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The New Federal Time Computation Amendments of 2009*

On December 1, 2009, new time computation amendments to the federal rules and statutes will become effective. The Time Computation Project, as it is called, proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure, Appellate Procedure, and Bankruptcy Rules. According to the Standing Rules Committee, "The principal simplifying change in these rules is the adoption of a "days are days" approach to computing all time periods." The Supreme Court approved these amendments on March 26, 2009.

The rules affected include the following:

  • Appellate Rules 4, 5, 6, 10, 12, 15, 19, 25, 26, 27, 28.1, 30, 31, 39, and 41;
  • Bankruptcy Rules 1007, 1011, 1019, 1020, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2007.2, 2008, 2015, 2015.1, 2015.2, 2015.3, 2016, 3001, 3015, 3017, 3019, 3020, 4001, 4002, 4004, 6003, 6004, 6006, 6007, 7004, 7012, 8001, 8002, 8003, 8006, 8009, 8015, 8017, 9006, 9027, and 9033;
  • Civil Rules 6, 12, 14, 15, 23, 27, 32, 38, 50, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 59, 62, 65, 68, 71.1, 72, 81; Supplemental Rules B, C, and G; and Illustrative Civil Forms 3, 4, and 60; and
  • Criminal Rules 5.1, 7, 12.1, 12.3, 29, 33, 34, 35, 41, 45, 47, 58, 59, and Rules 8 of the Rules Governing 2254 and 2255 Cases.

The amendments and a number of reports the Court considered regarding the proposed changes may be accessed at http://www.uscourts.gov/rules/supct0309.html.

As required by the Rules Enabling Act, the amendments have been transmitted to Congress. Should Congress take no action regarding the proposed amendments they will become effective December 1, 2009. The new rules may be viewed online at Cornell's Legal Information Institute website. Pending an update, they should also be available at the Federal Judiciary's website.

Several rules committees worked closely with the Department of Justice to identify statutory provisions in the U.S. Code containing short deadlines that should be extended so they calibrate with the time computation changes proposed for the Federal Rules. In all, 29 statutory provisions were identified. The result was the "Statutory Time-Periods Technical Amendments Act of 2009," Public Law 111-16 which was signed into law on May 7, 2009. Like the new Federal Rules, the Act has an effective date of December 1, 2009.

New among the library's print resources is the Federal Civil Rules Handbook (2010 edition). Part III-A of this title covers the "Time Computation" Project. Location: Reserve Collection KF8816 A193. Additional print and online resources will be available shortly.

* This post was written by my UW Law Library colleague, Eric Taylor.