Wisconsin Labor and Industry Review Commission --
Summary of Wisconsin Court Decision relating to Unemployment Insurance

Subject: Robert Alexander (Hrg. No. 97000485MD) v. Labor, Industry, Review Commission, Case 97-CV-1664 (Wis. Cir. Ct., Dane Co., August 14, 1997)

Digest Codes:  PC 751.4

Plaintiff commenced an action for judicial review of the commission decision which denied him benefits, by filing and serving authenticated copies of a summons, a letter to the judge, and a copy of the commission’s decision, as well as a number of other documents which did not bear authentication stamps from the clerk of court. The commission moved to dismiss on the grounds that the plaintiff had not made his former employer, which was an adverse party, a defendant in the action.

Held: Complaint dismissed. Regardless of which of the three approaches to identifying an adverse party is used, the plaintiff’s former employer was an adverse party which should have been made a defendant. Where an adverse party is not made a defendant, the court lacks competency to proceed and must dismiss the action. The fact that the former employer was mentioned in some of the documents filed is irrelevant because the references, all of which are in documents which predate the commencement of the action, do not make the former employer a defendant. The commission had no duty to inform the plaintiff of the legal inadequacy of the documents when it received them from him. Its only obligation was to bring its objections to the court, which it did. Plaintiff may not now correct the deficiency in the complaint by amendment because the time to commence the action has expired. Plaintiff’s pro se status does not provide any basis for ignoring the defects in the attempt to commence the action.

Please note that this is a summary prepared by staff of the commission, not a verbatim reproduction of the court decision.

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