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United States v. Lomas

United States District Court, M.D. Louisiana

November 1, 2018

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
PATRICK LOMAS

          RULING AND ORDER

          JOHN W. DeGRAVELLES UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.

         I. Introduction

         Defendant Patrick Lomas has appealed the Court's February 20, 2018, order denying his motion to reduce his sentence. (Doc. 244.) The appeal deadline was March 6, 2018. See Fed. R. App. P. 4(b)(1)(A). Defendant's appeal was filed on March 26, 2018. (Doc. 248.) It was thus untimely.

         Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(b)(4) provides in relevant part: “Upon a finding of excusable neglect or good cause, the district court may . . .extend the time to file a notice of appeal for a period not to exceed 30 days from the expiration of the time otherwise prescribed by this Rule 4(b).” Fed. R. App. P. 4(b). On June 21, 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit remanded Defendant's appeal “for a determination whether the untimely filing of the notice of appeal was due to excusable neglect or good cause” under Rule 4(b)(4).

         On October 5, 2018, this Court gave the Defendant twenty-one days to provide what information he could regarding his failure to file the notice of appeal timely. (Doc. 256.) The Court also gave the Government twenty-one days to respond. (Id.)

         II. Parties' Arguments

         On October 15, 2018, Defendant submitted a sworn letter stating that he received the order on March 16, 2018-after the appeal deadline. Defendant also submitted an unsworn letter from his case agent stating that the letter was received on March 16, 2018.

         The Government responded by opposing the Defendant's requested extension. (Doc. 264.) The Government highlights the extensive procedural history of this case and the Defendant's many frivolous pleadings and appeals, all of which, the Government argues, reflects a lack of good faith.

         III. Discussion

         A. Applicable Law

         The Court's decision on this issue is reviewed under the abuse of discretion standard. See Midwest Emp'rs Cas. Co. v. Williams, 161 F.3d 877, 879 (5th Cir. 1998) (citing Latham v. Wells Fargo Bank, 987 F.2d 1199 (5th Cir. 1993)). The Fifth Circuit has described the excusable neglect standard as follows:

[T]he determination is at bottom an equitable one, taking account all of the relevant circumstances surrounding the party's omission. These include . . . the danger of prejudice . . ., the length of the delay and its potential impact on judicial proceedings, the reason for the delay, including whether it was within the reasonable control of the movant, and whether the movant acted in good faith.

Midwest 161 F.3d at 879.

         Additionally, Federal Rule of Criminal ...


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