Can I Move to Extend Time to File a Notice of Appeal After the Deadline?

There are many reasons why a person may miss a deadline. Especially when proceeding ‘pro se’ (without an attorney), there are many deadlines and rules that can be difficult to keep track of. It is therefore important to know which deadlines can be extended, and which cannot. In the context of an appeal, one very important deadline is the deadline to file the pleading that informs the courts that you will be appealing an order in the trial level court. In most jurisdictions, this document is referred to as the Notice of Appeal.

Each state has its own statute governing the motion to extend the deadline for filing a notice of appeal. In Wisconsin, for instance, it is Wis. Stat. § 809.82(2)(a). This statute provides that the court may extend this deadline “upon good cause shown.” Importantly, the good cause must be related to the delay in filing the Notice of Appeal, rather than the merits of the case itself. See State v. Evans, 2004 WI 84, 273 Wis.2d 192, 682 N.W.2d 784 (Wis., 2004). There is no deadline for filing a motion under this statue, however the earlier it is filed, the better chance it will be granted.

In Colorado, C.A.R. 4(a) governs when a Notice of Appeal may be filed after the time to do so has expired. This statute provides that such a motion will only be granted upon a showing of “excusable neglect.” Excusable neglect exists where a litigant can show that a reasonably prudent person under the same circumstances would have missed the same deadline. If a party is successful in showing excusable neglect, the time for filing a notice of appeal will be extended by no more than 35 days.

Although it is possible to ask the court to extend the deadline to file a Notice of Appeal after the deadline has passed, this is the exception, not the rule. The court has complete discretion to grant or deny such a motion, and these decisions are rarely overturned on appeal. To avoid these risks, it is best to file your Notice of Appeal on time.

To speak with a knowledgeable attorney about your appeal, contact the Alderman law Firm today for your free consultation by calling 720-588-3529 (CO) or 608-620-3529 (WI).