Gilmer v. Biegel, et al.Annotate this Case
Matthew Gilmer filed his notice of appeal thirty-one days after entry of the judgment he appealed. Because Mississippi law required strictly enforced appeals deadlines, the Mississippi Supreme Court dismissed his appeal. This appeal was seen as an attempt to get around the Court's mandate and resurrect a dismissed appeal. While the motion to dismiss Gilmer’s untimely appeal was pending before the Supreme Court, Gilmer returned to the trial court and moved for an extension under Mississippi Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(g). Gilmer cited contracting COVID-19 and his original notice of appeal getting lost in the mail as reasons for his untimely notice of appeal. Gilmer asked the trial court to accept his day-late notice of appeal as timely filed due to excusable neglect. The Supreme Court found Gilmer did not move for this extension within the time period permitted by Rule 4(g). "Rule 4(g) is equally hard edged" —"[t]he trial court may extend the time for filing a notice of appeal upon motion filed not later than 30 days after the expiration of the time otherwise prescribed by this rule." The issue this appeal presented for the Mississippi Supreme Court was the fact that Gilmer did not file his motion for an extension until fifty days after the prescribed time to appeal had already expired. At that point, the trial court had no authority to grant Gilmer his requested relief. So the trial judge denied Gilmer’s motion on that basis. Because the relief Gilmer requested was outside trial court’s authority to grant, the Supreme Court affirmed the order denying an extension.