Submitted: September 25, 2019
from United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Missouri - St. Louis
BENTON, SHEPHERD, and GRASZ, Circuit Judges.
Briggs attempted to appeal two bankruptcy court orders to the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Missouri by filing a single notice of appeal. According to
the district court, this violated a local bankruptcy court
rule. The district court struck the notice of appeal without
allowing Briggs an opportunity to cure the defect by filing
separate notices of appeal for each order. For the reasons
set forth below, we reverse the district court's order
striking the notice of appeal to the extent it denied Briggs
an opportunity to cure.
2016, United States Bankruptcy Judge Charles E. Rendlen
sanctioned Briggs, an attorney in the State of Missouri, and
banned him from practicing before the United States
Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri for six
months. We previously affirmed that decision on appeal.
See In re Reed, 888 F.3d 930 (8th Cir. 2018). In
June 2018, Briggs filed a motion before Judge Rendlen for
reinstatement of his full practice privileges as well as a
motion to disqualify Judge Rendlen from presiding over
matters related to Briggs's request for reinstatement.
Judge Rendlen denied both motions.
24, 2018, Briggs filed a single notice of appeal challenging
the orders denying both motions. Briggs attached the two
orders and paid a single filing fee. The district court
entered an order striking Briggs's notice of appeal
because he appealed two separate orders using one notice and
paid only one filing fee in violation of Local Bankruptcy
filed a motion to reconsider and vacate the order. On August
23, 2018, the district court denied Briggs's motion for
reconsideration. Briggs filed a timely notice of appeal from
the district court's order, arguing Local Bankruptcy Rule
8001(A) is invalid and, alternatively, that the district
court erred in treating the rule as if it were a
first consider our jurisdiction over the appeal. This court
has jurisdiction to review final orders of the district
court. 28 U.S.C. § 158(d). The district court's
decision to strike Briggs's notice of appeal of two
bankruptcy orders was the functional equivalent of a
dismissal, ending his ability to challenge those orders.
Because there was nothing more to do after striking the
motion and closing the case, we conclude the district
court's order was a final order under 28 U.S.C. §
158(a). Cf. In re Apex Oil Co., 884 F.2d 343, 347
(8th Cir. 1989) (listing factors to determine the finality of
a bankruptcy order).
turn to Briggs's argument contesting the validity of
Local Bankruptcy Rule 8001(A), which states "[a]
separate notice of appeal and filing fee is required for each
order being appealed." Bankr. E.D. Mo. R. 8001(A). We
review de novo the district court's interpretation of
this rule. See Keil v. Lopez, 862 F.3d 685, 703-04
(8th Cir. 2017) (interpreting the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure de novo).
Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure expressly allow courts
to adopt local rules of practice and procedure as long as
they are consistent with the federal rules. Fed.R.Bankr.P.
federal bankruptcy rule governing appeals provides only that
a notice of appeal must "(A) conform substantially to
the appropriate Official Form; (B) be accompanied by the
judgment, order, or decree, or the part of it, being
appealed; and (C) be accompanied by the prescribed fee."
Fed.R.Bankr.P. 8003(a)(3). The bankruptcy rules are otherwise
silent as to a party's right to appeal multiple orders
with a single notice of appeal. Although Local Bankruptcy
Rule 8001(A) is more specific than ...