On December 28, 2016, in the case titled Stephens vs City of Englewood, et al, Circuit Judges Chagares, Vanaskie And Krause from the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit denied Marc Stephens’ Motion to exceed the page and word limits, and requesting the court to relax the laws regarding the filing of his briefs.
On January 5, 2017, Marc Stephens wasted no time, and submitted a motion for reconsideration en banc, motion for stay, and a motion to expedite the decision.
En Banc means Marc is requesting all judges of the appellate court to review his brief. It is odd that the court denied Marc’s request because all defendants 'consented' to Marc exceeding the page and word limitations.
Marc Stephens is concerned that if his legal argument is removed from the record, and limited to only 15 pages, his brief will be out of compliance with Rule 28 of the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure.
Also, if Marc’s reply brief is out of compliance, it would possibly give the defendants City of Englewood and Englewood Officers, and Nina C. Remson Attorney at Law, LLC a win based on a ‘technicality’.
Due to the compelling evidence submitted by Marc Stephens on record, it is next to impossible for either defendants to win the case based on the merits.
In fact, courts usually will not dismiss a case based on a ‘technicality’ if the merits of the case is overwhelming.
Marc Stephens raised the same exact argument in his motion for reconsideration en banc, which reads:
"[T]here is no legislative interest in barring meritorious claims brought in good faith[.]" Ferreira, supra, 178 N.J. at 150-51, 836 A.2d 779 (quoting Galik v. Clara Maass Med. Ctr., 167 N.J. 341, 359, 771 A.2d 1141 (2001)). Indeed, the Legislature did not intend "to `create a minefield of hyper-technicalities in order to doom innocent litigants possessing meritorious claims.'" Ryan, supra, 203 N.J. at 51, 999 A.2d 427 (quotation omitted).
Marc raised several arguments to the panel of judges. The most interesting argument is where Marc points to case law and a Supreme Court opinion proving that the court rules are “only for lawyers”.
“Our rules of procedure are based on the assumption that litigation is normally conducted by lawyers”, McNeil v. United States, 508 US 106 - Supreme Court 1993 at 113.
Marc is arguing that under ‘constitutional law’ the court can not limit his brief to 15 pages because he substantially complied with the court rules ‘under common law’.
Filing the motion is an excellent defense strategy used by Marc.
By filing the motion shows that Marc is clearly savvy with the law, not impatient, and is fully aware that if the appellant judges deny his motion for reconsideration en banc, his constitutional argument is preserved to be heard in the Supreme Court of the United States.
If there is no constitutional violation, or a failure to raise an constitutional argument in the lower courts, than the Supreme Court will not hear the case.
It is extremely unusual for a pro se litigant, with no legal training, to be so savvy with the law.
This is the reason why the lawyers for the City of Englewood pleaded with the courts to treat Marc Stephens as a lawyer. The courts rejected the argument.
As of Today, Marc’s Motion for Stay was granted. The judges are reviewing the brief, and will probably make a decision within 30 days.
Copy of Marc Stephens Motion for Reconsideration En Banc - A Must Read!