United States v. Hible (7th Cir. September 2021)

The Federal Docket

October 5, 2021

Appellate Procedure – In criminal cases, the deadline for filing a notice of appeal is measured from the date a district court denies a motion for reconsideration, not the date a district court’s initial denial of the underlying motion.

The Seventh Circuit consolidated two cases in which prisoners seeking shorter sentences timely filed motions to reconsider decisions under the First Step Act of 2018, were denied, and subsequently appealed. In each case, the notice of appeal would be considered timely if measured from the date of the decision on the motion to reconsider, but would be out of time if measured from the date of the original decision.

A previous nonprecedential order—from a panel also including Judge Easterbrook—found that the general rule is that motions to reconsider in criminal cases extend the time for appeal. The court here confirmed that, reiterating the rule in a published opinion this time around.

Having determined that the appeals were timely, the court then reviewed both cases on their merits but upheld the decisions of the lower courts.

Appeal from the Central District of Illinois
Opinion by Easterbrook, joined by Wood and Brennan

Click here to read the opinion

Tom Church - Tom is a trial and appellate lawyer focusing on criminal defense and civil trials. Tom is the author of "The Federal Docket" and is a contributor to Mercer Law Review's Annual Survey in the areas of federal sentencing guidelines and criminal law. Tom graduated with honors from the University of Georgia Law School where he served as a research assistant to the faculty in the areas of constitutional law and civil rights litigation. Read Tom's reviews on AVVO. Follow Tom on Linkedin.

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