WILSON v. HAAS et al
OPINION. Signed by Judge Noel L. Hillman on 8/2/2017. (tf, n.m.)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
JAMES HAAS, et al.,
Civ. No. 11-7001 (NLH)
168 Frontage Road
Northern State Prison
Newark, NJ 07114
Appearing pro se
Robert P. Preuss
State of New Jersey Department of Law & Public Safety
25 Market St.
P.O. Box 112
Trenton, NJ 08625
Counsel for defendants
HILLMAN, District Judge
This case arose out of an altercation plaintiff, David
Wilson, had with another inmate at South Woods State Prison in
Bridgeton, New Jersey on November 15, 2010.
that his constitutional rights were violated by the correctional
officers who intervened in the fight and the medical staff who
treated him for his injuries.
After an initial screening of plaintiff’s complaint
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2), 28 U.S.C. § 1915A, and 42
U.S.C. § 1997e (Docket No. 13), and the consideration of
defendants’ motion for summary judgment (Docket No. 61), the
Court dismissed plaintiff’s equal protection, due process, and
deliberate indifference to medical need claims.
permitted plaintiff’s excessive force claim to proceed to trial.
After a five-day trial before a jury, on January 27, 2016,
the jury answered a set of special interrogatories to resolve
disputed facts relating to the correctional officers’ conduct
during the November 15, 2010 incident.
(Docket No. 100, 101.)
As a result of the jury’s answers to the interrogatories, the
Court granted defendants’ renewed motion for summary judgment,
finding that under the facts found by the jury the defendants
were entitled to qualified immunity.
(Docket No. 103.)
August 4, 2016, the Court denied plaintiff’s motion for
reconsideration of several of the Court’s rulings.
On February 16, 2017, plaintiff filed a motion for
injunctive relief, requesting that the Court prevent his
transfer back to South Woods State Prison because he feared for
(Docket No. 120.)
Plaintiff is currently
incarcerated at Bayside State Prison in Leesburg, New Jersey. 1
(Docket No. 129.)
Plaintiff’s motion for an injunction is
On April 24, 2017, plaintiff filed a motion for leave to
file an appeal out of time.
(Docket No. 124.)
he filed his notice of appeal.
On the same day,
(Docket No. 123.)
claims that he never received a copy of the Court’s August 4,
2016 Opinion and Order denying his motion for reconsideration,
which was the trigger date for the 30-day time period in which
to file his appeal.
See Fed. R. App. P. 4(a)(4)(A).
appears to be the result of plaintiff’s transfer from Northern
State Prison in Trenton, New Jersey to the Essex County Re-Entry
Program in Newark, New Jersey in October 2016 (Docket No. 117),
and then back to Northern State Prison in January 2017 (Docket
Federal Appellate Procedure Rule 4(a)(5)(A) provides that
if a motion for extension of time to file an appeal is filed
after the 30-day time period, the district court may extend the
time to file a notice of appeal if that party shows excusable
neglect or good cause.
The Court finds that such good cause
It does not appear from the record that plaintiff was
transferred to South Woods.
For each transfer, plaintiff complied with Local Civil Rule
10.1(a) and provided the Clerk with his change of address.
After notifying the Clerk that his address changed back to
Northern State Prison in January 2017, he wrote the Clerk in
February 2017 to confirm his change of address because he had
not received any decision on his motion for reconsideration.
(Docket No. 119.)
On that same day he filed his motion for an
(Docket No. 120.)
In a letter docketed on April
13, 2017 (Docket No. 122), Plaintiff states that he never
received a copy of the Court’s decision on his motion, and it
was not until Defendants filed a letter in response to his
motion for an injunction (Docket No. 121), which referred to the
Court’s August 4, 2016 decision, that he became aware of the
One week later, he filed his appeal and the
motion for leave to file his appeal out of time.
Because it appears that Plaintiff did not know until April
8, 2017 of the Court’s decision and, concomitantly, his deadline
to file an appeal, the Court finds that good cause exists for
his failure to file an appeal within 30 days of the Court’s
August 4, 2016 decision.
According to the appellate rules,
Plaintiff’s deadline for filing his appeal is fourteen days
after the date of the Court’s order granting Plaintiff’s motion
for an extension of time to file his appeal.
Fed. R. App. P.
Plaintiff already filed his appeal on April 24,
2017, however, so the Court will enter the Order nunc pro tunc,
and Plaintiff’s appeal, in the view of this Court, will be
An appropriate Order will be entered.
_s/ Noel L. Hillman_
NOEL L. HILLMAN
United States District Judge
Date: August 2, 2017
At Camden, New Jersey
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