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The newly created Appellate Division of the Workers’ Compensation Board was established by the 125th Legislature as part of the restructure of the Maine workers’ compensation system. [PL 2011 ch 647 §§19-21]. The division went into effect August 30, 2012.
Creation of the division changes the process for challenging the decision of a single Hearing Officer of the Board. Parties must now first bring an appeal to the division, and not the Law Court. The Law Court has amended Maine Rule of Appellate Procedure 23 to eliminate direct, discretionary appeals from decisions of a single Board Hearing Officer [Me.R.App.P 23].
Any party may file an appeal with the division by submitting form “Notice of Intent to Appeal” (form # WCB-240) to the division Clerk’s Office in Portland.
Appeals are “of right” (i.e., not discretionary) and may be taken from any decision of a single Board Hearing Officer made pursuant to section 318 of the Workers’ Compensation Act.
Cases on appeal will be heard by a panel of no less than three (3) of the Board’s Hearing Officers (excluding the Hearing Officer whose decision is under review) appointed by the Board’s Executive Director. The panel will issue a written decision reversing or modifying the original decree.
Appeals from a decision of the full Board pursuant to Section 320 or from a decision of the Appellate Division will continue to be brought as discretionary appeals to the Law Court.
Appellate Division Staff
Sally Enoch, Clerk/Staff Attorney
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