Gusler v. City of Long Beach

U.S. COURT OF APPEALS, SECOND CIRCUIT
Appeals

New York Law Journal

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Judge Dennis Jacobs

District court denied three individual defendants qualified immunity in Gusler's 42 USC §1983 lawsuit alleging retaliation for speaking out about issues involving his employer, the Long Beach Fire Department. Although Nassau County was not a party to Gusler's lawsuit, text within a timely filed notice of appeal stated that "defendant Nassau County hereby appeals ... to the extent that the [District] Court denied defendants' motion to dismiss the claims against the individual defendants on the grounds of qualified immunity." After the 30-day notice of appeal filing period lapsed defendants filed an amended notice of appeal listing as appellants all 12 defendants, without distinguishing who among them had been dismissed and who had not. Second Circuit dismissed the appeal for lack of appellate jurisdiction. The subject notice failed to satisfy Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 3(c)(1)(A)'s requirement that the notice "specify the party or parties taking the appeal." The circuit held that a notice of appeal is sufficiently even if the party taking the appeal is named nowhere but the caption itself if—and only if—it is manifest from the notice of appeal as a whole that the party wishes to appeal.

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