Sullivan v. Dorman, DA 22-0629

CitationDA 22-0629
Case DateNovember 22, 2022
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Montana

BILLY BUDD SULLIVAN, Plaintiff,

HARRY RICHARDS, Plaintiff and Appellant,
v.

ALICIA DORMAN and JASON FORTNEY, Defendants and Appellees.

No. DA 22-0629

Supreme Court of Montana

November 22, 2022


ORDER

Harry Richards has filed a verified Petition for an Out-of-Time appeal of an October 4. 2022 decision issued in the Nineteenth Judicial District Court, Lincoln County, concerning an easement dispute.[1] Richards states that the decision did not reach him in a timely fashion due to various delays.

M. R. App. P. 4(6) allows this Court to grant an out-of-time appeal "[i]n the infrequent harsh case and under extraordinary circumstances amounting to a gross miscarriage of justice[.J" Richards missed the thirty-day filing deadline by only three days and is representing himself on appeal. The Court affords some latitude to self-represented litigants and prefers to consider and decide cases on the merits, with both parties having an opportunity to be heard. Under the circumstances, we conclude that Richards's appeal should be allowed to proceed.

Finally, Richards included a certificate of service of his Petition on the opposing parties, Alicia Dorman and Jason Fortney. We point out that the address provided is not

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complete because it is missing a post-office box number. The Court is unable to determine whether they received a copy of Richards's Petition and other pleadings. We advise Richards that proper service of all papers filed with this Court is required. M. R. App. P. 10(2). Richards must serve a copy of his opening brief and reply brief to the opposing parties by mail and with a complete mailing address on the certificate of service. Failure to do so will result in the pleading being returned to Richards at his expense.

IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED that Richards's Petition for an Out-of-Time Appeal is GRANTED.

The Clerk of the Supreme Court is directed to file Richards's accompanying Notice of Appeal as of the date of this Order.

The Clerk is also directed to provide a copy of this Order to Alicia Dorman and Jason Fortney, along with a copy of the Petition for Out-of-Time Appeal. Notice of Appeal, and accompanying documents, and to provide a copy of this Order to Harry Richards and to Billy Budd Sullivan. j

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Notes:

[1] Both Plaintiffs Billy Budd Sullivan and Hany Richards signed the Petition for an Out-of Time Appeal on November 4, 2022. The notary, however, attested only to Harry Richards's signature. The...

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