Coleman v. United Parcel Service

In Coleman v. United Parcel Service, 155 Vt. 646, 582 A.2d 151 (Vt. 1990), the Vermont Supreme Court considered whether a statutory sixty-day requirement was mandatory. The statute provided that "[w]ithin sixty days [of hearing], the commissioner shall make his award setting forth his findings of fact and the law applicable thereto and shall forthwith send to each of the parties a copy of such award." Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 21, 664 (1990). The court refused to vacate an award issued more than sixty days after the hearing and stated: A statutory time period is not mandatory unless it both expressly requires an agency or public official to act within a particular time period and specifies a consequence for failure to comply with the provision. Moreover, compliance with the time limit is never considered essential to the validity of the proceeding, unless such is the expressed or evident intention of the Legislature. Coleman, 582 A.2d at 152.