United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Western Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
VIRGINIA EMERSON HOPKINS SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is pro se Plaintiff Annie Thomas's
letter (doc. 22) in which she requests that the Court
“reopen the time to file the appeal for 14 days in
accordance with Fed.R.App.P.4(a)(6).” (Id. at
1). Because “[a] document filed pro se is
‘to be liberally construed, '” Erickson
v. Pardus, 551 U.S. 89, 94 (2007) (quoting Estelle
v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 106 (1976)), the Court will
treat this letter as a motion to reopen the time to file an
appeal and will refer to it as the “Motion.”
See Sullen v. Steward, No. 14-0112, 2015 WL 2131207,
at *2 (S.D. Ala. May 4, 2015) (treating a pro se
litigant's letter as “a motion to reopen”
under Rule 4(a)(6)). For the reasons stated in this opinion,
the Motion is due to be DENIED.
5, 2017, Ms. Thomas initiated this action under 42 U.S.C.
§ 405(g). (See doc. 1). Ms. Thomas sought
review of a final adverse decision of the Commissioner of the
Social Security Administration (“Commissioner”),
who denied her application for disability insurance benefits
and supplemental security income. (See id.) On June
19, 2018, the Court entered its Memorandum Opinion (doc. 20)
and Final Order (doc. 21) affirming the decision of the
Commissioner. (See doc. 20; doc. 21). However,
service of the Memorandum Opinion and Final Order to Ms.
Thomas was not recorded on the Docket Sheet. (See
August 14, 2018, Ms. Thomas called the Court to check on the
status of her case. (See id.) When Ms. Thomas was
informed that her case had been closed in June, “she
stated [that] she had not received [a] copy of [the] final
decision.” (Id.) On the same day, the clerk
mailed the Memorandum Opinion and Final Order to Ms. Thomas.
(See id.) This time, service was recorded on the
Docket Sheet. (See id.)
Court did not hear from Ms. Thomas again until September 10,
2018, when it received the Motion in the mail. (See
id.; doc. 22 at 1). The clerk then promptly filed the
Motion. (See Docket Sheet; doc. 22 at 1). The Motion
was dated September 5, 2018, and states as follows:
I did not know that you denied my appeal on June
19th and learned about it only recently which is
outside the 60 days period for filing a notice of appeal.
Please reopen the time to file the appeal for 14 days in
accordance with Fed.R.App.P.4(a)(6).
(Doc. 22 at 1).
Rule of Civil Procedure 77(d)(2) states that “[l]ack of
notice of the entry [of an order or judgment] does
not affect the time for appeal or relieve-or
authorize the court to relieve-a party for failing
to appeal within the time allowed, except as allowed by
Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure (4)(a).”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 77(d)(2) (emphases added). Federal Rule of
Appellate Procedure 4(a)(6) provides as follows:
The district court may reopen the time to file an appeal for
a period of 14 days after the date when its order to reopen
is entered, but only if all the following conditions are
(A) the court finds that the moving party did not receive
notice under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 77(d) of the
entry of the judgment or order sought to be appealed within
21 days after entry;
(B) the motion is filed within 180 days after the judgment or
order is entered or within 14 days after the moving party
receives notice under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure ...