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Bowles v. Russell

Supreme Court of the United States

March 26, 2007, Argued ; June 14, 2007, Decided

No. 06-5306

Opinion

 [*206]  [**2362]  Justice Thomas delivered the opinion of the Court.

In this case, a District Court purported to extend a party's time for filing an appeal beyond the period allowed by statute. We must decide whether the Court of Appeals had jurisdiction to entertain an appeal filed after the statutory period but within the period allowed by the District Court's order. We have long and repeatedly held that HN1[] LEdHN[1][] [1] the time limits for filing a notice of appeal are jurisdictional in nature. Accordingly, we hold that petitioner's untimely notice--even  [*207]  though filed in reliance upon a District Court's order--deprived the Court of Appeals of jurisdiction.

In 1999, an Ohio jury convicted petitioner Keith Bowles of murder for his involvement in the beating death of Ollie Gipson. The jury sentenced Bowles to 15-years-to-life imprisonment. Bowles unsuccessfully challenged his conviction and sentence on direct appeal.

Bowles then filed a federal habeas corpus application on September 5, 2002. On [****5]  September 9, 2003, the District Court denied Bowles habeas relief. HN2[] [2] After the entry of final judgment, Bowles had 30 days to file a notice of appeal. Fed. Rule App. Proc. 4(a)(1)(A); 28 U.S.C. § 2107(a). He failed to do so. On December 12, 2003, Bowles moved to reopen the period during which he could file his notice of appeal pursuant to Rule 4(a)(6), which allows district courts to extend the filing period for 14 days from the day the district court grants the order  [***101] to reopen, provided certain conditions are met. See § 2107(c).

On February 10, 2004, the District Court granted Bowles' motion. But rather than extending the time period by 14 days, as Rule 4(a)(6) and § 2107(c) allow, the District Court inexplicably gave Bowles 17 days--until February 27--to file his notice of appeal. Bowles filed his notice on February 26--within the 17 days allowed by the District Court's order, but after the 14-day period allowed by Rule 4(a)(6) and § 2107(c).

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551 U.S. 205 *; 127 S. Ct. 2360 **; 168 L. Ed. 2d 96 ***; 2007 U.S. LEXIS 7721 ****; 75 U.S.L.W. 4428; 68 Fed. R. Serv. 3d (Callaghan) 190; 20 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 352

KEITH BOWLES, Petitioner v. HARRY RUSSELL, WARDEN

Prior History:  [****1] ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT.

Bowles v. Russell, 432 F.3d 668, 2005 U.S. App. LEXIS 29348 (6th Cir. Ohio, 2005)

Disposition: Affirmed.

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Civil Procedure, Appeals, Appellate Jurisdiction, General Overview, Reviewability of Lower Court Decisions, Timing of Appeals, Dismissal of Appeals, Involuntary Dismissals, Jurisdiction, Subject Matter Jurisdiction, Constitutional Law, The Judiciary, Congressional Limits, Governments, Courts, Rule Application & Interpretation