In re John Doe

Case Type:
Case Status:
Affirmed in part and Reversed in part
16-1681 (3rd Circuit, Mar 09,2017) Not Published
The court affirmed district court's denial of appellant's request for relief under Rule 59(e), but vacated and remanded to district court to determine whether appellant's Rule 60(b) request was filed within a reasonable time. Appellant's 59(e) motion was untimely because even though 59(e) allows 28 days after entry of the order to file the motion, this was a bankruptcy appeal. Therefore, Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9023, which allows 14 days, governs. Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9024 says a motion must be filed within a "reasonable time." The court remanded to determine whether this requirement was met.
Procedural context:
Appeal from an order of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania dismissing an appeal from an order of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania finding that appellant's involuntary petition was filed in bad faith.
Appellant filed an involuntary petition against putative debtor John Doe. The bankruptcy court dismissed the petition, and John Doe filed a motion to have the petition declared to be in bad faith. Appellant failed to appear, and the motion was granted. Appellant did not timely appeal the bad faith finding, and then sought an extension of time to file the notice of appeal. The bankruptcy court denied that motion. Appellant appealed that denial to the district court, but failed to file the designation of the record on appeal. The district court dismissed the appeal and remanded to bankruptcy court. Appellant moved in the district court for post-judgment relief under Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e) and 60(b), arguing that the appeal should be reinstated, arguing that its attorney's failure to calendar the correct deadline to designate the record on appeal constituted excusable neglect. The district court denied that motion as "untimely," without elaboration. Then, appellant filed a Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e) motion in the district court, arguing that the court erred when it held that the initial Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e) and 60(b) motion was untimely. The district court denied this motion too, without explanation.
Fisher, Vanaskie, and Krause

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