Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Federal Rules of Civ. Pro.: Computation of Time/Date Changes on 12/9/09

From the Judicial Conference Report:

“The principal simplifying change in the amended time-computation rules is the adoption of a “days-are-days” approach to computing all time periods. Under some of the current rules, intermediate weekends and holidays are omitted when computing short periods but included when computing longer periods. By contrast, under the proposed rules amendments, intermediate weekends and holidays are counted regardless of the length of the specified period. Other changes in the amended time-computation rules clarify how to count forward when the period measured is after an event (for example, 21 days after service of a motion) and the deadline falls on a weekend or holiday; and how to count backward when the period measured is before an event (for example, 14 days before a scheduled hearing) and the deadline falls on a weekend or holiday. The proposed amendments also provide for computing hourly time periods, to address recent legislation affecting court proceedings in which deadlines are expressed in hours (for example, 72 hours for action)."

Here is a list:

* The one-day period in Rule 6(c)(2) becomes seven days. The adjustment would extend the time for a party to serve any affidavit opposing a motion to seven days before a hearing.
* The one-day period in Rule 54(d) becomes 14 days. The increased time period corrects an unrealistic short time period for the clerk to give notice before taxing costs.
* The three-day period in Rule 55 becomes seven days.
* Five-day periods in Rules 32, 54, and 81 become seven days.
* The five-day period in Rule 6(c)(1) becomes 14 days. The adjustment extends the time for a party to serve a written motion and notice of hearing before the scheduled hearing date.
* Ten-day periods in Rules 12, 14, 15, 23, 38, 59(c), 62, 65, 68, 72, 81, and Supplemental Rule C become 14 days.
* Ten-day periods in Rules 50, 52, and 59(b), (d), and (e) become 28-day periods. The adjustment extends the present inadequate time allowed to prepare and file postjudgment motions. To prevent unfair results from these unrealistic short time periods, courts have avoided the rule by delaying entry of judgment or permitting timely filing of a barebones motion but permitting the brief to expand the stated grounds.
* The less-than-11-day period in Rule 32 becomes less than 14 days.
* Twenty-day periods in Rules 12, 15, 27, 53, 71.1, 81, Forms 3, 4, and 60, and Supplemental Rules B, C and G become 21 days.
* Rule 6(b)’s reference to provisions for extending the times set by enumerated provisions in Rules 50, 52, 59, and 60, and Rule 59(c)’s reference to a 20-day extension are eliminated.
* The timing provisions in Rules 56(a) and (c) are replaced by new provisions that recognize authority to set deadlines for summary-judgment motions by local rule or by court order and, in default of a local rule or court order, that allow a motion to be made at any time until 30 days after the close of all discovery. The new provisions also establish default times for response and reply.