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Gonzalez v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

January 9, 2014

RAMON GONZALEZ, Appellant,
v.
WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A., et al., Appellees.

ORDER AFFIRMING BANKRUPTCY COURT'S JUDGMENT DENYING MOTION TO EXTEND TIME Re: ECF No. 6

JON S. TIGAR, District Judge.

Before the Court is Appellant Ramon Gonzalez's appeal brought pursuant to Rule 8002 of the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure as a result of the Bankruptcy Court's denial of Appellant's motion to extend time for failure to timely file the notice of appeal within the period of time required by Bankruptcy Rule 8002(a). The Court will affirm the judgment of the Bankruptcy Court.

I. BACKGROUND

A. Procedural Background

The Bankruptcy Court issued an order of dismissal, dismissing Appellant's adversary proceeding against Wells Fargo, on January 18, 2013. ECF No. 31, No. 12-04148 (Bankr. N.D. Cal. Jan. 18, 2013). Appellant filed a notice of appeal on February 3, 2013, 16 days later. ECF No. 34 (Bankr.).

On February 22, 2013, Appellant moved the Bankruptcy Court for a finding that his appeal was timely filed, or, in the alternative, for a two-day extension of time to file his notice of appeal pursuant to Bankruptcy Rule 8002(c). ECF No. 39 (Bankr.). The Bankruptcy Court held a hearing on the motion on March 25, 2013. The court issued its oral ruling denying the motion on April 5, filed a notice of appeal of that order on April 24, 2013. ECF No. 53 (Bankr.).

B. Jurisdiction

The Court has jurisdiction over this appeal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ยง 158(a).

C. Standard of Review

In District Court, as in the Court of Appeals, "[t]he bankruptcy court's findings of fact are reviewed for clear error, while its conclusions of law are reviewed de novo. " In re JTS Corp. , 617 F.3d 1102, 1109 (9th Cir. 2010) (quoting In re Strand , 375 F.3d 854, 857 (9th Cir. 2004)). "Mixed questions of law and fact are reviewed de novo. " In re JTS Corp. , 617 F.3d at 1109 (quoting In re Chang , 163 F.3d 1138, 1140 (9th Cir. 1998)).

The Court reviews for abuse of discretion a bankruptcy court's decision to grant or deny a motion for an extension of time to file a claim on the grounds of excusable neglect. See Pioneer Inv. Services Co. v. Brunswick Associates Ltd. Partnership , 507 U.S. 380, 398 (1993); Marx v. Loral , 87 F.3d 1049, 1053 (9th Cir. 1996). The Bankruptcy Court's judgment must be affirmed "unless we are left with the definite and firm conviction that the lower court committed a clear error of judgment in the conclusion it reached after weighing the relevant factors." Pincay v. Andrews , 389 F.3d 853, 858 (9th Cir. 2003) (citation omitted). "A bankruptcy court necessarily abuses its discretion if it bases its decision on an erroneous view of the law or clearly erroneous factual findings." In re Warrick1 , 278 B.R. 182, 184 (B.A.P. 9th Cir. 2002).

II. Analysis

A. Application of Local Bankruptcy Rules 9013-3 & 9022-1

Appellant contends that the Bankruptcy Court's application of the Local Rules for the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California was inconsistent with the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure. Specifically, Appellant argues that the Bankruptcy Court erred in interpreting the terms "electronic notice" and "electronic service" in the local rules, and in failing to distinguish these terms from the date the Bankruptcy Court's judgment was ...


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