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The Security National Bank of Sioux City, IA v. Vera T. Welte Testamentary Trust

Summarizing by Amir Shachmurove

In re: Paul Darren Smith

Case Type:
Case Status:
Reversed and Remanded
20-8015, 2021 WL 212361 (6th Circuit, Jan 21,2021) Published
Bankruptcy Court erred in denying motion to extend time to file notice of appeal were Court did not consider Pioneer factors
Procedural context:
Debtor suffered an adverse judgment finding debt to be nondischargeable. Debtor did not timely file notice of appeal under rule 8002. Debtor filed motion for extension of time on the 21st day after expiration of the initial time to file the Notice of Appeal. Bankruptcy Court denied motion as untimely. Debtor appealed.
Debtors suffered a judgment on February 12, 2020, finding debt to be nondischargeable. Debtor filed a notice of appeal on February 27, one day after expiration of the 14 day deadline required by rule 8002(a). On March 18, 2020, Debtor filed a motion for extension of time to file a notice of appeal under Rule 8002(d)(1)(B) which allows motion to be filed within 21 days after deadline for filing notice of appeal expired on a showing of excusable neglect in failing to file notice of appeal within initial deadline. March 18 was the 21st day after expiration of the initial deadline to file the notice of appeal. The Bankruptcy Court denied the motion finding a lack of excusable neglect based solely on Debtor's 21 day delay before filing the motion to extend time. Sixth Circuit BAP held that Supreme Court's ruling in Pioneer Inv. Servs. Co. v. Brunswick Assocs. Ltd. P'ship., 507 U.S. 380, 395, 113 S. Ct. 1489 (1993) requires consideration of danger to prejudice to opposing party, length of delay and potential impact on judicial proceedings, reasons for the delay including whether circumstances were within reasonable control of moving party, and whether movant acted in good faith. Bankruptcy Court's statement that while missing 14 day appeal deadline by one day may have constituted excusable neglect, waiting three weeks before notifying Court of request to extend deadline was not excusable. Length of delay in seeking to extend deadline is one relevant circumstances but cannot be used to the exclusion of other factors including reason for missing original deadline. Case reversed and remanded to Bankruptcy Court for further consideration taking into account proper weighing of Pioneer factors.
Buchanan, Mashburn and Price Smith

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