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In re Samson Resources Corp.

United States District Court, D. Delaware

October 26, 2017

IN RE SAMSON RESOURCES CORPORATION, et al, Reorganized Debtors.
v.
SAMSON RESOURCES CORPORATION, et al, Appellees. CALVIN WILLIAMS, Appellant,

          MEMORANDUM

         Pending before this Court is pro se appellant Calvin Williams' Motion for Reconsideration. (D.I. 62). He seeks reconsideration of the Court's August 30, 2017 order (D.I. 61), which dismissed his appeal for lack of jurisdiction. For the reasons set forth below, the motion is denied.

         1. Background.

         The background of this dispute is set forth in the Court's previous Memorandum. (D.I. 60). Familiarity with that Memorandum is assumed.

         2. The notice of appeal was filed December 5, 2016. (Id. at 4). In essence, the Court's previous Memorandum held that the notice of appeal needed to be filed within fourteen days from when the time to file a notice of appeal started to run, and that (1) the triggering date was September 7, 2016, when the Bankruptcy Court denied appellant's first motion to reconsider (id. at 7), or, in the alternative, (2) the triggering date was November 16, 2016, when the Bankruptcy Court denied appellant's second motion to reconsider. (Id. at 8). In the second alternative, the notice of appeal would have had to be filed by Wednesday, November 30, 2016, to be timely. (Id.).

         3. On September 5, 2017, Mr. Williams filed the motion for reconsideration, [1]asserting that he "was not properly informed by the Court on Appeal deadline, or where to file my appeal, this is verifiable from transcripts of 11/16/16 hearing, "[2] and that Bankruptcy Rule 9006 extended the deadline to file the notice of appeal by three days, meaning that a notice of appeal filed on December 5, 2016, was timely. (D.I. 62 at 1-2). Mr. Williams also requests that the Court grant an extension of time to file his notice of appeal based on excusable neglect. (Id. at 2-4).

         4. On October 5, 2017, Mr. Williams filed a notice of appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. (D.I. 69). The Third Circuit appeal is currently stayed pending the Court's ruling on the motion for reconsideration. (See D.I. 74).

         5. Standard of Review.

         The purpose of a motion for reconsideration "is to correct manifest errors of law or fact or to present newly discovered evidence." Kabacinski v. Bostrom Seating, Inc., 98 Fed.Appx. 78, 81 (3d Cir. 2004) (quoting Harsco Corp. v. Zlotnick, 779 F.2d 906, 999 (3d Cir. 1985). A motion to reconsider an order may be granted if the party seeking reconsideration establishes at least one of the following grounds: (1) an intervening change in the controlling law; (2) the availability of new evidence that was not available when the court issued the ruling; or (3) the need to correct a clear error of law or fact or to prevent manifest injustice. See Max's Seafood Cafe ex rel. Lou-Ann, Inc. v. Quinteros, 176 F.3d 669, 677 (3d Cir. 1999). The standard that a movant "must meet to prevail on a motion for reconsideration is high." Zokaites Properties LP v. La Mesa Racing, LLC, 2011 WL 2293283, at *1 (W.D. Pa. June 9, 2011) (citing Berry v. Jacobs IMC, LLC, 99 Fed.Appx. 405, 410 (3d Cir. 2004).

         6. "A party's mere disagreement with the Court does not translate into the type of clear error of law which justifies reconsideration of a ruling." Zokaites, 2011 WL 2293283, at *l;see also Dare Invs., LLC v. Chi. Title Ins. Co., 2011 WL 5513196, at *5 (D.N.J. Nov. 10, 2011) (mere disagreement with the Court's decision will not suffice). Moreover, reargument and reconsideration requests "are not a substitute for an appeal from a final judgment" nor are they an opportunity for "endless debate between the parties and the Court." Brambles USA, Inc. v. Blocker, 735 F.Supp. 1239, 1240 (D. Del. 1990) (internal citations omitted). Reargument should not be granted where it would merely "allow wasteful repetition of arguments already briefed, considered, and decided." Id. (citing Weissman v. Fruchtman, 124 F.R.D. 559, 560 (S.D.N.Y. 1989).

         7. Discussion.

         The motion to reconsider does not set forth any intervening change in controlling law or allege that new evidence has become available. Thus, the Court has no basis to grant relief on those grounds. Mr. Williams appears to argue that reconsideration is required to correct a clear error of law or to prevent manifest injustice. (See D.I. 62). Mr. Williams assumes that the triggering date is November 16, 2016, and argues that the Court should reconsider because Bankruptcy Rule 9006 extended by three days his deadline to file the notice of appeal. (See Id. at 1). Mr. Williams did not raise the Bankruptcy Rule 9006 argument in his briefing on the motion to dismiss, and it was therefore not discussed in the Memorandum. Raising it now is therefore outside of the scope of a motion for reconsideration. Nevertheless, considering Mr. Williams' pro se status, and the 16, 000 hours that he has "invested in this case" (D.I. 75 at 3), the Court will address the Rule 9006 argument. Mr. Williams' argument must fail, for the following reasons.

         8. First, as this Court has already determined, the deadline for Mr. Williams to file the notice of appeal began to run from the date of the Bankruptcy Court's order denying his first motion for reconsideration, which was entered on September 7, 2016. (See D.I. 60 at 7). As Mr. Williams makes no argument as to why the Court erred in this determination, there is no ground to reconsider it. On this basis, the motion for reconsideration is denied.

         9. Second, even if the deadline to file the notice of appeal ran from the denial of the second motion to reconsider, that is, November 16, 2016, the notice of appeal filed on December 5, 2016 was still untimely. (D.I. 60 at 8). Bankruptcy Rule 9006(f) does not apply to the appeals period prescribed by Bankruptcy Rule 8002(a). By its plain language, Bankruptcy Rule 9006(f) applies "[w]hen there is a right or requirement to act. .. within a prescribed period after being served and that service is by mail..." See Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9006(f). Bankruptcy Rule 9006(f) does not extend the time within which to act where, as here, the time period for taking the action begins to run from an event other than service, such as the entry of the underlying order. See Fed. R. Bankr. P. 9006(f); In reArbuckle, 988 F.2d 29, 31-32 (5th Cir. 1993) (holding that Bankruptcy Rule 9006(f), by its terms, "applies when a time period begins to run after service, " and thus does not apply to the appeals period prescribed by Bankruptcy Rule 8002(a), which begins to run upon entry of the order, not its service). The Court followed well-settled law regarding the timeliness of appeals under Bankruptcy Rule 8002, and Mr. Williams has cited no authority to the contrary. Thus, there is no clear error of law or manifest injustice that must be corrected on reconsideration.

         10. Mr. Williams claims the result is harsh. I do not disagree, but Congress has mandated the jurisdictional nature of appellate deadlines, and the Third Circuit has, as it must, followed suit. See In re Caterbone,640 F.3d 108, 113 (3d ...


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