Prejudicial Reliance Upon a Trial Court’s Ruling May Result in Suspension of Federal Rules on Timeliness of Appeals-Thompson v. Immigration & Naturalization Serv.; Wolfsohn v. Hankin

In Thompson v. Immigration & Naturalization Serv., twelve days after the federal district court had entered an order denying a petition for naturalization, petitioner announced his intention of making motions for a new trial and amended findings of fact. Although the motions must be filed within ten days of the entry of judgment, the judge assured petitioner they were made in ample time, and no objection was raised by the Government. Six months later the motions were denied. Within sixty days of this denial, but not within sixty days of the original judgment, petitioner filed a notice of appeal. The court of appeals dismissed for lack of jurisdiction since the period for taking an appeal, as measured from the order denying naturalization, had elapsed and had not been tolled by a timely post-trial motion under rule 73(a).