In Administrator v. Walkowicz the NTSB granted the FAA’s motion to dismiss the airman’s untimely appeal of an administrative law judge’s written initial decision. In response to the FAA’s motion, the airman’s counsel argued that the untimely filing was due to “clerical error” and that the FAA was not prejudiced by the late filing. The NTSB rejected the arguments.
First, it noted that “clerical error”, without further explanation of the nature of the actual error, does not amount to good cause for the untimely filing (In the absence of good cause, dismissal of an untimely filing of the notice of appeal is required by Board precedent and policy). Second, the Board held that lack of prejudice to the FAA does not constitute good cause for an untimely filing. The Board stated that “we do not evaluate untimely filings under a prejudice standard; rather, we uniformly apply a good cause standard”.
This case is yet another example of the Board’s strict adherence to the “good cause” standard in evaluating untimely filings. Certificate holders and their counsel need to understand and be aware of the deadlines for filing appeals in order to avoid finding themselves in the position of having to argue, and meet the high burden of proving, “good cause” for a delay.