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United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
May 9, 2012, Argued; August 15, 2012, Filed
Nos. 11-2553 and 11-2669
(August 15, 2012)
[***889] Cowen, Circuit Judge
Plaintiff Glenford Ragguette appeals from the order of the District Court of the Virgin Islands granting the motion for summary judgment filed by Defendant Premier Wines and Spirits, Ltd. In turn, Premier appeals from the order of the District Court granting Ragguette's motion for an extension of time to file a notice of appeal under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(a)(5). We hold that the District Court abused its discretion by finding that Ragguette established “excusable neglect” under this rule. We accordingly determine that the motion for an extension of time to file a notice of appeal under Rule 4(a)(5) was improvidently granted. We will therefore dismiss Ragguette's appeal for lack of appellate jurisdiction.
Ragguette alleged a number of employment [**2] discrimination and related claims against his former employer, Premier. Throughout this litigation, Ragguette has been represented by attorneys from a firm currently known as Lee J. Rohn & Associates — and primarily by Lee J. Rohn, Esquire, herself.
In a January 5, 2010 order, the District Court granted Premier's summary judgment motion and entered judgment in favor of Premier and against Ragguette. The District Court provided its reasons for this determination in an accompanying memorandum opinion entered on the same day.
Ragguette's counsel failed to file a notice of appeal within 30 days of the judgment or order pursuant to Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(a)(1)(A). On January 13, 2010, Premier filed a motion for attorneys' fees and costs under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 68, specifically asking for the award to be directed (jointly and severally) against Ragguette and his counsel. Ragguette submitted an opposition to this fee motion on January 28, 2010. In a February 8, 2010 order, the District [***890] Court scheduled a fee hearing for February 23, 2010. But, on February 24, 2010, the hearing was rescheduled for March 1, 2010. Following this hearing, Premier filed a contested motion [**3] to amend its fee motion, requesting, among other things, a fee award directed against Rohn in her individual capacity. The original motion and the motion to amend, however, were subsequently withdrawn by Premier.
On March 5, 2010, Ragguette filed a motion for issuance of an order pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 58(e), or, in the alternative, for an order granting an extension of time to file a notice of appeal pursuant to Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(a)(5). With respect to the alternative form of relief, he argued, inter alia, that his attorney's failure to file a timely notice of appeal was caused by excusable neglect. In short:
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691 F.3d 315 *; 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 17046 **; 57 V.I. 886 ***; 83 Fed. R. Serv. 3d (Callaghan) 664; 2012 WL 3346313
GLENFORD RAGGUETTE, Appellant in No. 11-2553 v. PREMIER WINES & SPIRITS, Appellant in No. 11-2669
Prior History: [**1] On Appeal from the District Court of the Virgin Islands. (D.C. Civil No. 2-06-cv-00173). District Judge: Hon. Timothy J. Savage.
Ragguette v. Premier Wines & Spirits, Ltd., 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61521 (D.V.I., June 7, 2011)
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Civil Procedure, Appeals, Standards of Review, Abuse of Discretion, Reviewability of Lower Court Decisions, Timing of Appeals, Appellate Jurisdiction, General Overview, Pleadings, Time Limitations, Extension of Time