United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Jacksonville Division
Patricia D. Barksdale United States Magistrate Judge
Raheem, proceeding without a lawyer, moves for an extension
of time to serve Craig Hemphill, Esquire, and the law firm of
Hemphill & Hemphill. Doc. 54.
September 27, 2019, order, the Court granted in part Hemphill
and the law firm's motion to quash service of process,
quashed service of process on them, and directed Raheem to,
by October 28, 2019, serve them and file proof of service.
Doc. 52 at 3. The Court explained that failure to timely
serve them and file proof of service “will result in
the dismissal of Plaintiff's claims against” them.
Doc. 52 at 3.
October 28, 2019, Raheem filed a document titled
“Notice, ” stating, “I, Idris Raheem
… am in need of an extension of time for the second
process of service attempt[.]” Doc. 54 at 1
(capitalization and quotation marks omitted). He contends
Hemphill and the law firm are “evading process of
service as usual by moving from the address listed on the
summons” and states the attorney representing them
“has not been available to be served by the process
server.” Doc. 54 at 1-2 (capitalization and quotation
marks omitted). He filed proof-of-service forms for the
service attempts, checking the box next to “I returned
the summons unexecuted because” and writing
“attorney for defendant refused [service].” Doc.
55 at 1, 2.
an act may or must be done within a specified time, the court
may, for good cause, extend the time … if a request is
made  before the original time or its extension
expires.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 6(b)(1)(A).
filed the notice before the original deadline
expired. Because he is proceeding pro se, there is
no apparent prejudice, and this is his first request for an
extension, he has established good cause. Construing the
notice as a motion, the Court grants the motion, Doc. 54, and
directs Raheem to, by December 18, 2019, (1) serve Hemphill
and the law firm and (2) file proof of service with the
Court. As explained, failure to timely serve them
and file proof of service will result in the dismissal of the
claims against them.
After filing the motion for extension,
Raheem filed a notice of appeal of the Court's order
dismissing all defendants except Hemphill and the law firm,
denying Raheem's motion for default against Hemphill and
the law firm, and denying in part Hemphill and the law
firm's motion to dismiss the case or quash service of
process (denying dismissal but granting the request to quash
service) (Doc. 52). Doc. 56. He also filed a motion for leave
to appeal in forma pauperis, Doc. 58, which has been denied,
“Ordinarily, the act of filing a notice of
appeal confers jurisdiction on an appellate court and divests
the trial court of jurisdiction over matters related to the
appeal. That rule, however, does not extend to deficient
notices of appeal.” Gilda Industries, Inc. v.
U.S., 511 F.3d 1348, 1350 (11th Cir. 2008) (internal
citations and quotation marks omitted). “[W]here the
deficiency in a notice of appeal, by reason of untimeliness
… or reference to a non-appealable order, is clear to
the district court, it may disregard the purported notice of
appeal and proceed with the case, knowing that it has not
been deprived of jurisdiction.” Id.
An order disposing of fewer than all claims or the
rights and liabilities of fewer than all parties is
interlocutory. Bodine v. Federal Kemper Life Assur.
Co., 912 F.2d 1373, 1376 (11th Cir. 1990); Mullins
v. Nickel Plate Mining Co., Inc., 691 F.2d 971, 973
(11th Cir. 1982). Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b)
When an action presents more than one claim for
relief-whether as a claim, counterclaim, crossclaim, or
third-party claim-or when multiple parties are involved, the
court may direct entry of a final judgment as to one or more,
but fewer than all, claims or parties only if the court
expressly determines that there is no just reason for delay.
Otherwise, any order or other decision, however designated,
that adjudicates fewer than all the claims or the rights and
liabilities of fewer than all the parties does not end the
action as to any of the claims or parties and may be revised
at any time before the entry of a judgment adjudicating all
the claims and all the parties' rights and
Fed. R. Civ. P. 54(b).
Therefore, “In a case involving multiple claims,
in the absence of a [Rule 54(b)] certification, a district
court's disposition of fewer than all the claims does not
constitute an appealable final judgment.”
Castleberry v. Goldome Credit Corp., 408 F.3d 773,
779-80 (11th Cir. 2005); see Smith v. Gonzales, 592
F.2d 277, 277 (5th Cir. 1979) (“This is an appeal from
the dismissal of two parties in a multiparty case in which
one defendant remains a party. Since there has been neither a
final judgment entered nor a determination by the district