Adkins et al v. Reynolds et al
MEMORANDUM ORDER re 36 MOTION for Extension of Time to filed by Tyrone M. Adkins is GRANTED. The plaintiff may file a Notice of Appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit within fourteen (14) days after entry of this Order. Signed by Judge Gregory M. Sleet on 11/15/17. (sar)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF DELAWARE
TYRONE M. ADKINS,
DETECTIVE DALLAS REYNOLDS,
Civil Action No. 15-882-GMS
At Wilmington this I
Jt~ay of _
__._PJ_o_____ , 2017, having reviewed the plaintiffs
motion for an extension of time to appeal (D.1. 36);
Plaintiff filed a motion for an extension of time to file an appeal (D.I. 36) on October 23,
2017. 1 Pursuant to Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(a)(5)(A), the Court may grant
Plaintiff's motion only if it was filed no later than thirty (30) days after the expiration of the time
originally prescribed by Rule 4(a)(l), and he shows either excusable neglect or good cause.
Plaintiff seeks an extension of time to appeal this Court's August 31, 2017 Memorandum
Opinion and Order. (See D.I. 34, 35.) The plaintiff states that he has no knowledge of the law,
has limited access to the library and material, and does not know how to respond to motions filed
in the case. (D.I. 36.)
The date of filing is determined pursuant to the "mailbox rule." See Houston v. Lack, 487 U.S.
266 (1988); Burns v. Morton, 134 F.3d 109, 112 (3d Cir. 1998); Gibbs v. Decker, 234 F. Supp.
2d 458, 463 (D. Del. 2002). Here, the plaintiff's motion is dated October 23, 2017, and the
envelope it was mailed in is post-marked October 25, 2017. Therefore, the plaintiff's motion
was delivered to prison authorities for mailing on between October 23 and October 25, 2017.
The court concludes that the plaintiffs motion was filed on October 23, 2017 the date it was
signed, and the earliest date possible that it could have been delivered to prison officials in
Delaware for mailing.
As to the time requirement, the Court issued its Order granting the defendants' motion to
dismiss on August 31, 2017. (D.I. 35.) The Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure require that a
notice of appeal in a civil case be filed within 30 days after the order appealed from is entered on
the district court's docket. See Fed. R. App. P. 4(a)(l )(A). Here, the Order granting the
defendants' motion to dismiss was entered August 31, 2017. Pursuant to the rule, the plaintiff
was required to file the motion for extension of time to appeal the order no later than November
1, 2017, which he did. Accordingly, the plaintiffs motion for extension of time to file an appeal
is timely under Rule 4(a)(5).
The Court must also determine whether the plaintiff has demonstrated excusable neglect
or good cause. Factors to consider in determining whether excusable neglect exists include:
(1) the danger of prejudice to the [nonmovant]; (2) the length of the delay and its potential
impact on judicial proceedings; (3) the reason for the delay, including whether it was within the
reasonable control of the movant; and (4) whether the movant acted in good faith. In re Diet
Drugs Product Liability Litigation, 401 F.3d 143, 153 n.20 (3d Cir. 2005) (citing Pioneer Inv.
Servs. Co. v. Brunswick As.socs. Ltd. P 'ship, 507 U.S. 380, 395 (1993)). As for determining if
there is good cause to grant an extension, the "good cause standard applies in situations in which
there is no fault - excusable or otherwise. In such situations, the need for an extension is usually
occasioned by something that is not within the control of the movant." Fed. R. App. P.
4(a)(5)(A)(ii) advisory committee's note (2002 amendments).
The plaintiff seeks an extension due to his lack of knowledge of the law and limited
access to the law library. Turning to Rule 4(a)(5)(A)(ii), the Court concludes that there is good
cause for granting an extension and that excusable neglect has been shown because the Pioneer
factors weigh in favor of granting the plaintiffs motion. More specifically, the plaintiff made a
good faith effort in filing his motion without delay. In addition, denying the motion would
produce a harsh result for the plaintiff. Therefore, the Court will grant the motion for an
extension of time to file a notice of appeal.
IT IS ORDERED that:
The motion for an extension of time appeal the August 31, 2017 memorandum opinion
and order (D.1. 36) is GRANTED. The plaintiff may file a Notice of Appeal to the United States
Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit within fourteen (14) days after entry of this Order. See
Fed. R. App. P. 4(a)(5)(C).
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