By Taylor Ey

Today, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision in Drew v. McCall.  In this case, Mr. Drew sought to appeal the District Court for the District of South Carolina’s decision dismissing his 28 U.S.C. § 2254 (2012) petition for untimely filing.

The Fourth Circuit did not reach the merits of the case because it lacked jurisdiction to review Mr. Drew’s appeal.  Citing the U.S. Supreme Court case, Bowles v. Russell, 551 U.S. 205, 214 (2007), the Fourth Circuit emphasized that circuit courts lack jurisdiction in civil cases if the notice of appeal was untimely filed.

Generally, Fed. R. App. P. 4(a)(1)(A) provides that a notice of appeal must be filed within 30 days of a district court’s entry of final judgment or order to note an appeal.  The appellant may have more than 30 days if she requests more time pursuant to Fed. R. App. P. 4(a)(5) or if the court reopens the appeal period pursuant to Fed. R. App. P. 4(a)(6).

The district court entered final judgment on June 10, 2014, but the notice of appeal was filed July 17, 2014. In this case, because Mr. Drew did not request more time, he had 30 days to file.  Mr. Drew failed to meet the required deadline.  Thus, the Fourth Circuit dismissed the appeal.