency regarding this matter; and

(9) The signature of the appellant or, if the appellant has a representative, of the representative. If the appeal is electronically filed, compliance with §1201.14 and the directions at the Board's e-Appeal site (https://e-appeal.mspb.gov) satisfy the signature requirement.

(b) An appellant may raise a claim or defense not included in the appeal at any time before the end of the conference(s) held to define the issues in the case. An appellant may not raise a new claim or defense after that time, except for good cause shown. However, a claim or defense not included in the appeal may be excluded if a party shows that including it would result in undue prejudice.

(c) Use of Board form or electronic filing. An appellant may comply with paragraph (a) of this section, and with §1201.31, by completing MSPB Form 185, or by completing all requests for information marked as required at the e-Appeal site (https://e-appeal.mspb.gov). MSPB Form 185 can be accessed at the Board's Web site (http://www.mspb.gov).

(d) Right to hearing. An appellant generally has a right to a hearing on the merits if the appeal has been timely filed and the Board has jurisdiction over the appeal.

(e) Timely request. The appellant must submit any request for a hearing with the appeal, or within any other time period the judge sets for that purpose. If the appellant does not make a timely request for a hearing, the right to a hearing is waived.

[54 FR 53504, Dec. 29, 1989, as amended at 68 FR 59862, Oct. 20, 2003; 69 FR 57629, Sept. 27, 2004; 77 FR 62364, Oct. 12, 2012]

§1201.25   Content of agency response.

The agency response to an appeal must contain the following:

(a) The name of the appellant and of the agency whose action the appellant is appealing;

(b) A statement identifying the agency action taken against the appellant and stating the reasons for taking the action;

(c) All documents contained in the agency record of the action;

(d) Designation of and signature by the authorized agency representative; and

(e) Any other documents or responses requested by the Board.

§1201.26   Number of pleadings, service, and response.

(a) Number. The appellant must file two copies of both the appeal and all attachments with the appropriate Board office, unless the appellant files an appeal in electronic form under §1201.14.

(b) Service—(1) Service by the Board. The appropriate office of the Board will mail a copy of the appeal to each party to the proceeding other than the appellant. It will attach to each copy a service list, consisting of a list of the names and addresses of the parties to the proceeding or their designated representatives.

(2) Service by the parties. The parties must serve on each other one copy of each pleading, as defined by §1201.4(b), and all documents submitted with it, except for the appeal. They may do so by mail, by facsimile, by commercial or personal delivery, or by electronic filing in accordance with §1201.14. Documents and pleadings must be served upon each party and each representative. A certificate of service stating how and when service was made must accompany each pleading. The parties must notify the appropriate Board office and one another, in writing, of any changes in the names, or addresses on the service list.

(c) Paper size. Pleadings and attachments must be filed on 812 by 11-inch paper, except for good cause shown. This requirement enables the Board to comply with standards established for U.S. courts. All electronic documents must be formatted so that they will print on 812 by 11-inch paper.

[54 FR 53504, Dec. 29, 1989; 55 FR 548, Jan. 5, 1990, as amended at 58 FR 36345, July 7, 1993; 68 FR 59862, Oct. 20, 2003; 69 FR 57629, Sept. 27, 2004]

§1201.27   Class appeals.

(a) Appeal. One or more employees may file an appeal as representatives of a class of employees. The judge will hear the case as a class appeal if he or she finds that a class appeal is the fairest and most efficient way to adjudicate the appeal and that the representative of the parties will adequately protect the interests of all parties. When a class appeal is filed, the time from the filing date until the judge issues his or her decision under paragraph (b) of this section is not counted in computing the time limit for individual members of the potential class to file individual appeals.

(b) Procedure. The judge will consider the appellant's request and any opposition to that request, and will issue an order within 30 days after the appeal is filed stating whether the appeal is to be heard as a class appeal. If the judge denies the request, the appellants affected by the decision may file individual appeals within 30 days after the date of receipt of the decision denying the request to be heard as a class appeal. Each individual appellant is responsible for either filing an individual appeal within the original time limit, or keeping informed of the status of a class appeal and, if the class appeal is denied, filing an individual appeal within the additional 35-day period.

(c) Standards. In determining whether it is appropriate to treat an appeal as a class action, the judge will be guided but not controlled by the applicable provisions of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

(d) Electronic filing. A request to hear a case as a class appeal and any opposition thereto may not be filed in electronic form. Subsequent pleadings may be filed and served in electronic form, provided that the requirements of §1201.14 are satisfied.

[54 FR 53504, Dec. 29, 1989, as amended at 59 FR 31109, June 17, 1994; 62 FR 59992, Nov. 6, 1997; 68 FR 59862, Oct. 20, 2003; 69 FR 57630, Sept. 27, 2004]

§1201.28   Case suspension procedures.

(a) Suspension period. The judge may issue an order suspending the processing of an appeal for up to 30 days. The judge may grant a second order suspending the processing of an appeal for up to an additional 30 days.

(b) Early termination of suspension period. The administrative judge may terminate the suspension period upon joint request of the parties or where the parties request the judge's assistance and the judge's involvement is likely to be extensive.

(c) Termination of suspension period. If the final day of any suspension period falls on a day on which the Board is closed for business, adjudication shall resume as of the first business day following the expiration of the period.

(d) Mediation. Whenever an appeal is accepted into the Board's Mediation Appeals Program (MAP), the processing of the appeal and all deadlines are suspended until the mediator returns the case to the judge. This provision does not apply where the parties enter into other forms of alternative dispute resolution.

[77 FR 62365, Oct. 12, 2012]

§1201.29   Dismissal without prejudice.

(a) In general. Dismissal without prejudice is a procedural option that allows for the dismissal and subsequent refiling of an appeal.

(b) Procedure. Dismissal without prejudice may be granted on the judge's own motion or upon request by either party. The decision whether to dismiss an appeal without prejudice is committed to the sound discretion of the judge, and may be granted when the interests of fairness, due process, and administrative efficiency outweigh any prejudice to either party.

(c) Refiling. Except in certain USERRA appeals under Part 1208 involving the use of military leave, a decision dismissing an appeal without prejudice will include a date certain by which the appeal must be refiled. The judge will determine whether the appeal must be refiled by the appellant or whether it will be automatically refiled by the judge as of a date certain. When a dismissal without prejudice is issued over the objection of the appellant, the appeal will be automatically refiled as of a date certain.

(d) Waiver. When a dismissed appeal must be refiled by the appellant, requests for waiver of a late filing based upon good cause will be liberally construed.

[77 FR 62365, Oct. 12, 2012]

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