Zanghi v. Callegari, 2023 WL 1097560 (2d Cir., Jan. 30, 2023)

Second Circuit Lacked Appellate Jurisdiction to Review Appellant’s Interlocutory Appeal From An  Order Dismissing a Civil RICO Claim

Appellants Zanghi and Zanghi LLC appealed from the district court’s September 24, 2021 order dismissing a civil RICO claim against Defendant-Appellee Callegari and a January 7, 2022 order declining to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over a state-law claim against Callegari. In this interlocutory appeal, Zanghi argues that the court has appellate jurisdiction to review the orders pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1291 or the collateral-order doctrine, and that both were erroneous.  

This court concluded that it lacked appellate jurisdiction to review Zanghi’s interlocutory appeal from the district court’s September 24, 2021 and January 7, 2022 orders. Under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, “[t]he courts of appeals … have jurisdiction of appeals from all final decisions of the district courts.” Under the final-judgment rule, “a party is entitled to a single appeal, to be deferred until final judgment has been entered, in which claims of district court error at any stage of the litigation may be ventilated.”  To determine whether a district court’s order is “final,” we apply a “pragmatic, nontechnical ‘approach to the question of finality.’

Under the collateral-order doctrine, “only decisions [1] that are conclusive, [2] that resolve important questions separate from the merits, and [3] that are effectively unreviewable on appeal from the final judgment in the underlying action” may be appealed before final judgment. 

The appeals court first found the September 24, 2021 and the January 7, 2022 orders are not appealable “final decisions of the district court[ ]” under the final-judgment rule. 28 U.S.C. § 1291. The district court’s September 24, 2021 order dismissed claims against some parties but retained some of Zanghi’s securities-fraud and state-law claims. And while the January 7, 2022 order dismissed the remaining state-law claim against Callegari, it did not dismiss any other surviving claims against other defendants. Moreover, proceedings are still pending before the district court, underscoring that neither order terminated Zanghi’s action. The January 7, 2022 order dismissed the only remaining claim against one defendant (Callegari) in a multi-defendant action; it was not a dismissal of a discrete case consolidated with others in a multidistrict litigation. Thus, neither order was a “final decision” appealable under § 1291.

Second, the Court found the September 24, 2021 and January 7, 2022 orders do not fall within the collateral-order doctrine because, as a categorical matter, neither raises “important questions separate from the merits.”  The court stated that  “[E]ven if a particular appeal satisfies the three conditions” of the collateral-order doctrine, “we still lack jurisdiction if the appeal is of a type that does not generally fall within the doctrine.”  The Court concluded that following the categorical analysis above, neither the September 24, 2021 order nor the January 7, 2022 order is an appealable order under the collateral-order doctrine.

Finally, the Court stated that the lack of appellate jurisdiction over the January 7, 2022 order renders moot Zanghi’s request for pendent appellate jurisdiction over the September 24, 2021 order. (“[P]endent appellate jurisdiction is only appropriate where an issue is ‘inextricably intertwined’ with the other issues on appeal giving rise to the appellate court’s jurisdiction or is necessary to ensure ‘meaningful review’ of those issues.”). Without any basis for appellate jurisdiction, this court must dismiss Zanghi’s appeal.

The court also rejected Zanghi’s alternative request, which we construe as a motion for leave to file a petition for a writ of mandamus as Zanghi failed to satisfy the conditions before the writ may issue,  (1) the petitioner must have no other adequate means to attain the relief it desires; (2) the petitioner must satisfy the burden of showing that its right to issuance of the writ is clear and indisputable; and (3) the issuing court must be satisfied that the writ is appropriate under the circumstances.”  The court found availability of other avenues by which Zanghi could seek the desired relief, however, we are unconvinced that issuance of a writ of mandamus would be appropriate.


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