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5th Circuit Summary: Smith v. Gartley (In re Berman-Smith), No. 13-50154

The detailed facts of this case aren’t particularly relevant.  The issue was whether the district court has jurisdiction to hear an appeal filed after the 14 day period in Rule 8002.  The Fifth Circuit has not had an opportunity to address this issue since the 2007 Supreme Court case Bowles v. Russell, 551 U.S. 205 (2007), which found that the period to file a notice of appeal under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(a) was jurisdictional.  The Fifth Circuit reviewed several other Circuit Court decisions finding that the Rule 8002 period is jurisdiction and agreed that it was, thus affirming the district court ruling.  Note that this is in line with existing Fifth Circuit case law decided in In re Stangel, 219 F.3d 498 (5th Cir. 2000).  The Fifth Circuit noted that, but then said that this decision was needed to make it clear that subsequent Supreme Court case law did not change anything.