Sunday, February 7, 2010

Supreme Court Decision Renders Previously Timely Notice Of Appeal Untimely

The Ninth Circuit's decision in Haight v. Catholic Healthcare West is an interesting one.  The notice of appeal was timely filed based upon the existing law in the circuit.  However, the Supreme Court issued an opinion stating that the circuit was wrong with regard to the law.  Therefore, the notice of appeal was untimely.  The court stated:
Plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal in this qui tam action 51 days after the district court granted summary judgment in favor of Defendants. We must dismiss this appeal for lack of jurisdiction because Plaintiffs filed the notice of appeal more than 30 days after the entry of judgment. Fed. R. App. P. 4(a)(1)(A). When the notice of appeal was filed, this appeal was timely under then-controlling circuit law that gave Plaintiffs 60 days to file an appeal, but dismissal is now required by an intervening Supreme Court decision ruling that the allowable time is 30 days.
It is a serious understatement to call this result “inequitable,” Bowles, 551 U.S. at 214. Plaintiffs reasonably relied on Ninth Circuit precedent that gave them 60 days to file a notice of appeal. But the Supreme Court has instructed us that concerns of equity must give way before the “rigorous rules” of statutory jurisdiction. Id.
Thanks to How Appealing.


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