IGLESIAS v. BOROUGH OF CLIFFSIDE PARK PLANNING BOARD et al
OPINION. Signed by Judge William J. Martini on 6/29/15. (gh, )
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY
Civ. No. 2:12-cv-07612 (WJM)
BOROUGH OF CLIFFSIDE PARK
PLANNING BOARD, et al.,
WILLIAM J. MARTINI, U.S.D.J.:
This matter comes before the Court pro se Plaintiff Edith Iglesias’ request to
reopen the time to file an appeal from a judgment in favor of Defendants. For the
reasons set forth in this opinion, Iglesias’ request is DENIED.
In 2012, Iglesias filed a complaint against the Borough of Cliffside Planning
Board and a number of other Defendants alleging, inter alia, violations of the Fifth
Amendment and common law easement rights. On May 4, 2015, this Court granted
summary judgment in favor of Defendants. After entering judgment, this Court
mailed Iglesias a copy of its opinion and judgment. Iglesias concedes that the
mailing was postmarked on May 5, 2015; however, she claims that she “never got
the Federal court letter until June 3 – 2015[;] that’s when [she] went to [her] P.O.
Box…” (Self Reported Incident Report, annexed to plaintiff’s application for
extension of time to appeal, ECF 39, p.4).
Because Iglesias alleges that she did not “receive” the judgment in a timely
fashion, the Court construes her letter as a motion to reopen the time to file an appeal
pursuant to Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(a)(6).
Under Rule 4(a)(6), a District Court may in its discretion reopen the time to
file an appeal for a period of 14 days only if it finds that “the moving party did not
receive notice under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 77(d) of the entry of judgment
or order sought to be appealed within 21 days after entry.” Fed R. App. P.
4(a)(6)(A). For purposes of Rule 4(a)(6)(A), a document is “received” when it
arrives at the litigant’s mailbox. See Wynn v. United States, No. 12-6694, 2014 WL
2711963 at *1 (citing Khor Chin Lim v. Courtcall, Inc., 683 F.3d 378, 380 (7th Cir.
2012)). Consistent with that rule, a litigant may not defer “receipt” of a document
simply by failing to check her mailbox. See Khor Chin Lim, 683 F.3d at 380.
Iglesias’ account of the facts does not suggest that the mailing arrived at her P.O
Box more than 21 days after judgment was entered. Instead, her request indicates
that she did not become aware of the mailing until she checked her P.O. Box on June
3, 2015. She does not, for example, allege that she checked her P.O. Box between
the date that the judgment was mailed (May 5, 2015) and the date that she claims to
have read its contents (June 3, 2015). If anything, Iglesias’ request merely
demonstrates her own lack of diligence in checking her mail. See In re WorldCom,
Inc. v. MCI WorldCom Communications, Inc., 708 F.3d 327, 336 (2nd Cir. 2013)
(“There is nothing in the history of the rules… to suggest that the drafters sought to
provide relief when the fault lies with the litigants themselves.”) This Court
therefore lacks discretion to reopen the time to file Iglesias’ appeal.
For the foregoing reasons, Iglesias’ request is DENIED. An appropriate
/s/ William J. Martini
WILLIAM J. MARTINI, U.S.D.J.
Date: June 29, 2015
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?