Third Circuit Notes Split Re Application of FRCP 58's Separate Document Requirement

Per In re Cendant Corp. Securities Litigation, --- F.3d ----, 2006 WL 1994522 (3d Cir. Jul. 18, 2006):

Our Court's application of Rule 58(a) is controlled by Local Union No.1992, IBEW v. Okonite Co., 358 F.3d 278, 285 (3d Cir.2004). There we held that an "order's denomination as an 'order,' rather than a 'judgment,' does not mean that it fails to satisfy the separate document requirement." Id. [FN3] Instead, we explained that an order will be treated as a separate document if it meets three criteria: first, the order must be self-contained and separate from the opinion; second, the order must note the relief granted; and third, the order must omit (or at least substantially omit) the District Court's reasons for disposing of the parties' claims.

FN3. Some of our sister Circuits are divided on this point. Compare Kanematsu-Gosho, Ltd. v. M/T Messiniaki Aigli, 805 F.2d 47, 49 (2d Cir.1986) (per curiam) (holding that a document must be denominated a "judgment" in order to satisfy Rule 58), with United States v. Johnson, 254 F.3d 279, 285 n. 7 (D.C.Cir.2001) ("The fact that the page is labeled 'Order' rather than 'Judgment' is not relevant.").


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