§ 131.33. Answers except answers to petitions for joinder and challenge proceedings.

 (a)  Answers to claim petitions shall be filed in accordance with section 416 of the act (77 P. S. §  821) within 20 days after the date of assignment to the judge. Except petitions for joinder under §  131.36 (relating to joinder), and challenge proceedings which require no answer, answers to all other petitions may be filed within 20 days after the date of assignment to the judge.

 (b)  Any answer filed in accordance with this chapter shall be filed with the Department as prescribed on the answer form. If there is no applicable Department answer form available, an original of the answer shall be filed with the Department.

 (c)  Concurrently with filing the answer, the responding party shall serve a copy of the answer on unrepresented parties and on counsel of record.

 (d)  An answer shall admit or deny each averment of fact in the petition or any part of the averment to which it is responsive. A party denying only a part of the averment shall specify so much of it as is admitted and shall deny the remainder. Where applicable, admissions and denials in an answer shall refer to the specific paragraph in which the averment admitted or denied is set forth.

 (e)  Subsections (a)—(d) supersede 1 Pa. Code § §  33.15, 33.37, 35.35—35.41, 35.54, 35.55 and 35.161 and also supersede 1 Pa. Code Chapter 35, Subchapter D (relating to motions).

Authority

   The provisions of this §  131.33 amended under sections 401.1, 435(a) and (c) and 1608 of the Workers’ Compensation Act (77 P. S. § §  710, 991(a) and (c) and 2708); section 2205 of The Administrative Code of 1929 (71 P. S. §  565); and section 414 of The Pennsylvania Occupational Disease Act (77 P. S. §  1514).

Source

   The provisions of this §  131.33 adopted November 6, 1981, effective November 7, 1981, 11 Pa.B. 4015; reserved March 29, 1991, effective March 30, 1991, 21 Pa.B. 1401; amended December 6, 2002, effective December 7, 2002, 32 Pa.B. 6043; amended December 19, 2014, effective December 20, 2014, 44 Pa.B. 7837. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (345986) to (345987).

Notes of Decisions

   Late Answer

   A failure by an employer to file its answer within 15 days after a copy of the claim petition has been served will result in the employer admitting all of the allegations in the petition and preclude the employer from disputing those facts at the hearing. Straub v. Workmen’s Compensation Appeal Board, 538 A.2d 965 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1988); affirmed 598 A.2d 27 (Pa. 1991). (Editor’s Note: The court cited to former §  131.22 which dealt with filing answers.)

Cross References

   This section cited in 34 Pa. Code §  131.12 (relating to modification of time); and 34 Pa. Code §  131.121 (relating to penalty proceedings initiated by a party).



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