United States District Court, D. New Jersey
MR. RENÉ D. EDWARDS, Plaintiff,
JAMES R. GAHM, et al., Defendants.
RENÉ D. EDWARDS SUMMIT PLACE APARTMENTS, Appearing pro
ARNAUTOVIC, OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF NJ, TRENTON, On
behalf of Defendants.
L. HILLMAN, U.S.D.J.
case concerns claims by Plaintiff regarding his arrest and
conviction for violating the Sex Offender's Monitoring
Act, a conviction which was vacated four years later after
the New Jersey Supreme Court deemed the retroactive
application of the Act to be unconstitutional. On November 1,
2018, this Court granted Defendants' motions to dismiss
Plaintiff's claims against them, concluding that while
the Court was cognizant of the harms the Plaintiff had
suffered as a result of his incarceration, which included a
vicious beating by a cellmate and serious bodily injuries,
the named Defendants could not held liable as a matter of law
for the claims Plaintiff has asserted against
them. (Docket No. 50 at 26-27.)
December 11, 2018, Plaintiff filed a notice of appeal with
United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. (Docket
No. 52.) On May 1, 2019, the Third Circuit dismissed
Plaintiff's appeal because it was untimely. (Docket No.
54.) The Third Circuit explained:
The appeal is dismissed for lack of appellate jurisdiction.
Appellant filed a notice of appeal concerning the District
Court's November 1, 2018 order dismissing his claims
against all of the defendants. Appellant was required to file
his notice of appeal with the District Court Clerk by Monday,
December 3, 2018, within the applicable thirty-day appeal
period measured after entry of the judgment or order.
See Fed. R. App. P. 4(a)(1)(A). See also
Fed. R. App. P. 26(a)(1)(C) (a calculated period ending on a
Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday is extended to include the
next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday).
Appellant's notice of appeal, filed on December 11, 2018,
was untimely. It is well-settled that “the timely
filing of a notice of appeal is a jurisdictional
requirement.” Bowles v. Russell, 551 U.S. 205,
213-14 (2007). Accordingly, we lack jurisdiction over the
appeal, and we do not reach the motions filed by Appellant.
pending before this Court are four motions filed by
Plaintiff: (1) MOTION to Reopen the Time to File an Appeal
; (2) MOTION To File, New Federal Judge, Chief Of Federal
; (3) MOTION For Oral Argument and Trial ; and MOTION
to Reopen and Process New Evidence . For the reasons
expressed below, all of Plaintiff's motions will be
MOTION to Reopen the Time to File an Appeal 
argues that his time to appeal should be reopened because he
did not receive notice of the Court's November 1, 2018
Opinion and Order dismissing his case until “several
weeks later, ” and only after he called the Clerk's
Office, which informed him that his case had been
dismissed. Plaintiff has moved for this relief
pursuant to Federal Appellate Rule 4(a)(6).
Federal Rules of Civil and Appellate Procedure provide a
limited remedy to a party who has failed to file his notice
of appeal within the applicable deadline, which in this case
was 30 days after the November 1, 2018 decision. Under
Fed.R.Civ.P. 77(d), “Immediately after entering an
order or judgment, the clerk must serve notice of the entry,
as provided in Rule 5(b), on each party who is not in default
for failing to appear. The clerk must record the service on
the docket. A party also may serve notice of the entry as
provided in Rule 5(b).” Rule 77(d) further provides,
“Lack of notice of the entry does not affect the time
for appeal or relieve--or authorize the court to relieve--a
party for failing to appeal within the time allowed, except
as allowed by Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure
(4)(a).” Appellate Rule 4(a) provides a procedure for
reopening the time to file a notice of appeal when the party
desiring to appeal does not receive notice of the entry of
the judgment or order. “In a civil case,  the only
way in which a party may obtain relief based on a clerk's
failure to serve notice of the entry of a judgment or order
is via Appellate Rule 4(a) . . . .” Poole v. Family
Court of New Castle County, 368 F.3d 263, 266 (3d Cir.
Rule 4(a)(5) states in relevant part, “The district
court may extend the time to file a notice of appeal if . . .
a party so moves no later than 30 days after the time
proscribed by this Rule 4(a) expires. . . .” Appellate
Rule 4(a)(6) contains similar language: “The district
court may reopen the time to file an appeal . . . if . . .
the motion is filed within 180 days after the judgment or
order is entered or within 7 days after the moving party
receives notice of the entry. . . .”
Plaintiff claims that he filed his notice of appeal too late
because he did not receive notice from the Clerk “until
several weeks later.” (Docket No. 55 at 3.) Plaintiff
does not provide the date he received notice of the November
1, 2018 decision, which would inform the Court of whether
Plaintiff's 30-day window to appeal had already expired,
and whether relief under Appellate Rule 4(a)(5) was still
available to Plaintiff.
accepting that Plaintiff received late notice,  his time to
appeal had expired, and he could not avail himself of the
remedy under Appellate Rule 4(a)(5), Plaintiff's current
application under Appellate Rule 4(a)(6) is without force.
Plaintiff admits that he received notice of the November 1,
2018 decision several weeks after its docketing, which
resulted in Plaintiff filing his December 11, 2018 notice of
appeal. Accepting for the sake of Plaintiff's motion that
he was first notified of this Court's November 1, 2018
decision on December 11, 2018, at that time Plaintiff had