West v. United States

A federal appellate court has jurisdiction over claims against an appellee not named in the notice of appeal if the opening brief shows the appellant challenges portions of the judgment affecting that appellee.  Under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 3, a notice of appeal must name all appellants and the order(s) or judgment(s) appealed from.  However, the notice of appeal need not name the appellees.  Particularly when the opening brief clarifies matters and shows which orders, judgments and appellees the appeal challenges, the Court of Appeal has jurisdiction over the appeal regardless of deficiencies in the notice of appeal’s naming of the appellees or orders or judgments appealed from.  So, here the notice of appeal clearly designated a judgment that dismissed the appellant’s claims against two defendants.  The appellant’s opening brief argued that the claims should be reinstated against both defendants.  That was sufficient for the Court of Appeal to have jurisdiction over both defendant-appellees, even though one was not named in the notice of appeal.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Kozinski, J.; O’Scannlain, J., concurring in part & dissenting in part); April 3, 2017; 2017 WL 1208446 

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