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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:An administrative judge determined, after a contested case hearing, that Juanita Hamilton was disabled due to an injury suffered during the course and scope of her employment with appellee Harris County. A Texas Workers’ Compensation Commission appeals panel subsequently concluded that Harris County’s appeal of that decision was untimely filed. Harris County filed a suit in the district court of Harris County, seeking judicial review of the TWCC appeals panel’s decision. TWCC intervened by filing a plea to the jurisdiction, asserting that the district court lacked jurisdiction because of the untimely administrative appeal filed by Harris County. Harris County responded that the district court did have jurisdiction, and asked the district court to determine that its administrative appeal was timely and to remand the matter to the TWCC appeals panel for a review of the merits. The district court granted Harris County’s second motion for summary judgment. The court reversed and set aside the TWCC appeals panel decision, determining that Harris County’s administrative appeal was untimely, and remanded Harris County’s administrative appeal of the hearing officer’s decision to the TWCC appeals panel for a review of the merits of the appeal. After the trial court overruled TWCC’s motion for new trial, TWCC brought this appeal. HOLDING:Affirmed in part; reversed and remanded in part. The court concludes that Harris County’s appeal to the TWCC appeals panel was timely filed, but agrees that the district court lacked the authority to remand the question of a disputed impairment rating to the TWCC appeals panel. The critical issue in this appeal is our construction of TWCC Rule 102.5(d). A communication from the TWCC is deemed received under one of the following three scenarios: “For purposes of determining the date of receipt for those written communications sent by the Commission which require the recipient to perform an action by a specific date after receipt, unless the great weight of evidence indicates otherwise, the Commission shall deem the received date to be five days after the date mailed; the first working day after the date the written communication was placed in a carrier’s Austin representative box located at the Commission’s main office in Austin as indicated by the Commission’s date stamp; or the date faxed or electronically transmitted.” Harris County contends that it received the order on Dec. 27, 1999, five days after the date the order was mailed (and when Harris County’s attorney actually received the order in Houston, Harris County). Therefore, Harris County argues its appeal was timely filed when it was mailed on Jan. 10, 2000. Harris County disputes the application of the second method of calculating the receipt date of TWCC’s Order because TWCC cannot demonstrate compliance with TWCC rule 102.5(d). Harris County contends that even assuming an agent for Harris & Harris signed for the notice on Dec. 22, 1999, Rule 102.5(d) requires the date of receipt to be determined from the TWCC’s date stamp. In this case, there is no TWCC date stamp on the order showing when it was placed in the box of Harris & Harris. Because the court determines that the phrase “unless the great weight of evidence indicates otherwise” is vague and ambiguous, we look to the TWCC’s interpretation of Rule 102.5. the TWCC was concerned about a communication being deemed received if the evidence indicated that it had not been received by one of the deemed dates listed in Rule 102.5. Hence, the phrase “unless the great weight of evidence indicates otherwise” was added to protect a party complaining that it did not have actual notice by one of the deemed dates. The converse � TWCC’s argument in this appeal � is not established by the TWCC’s response. Nor does Rule 102.5(d) or the TWCC’s response indicate that it is the earliest of the deemed date provisions that controls. Thus, the court agrees with Harris County that its appeal was timely filed under Rule 102.5(d). Because Harris County exhausted its administrative remedies, the district court had jurisdiction of Harris County’s suit. The court agrees with TWCC’s argument that even if Harris County’s administrative appeal was timely filed, the district court did not have the authority to remand the issue of Hamilton’s impairment rating to the TWCC appeals panel for further reconsideration. OPINION:Yates, J.; Yates, Anderson and Hudson, JJ..

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