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BANKRUPTCY resolving a first impression issue, the 2d U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said on June 24 that the U.S. Bankruptcy Code extends a judgment debtor’s time to appeal a judgment entered against it prior to the bankruptcy filing. Local Union No. 38 v. Custom Air Systems Inc., No. 03-7105. A New York federal court granted summary judgment to the union local in its dispute with Custom Air. On the day the judgment was entered, Custom Air filed for Chapter 11 relief. More than 30 days later, Custom Air filed its notice of appeal from the summary judgment. The union moved to dismiss the appeal as untimely under Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure 4(a), which sets a 30-day deadline. Before the 2d Circuit, Custom Air argued that Bankruptcy Code § 108(b) extended the deadline. That section gives a trustee in bankruptcy up to 60 days to file a pleading, demand or notice or to perform a similar act, as long as the bankruptcy petition was filed within the time frame that would otherwise apply to the nonbankruptcy filing. Holding that the filing of a notice of appeal would be one of the acts contemplated by § 108(b), the court held that the appeal is timely filed if the 30-day time period has not expired before the filing of a bankruptcy petition and the notice of appeal is filed no more than 60 days after the order appealed from.

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