James River Equipment v. Justice Energy Company Inc.
UNPUBLISHED PER CURIAM OPINION filed. Originating case number: 5:13-cv-28160 Copies to all parties and the district court/agency. .. [16-2012]
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UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT
JAMES RIVER EQUIPMENT, VIRGINIA, LLC, a Virginia Limited Liability
Plaintiff - Appellee,
JUSTICE ENERGY COMPANY INC., a West Virginia Corporation,
Defendant - Appellant.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, at
Beckley. Irene C. Berger, District Judge. (5:13-cv-28160)
Submitted: June 19, 2017
Decided: July 11, 2017
Before WILKINSON, FLOYD, and HARRIS, Circuit Judges.
Dismissed by unpublished per curiam opinion.
Richard L. Gottlieb, Ramonda C. Lyons, LEWIS, GLASSER, CASEY & ROLLINS,
PLLC, Charleston, West Virginia, for Appellant. Jason S. Hammond, BAILEY &
WYANT, PLLC, Charleston, West Virginia, for Appellee.
Unpublished opinions are not binding precedent in this circuit.
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Justice Energy Company Inc. (“Justice Energy”), appeals the district court’s order
imposing contempt fines and its subsequent order denying Justice Energy’s motion to alter
or amend. Justice Energy contends that the nature of the contempt is criminal rather than
civil. We conclude that the contempt is civil. The district court plainly designed the
imposition of the per diem fine to coerce Justice Energy’s compliance with the district
court’s discovery order, a purpose consistent with one of the primary aims of civil
contempt. See Int’l Union, United Mine Workers of Am. v. Bagwell, 512 U.S. 821, 827-29
This court may exercise jurisdiction only over final orders, 28 U.S.C. § 1291 (2012),
and certain interlocutory and collateral orders, 28 U.S.C. § 1292 (2012); Fed. R. Civ. P.
54(b); Cohen v. Beneficial Indus. Loan Corp., 337 U.S. 541, 545-46 (1949). Because the
contempt here is civil in nature, we lack jurisdiction to consider this interlocutory appeal.
See Consolidation Coal Co. v. Local 1702, United Mineworkers of Am., 683 F.2d 827, 830
& n.3 (4th Cir. 1982) (“A civil contempt proceeding is in effect a continuance of the main
action and therefore a party to a suit may not review upon appeal an order fining or
imprisoning him for civil contempt except in connection with appeal from a final judgment
of the main claim.” (alterations and internal quotation marks omitted)). Accordingly, we
dismiss the appeal for lack of jurisdiction. We dispense with oral argument because the
facts and legal contentions are adequately presented in the materials before this court and
argument would not aid the decisional process.
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