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Buchanan v. Merit Systems Protection Board

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FEDERAL CIRCUIT


February 7, 1985

LEROY BUCHANAN, PETITIONER,
v.
MERIT SYSTEMS PROTECTION BOARD, RESPONDENT.

Appeal from the Merit Systems Protection Board

Bissell

Before MARKEY, Chief Judge, NICHOLS, Senior Circuit Judge, and BISSELL, Circuit Judge.

BISSELL, Circuit Judge.

DECISION

The decision of the Merit Systems Protection Board (Board), Docket No. CH07528410071, dismissing petitioner's untimely petition for review is affirmed.

On October 26, 1983, Buchanan appealed from the action of the United States Postal Service removing him from his position. The presiding official dismissed that appeal in an initial decision dated November 27, 1983, and advised him that a petition for review had to be filed not later than January 31, 1984.

Over a month after that deadline, by a letter dated March 12, 1984, Buchanan filed a petition for review with the full Board seeking to present new and material evidence. The Board dismissed that petition as untimely filed.

The Board may waive the time limit for good cause. 5 C.F.R. ยง 120.113(d) (1984). Buchanan, however, has not shown good cause for such a waiver. The fact that Buchanan's former attorney failed timely to prepare a petition for review and that Buchanan did not learn that she was withdrawing until seven days before the deadline does not constitute good cause. The law is clear in this court that a party is bound by the action or inaction of his chosen representative. Johnson v. Department of the Treasury, 721 F.2d 361, 365 (Fed. Cir. 1983).

Moreover, after he learned of his former attorney's withdrawal Buchanan himself did not act as a reasonably diligent and prudent person. He failed either to file a pro se petition for review or to request an extension of time. This failure is particularly significant because Buchanan's earlier appeal (from the agency to the presiding official) too was dismissed as untimely filed.

19850207

© 1998 VersusLaw Inc.



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