Court Opinion: 10th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion for Sept. 22

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals

Editor’s Note: Law Week Colorado edits court opinion summaries for style and, when necessary, length.

Strauss v. Steele, et al.

Brett Strauss proceeded pro se. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals construed his pleadings liberally, citing the decision Requena v. Roberts. Strauss must comply with the rules, the opinion noted. The 10th Circuit held that it lacked jurisdiction to consider his arguments challenging the district-court judgment against him because his notice of appeal was untimely. And he has waived any objection to the court’s post-judgment orders because he made no argument challenging the basis of those orders.

The United States District Court for the District of Colorado dismissed with prejudice Strauss’s civil-rights complaint under 42 U.S. Code 1983 because he failed to prosecute and to comply with court orders — Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b). Judgment was entered Sept. 30, 2022. On Nov. 10, Strauss filed a motion for reconsideration which was denied Nov. 29. He filed additional documents Dec. 5, 6 and 16, which the district court construed as post-judgment motions. The court struck them all Jan. 9, 2023, on the ground Strauss had failed to make reasonable, good-faith efforts to confer with counsel before filing the motions — D. Colo. Civ. R. 7.1(a). Also on Jan. 9, Strauss filed two more motions, which were struck by the court Jan. 11 for the same reason it struck the prior post-judgment motions.

An additional pleading filed by Strauss Jan. 9 was construed by the district court as a notice of appeal. The opinion explained the notice of appeal was too late to appeal the original September judgment dismissing Strauss’s civil rights claims — Fed. R. App. P. 4(a)(1)(A). According to the opinion, the 10th Circuit lacks jurisdiction to consider an untimely civil appeal, citing the decision Allender v. Raytheon Aircraft Co. A post-judgment motion may extend the time for appeal, but only if filed within 28 days of the entry of judgment — Fed. R. App. P. 4 (a)(4); and none of Strauss’s motions satisfied the deadline, the opinion added. The notice of appeal would have been timely for the Jan. 9 order denying his post-judgment motions filed Dec. 5, 6 and 16; but the 10th Circuit found nothing in Strauss’s pleadings on appeal that challenged the district court’s application of Local Rule 7.1(a) as the basis for striking those motions. Therefore any challenge to the orders striking those motions has been waived.

The 10th Circuit affirmed the court’s order striking Strauss’s post-judgment motions and granted Strauss’s motion to proceed in forma pauperis.

Previous articleLocal Firm Announces New Attorney; 14th Judicial District Announces Vacancy
Next articleMoffat County Courthouse Invites Public to Grand Opening


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here