Status hearings are held Monday through Friday at 9:45 a.m. Status calls are scheduled to review the progress of pretrial discovery, settlement discussions, other matters that will help move the case to an efficient resolution and to enable the Court to set cases for trial on a prompt basis. At the initial status hearing, counsel should be prepared to discuss the scheduling of discovery as well as the overall status of the case. Counsel of record primarily responsible for a case are expected to appear at status calls.
A. Joint Written Status Reports - (click on the status report below to get the Court's outline).
At least three working days before the initial status hearing, the parties shall file a joint written status report
, (with a courtesy copy to chambers) not to exceed three pages in length, addressing the legal and factual issues involved in the case, outstanding discovery issues, pending motions, and the status of settlement discussions. If after cooperative efforts the parties cannot prepare a joint report, each party shall submit a status report, not to exceed three pages in length, addressing the aforementioned topics and designating which issues are in dispute. Click on the blue highlighted status report to get an outline of the status report.
B. Bankruptcy and Social Security Appeals1. Bankruptcy Appealsa. Jurisdiction.
The jurisdictional statute governing traditional appeals from judgments, orders and decrees entered by bankruptcy judges is 28 U.S.C. § 158. Although parties may take appeals from either final or interlocutory orders under section 158(a), the procedures for pursuing these appeals in the district court are different.
(1) Mandatory appeals . If an order is final, the district court has mandatory jurisdiction to hear the appeal. 28 U.S.C. § 158(a). The rules governing such appeals are found in Fed. R. Bankr. P. 8001-8019 and will be strictly enforced by the Court. The filing of a proper notice of appeal generally has the effect of immediately transferring jurisdiction from the bankruptcy court to the district court with respect to any matters involved in the appeal. 9 COLLIER ON BANKRUPTCY ¶ 8001.04 (15th ed. 1993).
Once the Notice of Appeal is docketed by the Clerk of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the case is assigned to this Court, the parties should proceed as follows:
(a) A Joint "Appellate Status Report" should be filed with this Court within seven (7) days, apprising the Court of the following information:
The Basis For Appellate Jurisdiction;
The Relief Sought By Appellants;
The Stipulated Facts (if any);
The Legal And Factual Issues On Review;
The Appellate Standard of Review;
Citations To Key Authorities (including the bankruptcy code, the bankruptcy rules, and applicable local, federal civil and appellate rules of procedure);
The Procedural History Of The Case (i.e., proceedings in the bankruptcy court and the procedural posture of the appeal with respect to any other outstanding claims or cases still in the bankruptcy or in other courts);
The Contents Of The Record On Appeal.
(b) The appellant shall serve and file a brief with the district court (acting as an appellate court) within fifteen (15) days after the appeal is entered on the docket pursuant to Bankruptcy Rule 8007. Rule 8009(1). Further, the appellee shall serve and file a brief with the Court within 15 days after service of the appellant's brief. Rule 8009(2). If the appellee has filed a cross appeal, the brief of the appellee shall contain the issues and argument pertinent to the cross appeal, denominated as such, and the response to the brief of the appellant. Id. The appellant may serve and file a reply brief within 10 days after service of the brief of the appellee, and if the appellee has cross-appealed, the appellee may file and serve a reply brief to the response of the appellant to the issues presented in the cross appeal within 10 days after service of the reply brief of the appellant. No further briefs may be filed except with leave of the district court. Rule 8009(3).
(c) Failure by the appellant to file a brief within the proper time will result in dismissal for failure to prosecute. Failure by the appellee to file a response within the proper time will result in an order to show cause within seven (7) days why default should not be entered on the appeal. Further failure to answer the order to show cause will result in the entry of default. See generally Rule 1013(b).
(d) The briefs filed by the parties should contain references to the relevant portions of the record on appeal and should attach documents such as transcripts of oral rulings by the bankruptcy judge as exhibits, pursuant to Rule 8009(b).
(e) The briefs should conform to Rule 8010.
(2) Interlocutory appeals. If the bankruptcy order is interlocutory, the district court has discretion to grant or deny leave to appeal. Id. Although section 158(a) does not provide guidelines for the exercise of the Court's discretion, the Seventh Circuit has held that district courts have discretion to hear appeals from the bankruptcy court without first certifying the issue in a manner similar to that under 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. In re Jartran, Inc., 886 F.2d 859, 865-66 (7th Cir. 1989).
A party seeking to pursue an interlocutory appeal from the bankruptcy court must first notify the bankruptcy judge of its intention by seeking a stay of the order pending appeal, Rule 8005; by filing a notice of appeal, Rule 8001(b); and by filing a "Motion for Leave to Appeal," Rule 8003(b), with proof of service in accordance with Rule 8008, within ten (10) days of the entry of the order. Rule 8003(c).
As provided in Rule 8003, "[a] motion for leave to appeal under 28 U.S.C. § 158(a) shall contain: (1) a statement of the facts necessary to an understanding of the questions to be presented by the appeal; (2) a statement of those questions and of the relief sought; (3) a statement of the reasons why an appeal should be granted; and (4) a copy of the judgment, order or decree complained of and of any opinion or memorandum related thereto. Within 10 days after service of the motion, an adverse party may file with the clerk an answer in opposition." R. 8003.
This motion, although transmitted by the bankruptcy court to the district court, must be properly presented to the Court. Failure to present this motion to this Court within ten (10) days of its filing will result in an automatic dismissal of the motion for failure to prosecute. See United States v. Ellis, 50 F.3d 419 (7th Cir. 1995); Martin-Trigona v. Champion Fed. Savings & Loan Assoc., 892 F.2d 575 (7th Cir. 1989).b. Dismissals
After the appeal has been docketed, voluntary dismissals, are governed by Rule 8001(c)(2). The parties should also file a motion for voluntary dismissal of the appeal with this Court as soon as possible. In this motion, the appellant should set forth the proposed terms and conditions of the dismissal for the Court's review.2. Social Security Appeals
Generally within seven (7) days of the assignment of a Social Security Appeal to the docket of this Court, the Court will request a special joint status report which asks the parties to specifically consider the need for an agreed remand order and the parties' willingness to consent to the assigned Magistrate Judge. Such consent can be filed electronically before the Court requests a joint status report. A briefing schedule will normally be set by mail which ordinarily will require that the issues on appeal be submitted in memoranda according to the following schedule: sixty (60) days for the initial brief for summary judgment on appeal; forty (40) days for the response; and fourteen (14) days for any reply brief. Thereafter, the Court will rule by mail. The use of this standard briefing schedule should help reduce costs for the parties and lead to an early resolution of the appeal. Parties who need a more extended briefing schedule, should file a motion (preferably by agreement) to extend the Court's standard briefing schedule by setting forth good cause for the amount of time requested. The failure of the parties to file required briefs in a timely fashion may result in a dismissal for want of prosecution or the entry of a default judgment.