Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

Sixth Circuit Orders Michigan District Court to Review Prisoner’s Plea for Compassionate Release

The court’s October 28, 2020, opinion was issued in an appeal brought by prisoner Arthur D. Payton. The district court on July 24, 2020, denied Payton’s motion for compassionate release or a reduction of sentence. Payton’s notice of appeal was dated August 9, 2020, and it was filed on August 10. The government moved to dismiss the appeal as untimely.

Under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(b)(1)(A), a notice of appeal in a criminal case must be filed in the district court no later than 14 days after the challenged judgment or order is filed. In response to the government’s motion to dismiss, Payton said he always intended to file a notice of appeal, but his prison was on lockdown and obtaining copies was “problematic.” He requested to be allowed to file a belated appeal due to excusable neglect.

The court noted that “Rule 4(b)(4) authorizes the district court to extend the time in which a party may appeal for up to thirty days from the end of the fourteen-day period” if it finds “good cause” or “excusable neglect.” In United States v. Batista, 22 F.3d 492 (2d Cir. 1994) held that a criminal defendant filed his notice after the 14-day period but before expiration of the 30-day period, “the district court should treat the notice as a request for an extension” of time to file.

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login

Related legal case

United States v. Payton