Delay In Filing An Appeal That Is Beyond the Control of the Lawyer
In Bass v. Commonwealth, 485 Pa. 256, 401 A.2d 1133 (1979), our Supreme Court expanded the limited exceptions permitting this relief where non-negligent circumstances relating to either the appellant or the appellant's counsel caused the briefly untimely appeal.
Relying on Bass, this Court permitted appeals in several cases where the brief delay was beyond the control of the appellant or his attorney.
See Perry v. Unemployment Comp. Bd. of Review, 74 Pa. Commw. 388, 459 A.2d 1342 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1983) (three-day delay due to mechanical failure of law clerk's car en route to post office to mail petition for review); Tony Grande, Inc. v. Workmen's Comp. Appeal Bd. (Rodriguez), 71 Pa. Commw. 566, 455 A.2d 299 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1983) (three-day delay due to sudden hospitalization of counsel).
But see Nardy v. Dep't of Transp., Bureau of Driver Licensing, 142 Pa. Commw. 388, 597 A.2d 288 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1991) (untimely appeal not permitted where delay was due to the secretary's failure to place the suspension notice in a file for immediate review).
Significantly, this Court repeatedly states that these decisions were limited strictly to the unique and compelling factual circumstances presented to the Court and "they were never intended to create, as Justice Roberts warned in his dissenting opinion in Bass, a 'new and unnecessary layer of delay, mandating a special inquiry whenever an appeal is untimely filed.'" Guat Gnoh Ho v. Unemployment Comp. Bd. of Review, 106 Pa. Commw. 154, 525 A.2d 874, 875 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1987) (quoting Bass, 485 Pa. at 263, 401 A.2d at 1137 (Roberts, J., dissenting)).
See Lajevic v. Dep't of Transp., Bureau of Driver Licensing, 718 A.2d 371, 373 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1998); Stanton v. Dep't of Transp., Bureau of Driver Licensing, 154 Pa. Commw. 350, 623 A.2d 925 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1993).