Meredith Henderson, the North Carolina Industrial Commission’s Executive Secretary, has announced that beginning Monday, September 18, 2017, the Commission will no longer accept Motions or Motion Responses filed by adjusters. The Commission, in conjunction with the North Carolina State Bar, has deemed filing Motions and Responses to be the unlicensed practice of law, in violation of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 84-4.
Adjusters will no longer be permitted to file the following:
- Form 24: Application to Terminate or Suspend Payment of Compensation
- Responses to Form 23: Application to Reinstate Payment of Disability Compensation
- Responses to Form 28U: Employee’s Request that Compensation be Reinstated After Unsuccessful Trial Return to Work
- Responses to Form 18M: Employee’s Applications for Additional Medical Compensation
- Motions to Compel Compliance
- Responses to Medical Motions
- Any other requests for Relief
If an adjuster attempts to file any of the aforementioned documents, the Industrial Commission will respond with this draft Memo.
The Memo informs the non-attorney that the submission has been rejected and will not be considered by the Commission. It informs Defendants that they may obtain legal counsel to file the pleading, and instructs Defendants that if they wish to file a Response, they have 10 days from the date of the Memorandum to obtain legal counsel and file a Response.
It should be noted that this policy change will not impact Adjusters’ ability to file:
- Form 19: Employer’s Report of Employee’s Injury or Occupational Disease to the Industrial Commission
- Form 60: Employer’s Admission of Employee’s Right to Compensation
- Form 63: Notice to Employee of Payment of Compensation Without Prejducie or Payment of Medical Benefits Only Without Prejudice
- Form 61: Denial of Workers’ Compensation Claim
- Form 26A: Employer’s Admission of Employee’s Right to Permanent Partial Disability
- Form 29: Supplemental Report for Fatal Accidents
It is not yet clear whether adjusters will be allowed to file or respond to Discovery Motions or Motions for Extension of Time. We will provide a subsequent update once we have further information regarding these Motions and Responses, as well as any other information we receive from the North Carolina Industrial Commission or the North Carolina State Bar.
If you have any questions regarding the North Carolina Industrial Commission’s new policy, please contact the attorneys at Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP.