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Hawkins v. Howard University Hospital

Court of Appeals of Columbia District

January 12, 2017

Mark Hawkins, Appellant,
v.
Howard University Hospital, Appellee.

          Submitted October 5, 2016

         Appeal from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia (CAB-1618-11) (Hon. Erik P. Christian, Trial Judge)

          Denise M. Clark was on the brief for appellant.

          Ariana Wright Arnold, of the bar of the State of Maryland, pro hac vice, by special leave of court, and Adonna Bannister Green were on the brief for appellee.

          Before Glickman, Easterly, and McLeese, Associate Judges.

         JUDGMENT

         This case was submitted to the court on the transcript of record and the briefs filed, and without presentation of oral argument. On consideration whereof, and for the reasons set forth in the opinion filed this date, it is now hereby

         ORDERED and ADJUDGED that appellant was entitled to an extension of time, as a matter of law. Accordingly, the Clerk of this court is directed to issue a briefing order, so that the appeal may be considered on the merits.

          Roy W. McLeese, Associate Judge

         Appellant Mark Hawkins seeks review of an order denying his motion for an extension of time within which to note an appeal from an order granting summary judgment to appellee Howard University Hospital. We conclude as a matter of law that Mr. Hawkins was entitled to an extension of time.

         I.

         Mr. Hawkins filed a complaint against Howard alleging unlawful harassment and discrimination. After the trial court granted summary judgment against Mr. Hawkins on September 9, 2013, Mr. Hawkins filed a timely motion for relief from judgment, pursuant to Super. Ct. Civ. R. 59 (e). Mr. Hawkins also filed a notice of appeal on October 9, 2013, within the time ordinarily required by D.C. App. R. 4 (a)(1). Because a timely motion for relief from judgment was pending in the trial court, this court issued an order requiring Mr. Hawkins to show cause why the appeal should not be dismissed as prematurely filed. In December 2013, having received no response, a motions division of this court issued an unpublished order dismissing Mr. Hawkins's appeal as having been prematurely filed. Counsel for Mr. Hawkins represented in the trial court that she did not receive notice of the order to show cause or of the dismissal of his appeal.

         The trial court issued an order on March 24, 2015, denying Mr. Hawkins's motion for relief from judgment. Counsel for Mr. Hawkins represented in the trial court that her staff contacted this court shortly thereafter and was assured that the 2013 notice of appeal had been filed. Counsel for Mr. Hawkins further alleges that after contacting this court on May 19, 2015, to inquire about the status of the appeal, she learned that this court had dismissed the appeal in December 2013. On May 22, 2015, Mr. Hawkins filed a motion in the Superior Court for an extension of time to file a notice of appeal under D.C. App. R. 4 (a)(5)(A), ...


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