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Lewis v. Louisiana State Judicial Review Board

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, First Circuit

November 2, 2018

BRIAN LEWIS
v.
LOUISIANA STATE JUDICIAL REVIEW BOARD

          Appealed from the Nineteenth Judicial District Court In and for the Parish of East Baton Rouge, State of Louisiana Docket Number C657819 Honorable Todd Hernandez, Judge Presiding

          Brian Lewis Baton Rouge, LA Plaintiff/Appellant, pro se

          Danelle L. Gilkes Claudeira M. Minor Cynthia T. Batiste Jerome J. Burden Baton Rouge, LA Counsel for Defendant/Appellee, Louisiana Workforce Commission, Louisiana Board of Review

          Rachel S. Guttman Thomas P. Anzelmo Isidro R. Derojas New Orleans, LA Counsel for Defendant/Appellee, Sams East, Inc.

          BEFORE: WHIPPLE, C.J., McCLENDON AND HIGGINBOTHAM, JJ.

          WHIPPLE, C.J.

         Brian Lewis, the claimant herein, appeals the district court's judgment that affirmed the decision of the Board of Review disqualifying him from unemployment benefits due to his misconduct during employment. For the following reasons, we affirm.

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         Lewis was employed by Wal Mart Associates, Inc., [1] at one of its Sam's Club stores, as a part-time lot attendant. On February 14, 2017, his employment was terminated on the basis that he had accepted a gratuity from a club member, in violation of company rules.

         Following his discharge, Lewis filed a claim for unemployment compensation benefits. However, his claim for benefits was denied based on a finding that he had been discharged for violation of a company policy of which he was aware.

         Lewis appealed the Agency's determination to the Appeals Tribunal of the Louisiana Workforce Commission. See LSA-R.S. 23:1628, LSA-R.S. 23:1629(A), & LAC 4O;IV.IO9. After conducting a hearing by telephone, an Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") with the Appeals Tribunal issued a written decision affirming the Agency's determination of disqualification. See LAC 40:IV.115 & LAC 40;IV.123.

         Lewis then appealed to the Board of Review ("the Board"). See LSA-R.S. 23:1630 & LAC 4O;IV.I25. After review of the record, the Board affirmed the ALJ's decision disqualifying Lewis from unemployment compensation benefits.

         Lewis then filed a petition for judicial review in the district court. See LSA-R.S. 23:1634(A). After considering the record and oral argument of the parties, the district court issued a "Ruling," concluding that the Board's decision was lawfully supported by the evidence and, thus, "order[ing] that the relief [Lewis sought] in his request for judicial review be dismissed and the Board's decision affirmed." Thereafter, by judgment dated December 13, 2017, the district court, in accordance with its "Ruling," affirmed the decision of the Board, which had affirmed the ALJ's disqualification of Lewis for unemployment compensation benefits.

         Lewis now appeals to this court. While he does not specifically list any assignments of error, Lewis essentially contends that ...


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