United States District Court, D. Maine
ORDER DISMISSING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO EXTEND
TIME FOR APPEAL, DISMISSING AS MOOT PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO
SEAL, AND STRIKING PLAINTIFF'S NOTICE OF APPEAL
A. WOODCOCK, JR. UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
January 7, 2019, Jody Giguere filed a complaint in this
Court, with jury demand, against three Maine District Court
Judges, Deputy Chief Judge Susan Sparaco, Judge Valerie
Stanfill, and Judge Charles Dow, as well as Governor Janet
Mills, based on Ms. Giguere's dissatisfaction with state
court child custody and divorce proceedings. Compl.
(ECF No. 1). On March 13, 2019, the Court issued an order,
dismissing the Plaintiff's Complaint. Order
Dismissing Pl.'s Compl. (ECF No. 6). The Clerk
entered judgment on March 14, 2019. J. (ECF No. 7).
April 12, 2019, the Plaintiff filed a motion to extend the
time within which to file a notice of appeal, requesting an
additional ten days within which to file her appeal.
Pl.'s Mot. for an Extension of Time to File
Appeal at 1 (ECF No. 9) (“I . . . would like an
extension of time of 10 days to file for an Appeal”).
On April 15, 2019, the Plaintiff filed another motion to
extend the time within which to file a notice of appeal.
Pl.'s Mot. to Extend Time at 1 (ECF No. 11)
(“Plaintiff, Jody Leavitt Giguere, . . . would like an
extension of time for 10 days to file for an Appeal”).
On April 15, 2019, the Court dismissed the April 12, 2015
motion as moot and granted the April 15, 2019 motion.
Order (ECF No. 12). Pursuant to that order, Ms.
Giguere's notice of appeal was due on or before April 25,
2019. Ms. Giguere failed to file a notice of appeal within
this extended time and the time for appeal lapsed.
13, 2019, Ms. Giguere filed a motion to extend the time for
filing an appeal, requesting that the Court extend the period
for filing the appeal to June 17, 2019. Mot. to Extend
Filing of Appeal (ECF No. 18). Her motion to extend the
time for filing a notice of appeal is too late. See
Gómez-Cruz v. Fernández-Pabellón,
No. 3:13-cv-01711-JAW, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75394 (D.P.R.
May 2, 2019). In general, a notice of appeal is due
“within 30 days after the entry of judgment.”
Fed. R. App. P. 4(a)(1)(A); Luckerman v. Narragansett
Indian Tribe, 787 F.3d 621, 623 (1st Cir. 2015). Under
Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(a)(5)(A)(i), a court
may extend the time to file a notice of appeal if “a
party so moves no later than 30 days after the time
prescribed by the Rule 4(a) expires.” Fed. R. App. P.
4(a)(5)(A)(i). Here, the thirty-day period from April 25,
2019 expired on May 28, 2019.
original motion for extension, the Plaintiff complied with
the time limit in this Rule but not in her pending motion for
extension. There is an escape hatch if a party shows
excusable neglect or good cause “regardless of whether
its motion is filed before or during the 30 days after the
time prescribed by the Rule 4(a) expires.” Fed. R. App.
P. 4(a)(5)(A)(ii); Mirpuri v. ACT Mfg., 212 F.3d
624, 630 (1st Cir. 2000) (“[O]n motion filed within
thirty days after the time prescribed by Rule 4(a) expires,
the district court may extend the time for filing a notice of
appeal so long as the movant demonstrates either good cause
or excusable neglect”). Assuming Ms. Giguere's
explanations for her late filing constitute excusable neglect
or good cause, the Court still does not have authority under
the Rule to extend the time for appeal in response to a
motion filed after the periods established by the Rule.
Accordingly, the Court is not authorized under Rule of
Appellate Procedure 4 to extend the time for her to file a
notice of appeal.
Court may act on the motion to seal. On June 13, 2019, the
Plaintiff filed a motion to seal her Complaint because the
Complaint contains the name and other personal identifying
information of her minor child. Pl.'s Mot. to
Seal (ECF No. 49). She asks the Court to redact the
Complaint of any of her child's personal identifying
information. Id. She also asks the Court to seal the
Complaint and her appeal “so that the child's
father and family cannot access.” Id. at 2.
Finally, she asks the Court to seal the Complaint to ensure
that a non-party cannot “commence or receive an action
on my behalf and derive a pecuniary benefit as I am the
victim of identity theft.” Id. at 2. The Court
dismisses the Plaintiff's motion to seal as moot. On
April 15, 2019, the Court permanently sealed the Additional
Complaint, which is the only part of the Complaint that
contained information about her son or non-public information
about herself. Order (ECF No. 13). As the Court
already permanently sealed the Additional Complaint, it is
not necessary to do so again.
First Circuit has instructed that “the taking of an
appeal within the prescribed time is ‘mandatory and
jurisdictional.'” Villolda v. Ruz, 821
F.3d 196, 206 (1st Cir. 2016) (quoting Bowles v.
Russell, 551 U.S. 205, 209 (2007) (quoting Griggs v.
Provident Consumer Disc. Co., 459 U.S. 56, 61 (1982)
(per curiam))). Under this precept, Ms. Giguere had to comply
with the time limits of the rule, and her failure to do so
means that this Court does not have the authority to grant
her untimely motion to extend the time for filing a notice of
Court DISMISSES the Plaintiff's Motion to Extend Time for
Filing an Appeal (ECF No. 18) as untimely. The Court
DISMISSES the Plaintiff's Amended Motion to Seal (ECF No.
17) as moot. The Court sua sponte STRIKES the Plaintiff's
Notice of Appeal (ECF NO. 19) as untimely filed.
 Counting the thirty-day interval
starting April 26, 2019, the thirty-day period lapsed on
Sunday, May 26, 2019. As the period fell on a weekend and
Monday, May 27, 2019 was Memorial Day, the appeal period
would have run on ...