Nutraceutical Corporation v. Lambert

Summarized by:

  • Court: United States Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Appellate Procedure
  • Date Filed: February 26, 2019
  • Case #: 17-1094
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: SOTOMAYOR, J., delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court.
  • Full Text Opinion

The doctrine of equitable tolling does not apply to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(f).

Respondent filed suit on behalf of a class against Petitioner, alleging consumer protection violations. The District Court decertified the class. As Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“FRCP”) 23(f) states, upon the denial of certification, a party has 14 days to request an appeal in the appropriate Circuit Court of Appeals. Instead of filing that request, Respondent filed a motion for reconsideration 20 days after the decertification order. That motion was denied. Fourteen days later, Respondent filed a petition with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to appeal the decertification order. Although the petition was ill timed, the Ninth Circuit nonetheless held that because rule 23(f) (like the other FRCP) is non-jurisdictional, equitable tolling applies and the filing deadline should be tolled.  On appeal, the Supreme Court held that, although the FRCP time limit is non-jurisdictional, it is nevertheless not subject to equitable tolling because the text of the rule does not allow for such a remedy. FRCP 5(a)(2) requires that all appellate petitions must be timely filed. Further, the Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure (26)(b)(1) explicitly states that a Circuit Court of Appeals may not extend the time for filing appellate petitions. The Court further found Respondent’s other arguments were refuted by precedent or mistakenly relied on. REVERSED and REMANDED.

Advanced Search

Back to Top