Coleman v. Halcon Resources Corp et al
ORDER denying 66 Motion to Reopen Time for Appeal. Signed by Magistrate Judge Carol B Whitehurst on 11/13/2017. (crt,Chicola, C)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
WESTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
Civil Action No. 6:15-cv-02086
Unassigned District Judge
Halcon Resources Corp., et al
Magistrate Judge Carol B. Whitehurst
Before the Court is Plaintiff’s Motion To Reopen Time For Appeal [Rec. Doc.
66]. In his motion, Plaintiff moves to reopen the time for appealing the Ruling and
Order dismissing defendant Halcon Operating Co. Inc. entered by the district court on
June 8, 2017. Plaintiff contends he did not receive the Ruling and Order when it was
issued and therefore did not file an appeal. Plaintiff further states that he learned of its
issuance “in July of 2017," when defendant submitted to Plaintiff a copy of a motion
for sanctions against him. R. 53. The record provides that Plaintiff filed an opposition
to that motion on August 2, 2017, and that he noted he had not received the Ruling and
Order.1 Plaintiff contends that the Court should apply Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
4(a)(6) which allows the court to “reopen an appeal for a period of 14 days after the
date when its order to reopen is entered.” R. 66. Because Plaintiff’s motion contains
The Court’s record establishes that the district court’s Ruling and Order was mailed to
Plaintiff at the address he provided to the Court, the same address at which he had received court
documents before and after the mailing at issue.
an explanation for why it was late and asks the court for leave to file an out-of-time
appeal, the Court will treat it as a motion to reopen the time to file the notice of appeal.
United States v. Hurst, 426 Fed.Appx. 323, 324 (5th Cir.2011) (construing a motion
for clarification as a motion for relief under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure
Under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(a)(6), the district court can reopen
the time to file a notice of appeal if three conditions are met: 1) a party did not receive
notice of the entry of Order pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 77(d) within
twenty-one days of the Order's entry; 2) the party files a motion to reopen within 180
days after entry of the Order or within fourteen days of receiving Rule 77(d) notice,
whichever is earlier; and 3) no party is prejudiced by reopening the time. Rule 4(a)(6)
is permissive and compliance with Rule 4(a)(6) does not require the district court to
grant the motion. See In re Jones, 970 F.2d 36, 39 (5th Cir. 1992).
Here, the record provides that the Clerk of Court complied with F.R.C.P 77(d)
by mailing a copy of the Ruling and Order to Plaintiff on June 8, 2017, at the address
he provided to the Court.2 R. 46; 47. Therefore, the first condition under Rule 4(a)(6)
is not met. But even assuming arguendo that Plaintiff did not receive the Clerk of
Court’s mailing, Plaintiff did not even file this motion to reopen the appeal period
The record demonstrates that the Clerk of Court mailed via the USPS the Ruling and
Order to Plaintiff at P.O. Box 272, Washington, LA. 70589 on June 8, 2017.
within 14 days after he received notice of the Order. Rather, as he concedes in his
Motion and as stated in his August 2, 2017 memorandum in opposition to the
defendant’s motion to compel, Plaintiff learned of the Ruling and Order when counsel
for defendant mailed him a copy of the motion to compel—before August 2, 2017.
Plaintiff did not file the motion for out-of-time appeal until November 7, 2017, more
than 14 days after he alleges he learned of the Ruling and Order. Finally, the record
confirms that allowing Plaintiff to appeal the Ruling and Order over five (5) months
after being issued and mailed to him, would prejudice the defendant. On October 19,
2017, defendant’s filed a motion for summary judgment, R. 61, which Plaintiff
opposed, R. 64. The trial of this matter is scheduled for February 5, 2018 and all of the
deadlines have run (the only deadlines remaining are those to prepare this case for
IT IS ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Motion To Reopen Time For Appeal [Rec.
Doc. 66] is DENIED.
THUS DONE AND SIGNED at Lafayette, Louisiana, this 13th day of
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