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Court Reviews Jurisdictional Issues in Medical Review Board Appeal

In Moran v. Vermont State Retirement Board, 2015 VT 119 (September 11, 2015), the Vermont Supreme Court upheld a decision that the superior court lacked jurisdiction to hear an appeal from the Medical Review Board’s decision to deny disability retirement benefits.

Issue: Claimant appealed the superior court’s dismissal of her appeal from the Medical Review Board’s denial of benefits for lack of jurisdiction, arguing that the superior court had jurisdiction over the appeal under Vermont Rule of Civil Procedure 75. Claimant also argued that, in the alternative, her timely filed Rule 75 complaint was sufficient to preserve the Court’s jurisdiction under Vermont Rules of Appellate Procedure 3 and 4.

Holding: The Court upheld that superior court’s decision finding that Rule 75 review is not available when the legislature has established a direct route of appeal. In this case, the proper avenue for appeal from a state retirement board decision is an appeal directly to the Court. The Court further held that Claimant’s timely filing in the superior court under Rule 75 did not function as a notice of appeal to the Court, failing to meet the filing requirements under Appellate Rules 3 and 4.

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