By Emily Wetherell
Beginning on January 1, 2018, every day will really count. The Vermont Supreme Court has promulgated a set of amendments to procedural rules, which take effect the first of the year, to simplify the process of computing deadlines and to change the time requirements of many rules. These changes will discard the former practice of excluding weekends and holidays in calculating due dates for time periods less than 11 days. Under the new system, for all time periods, a day will be counted as a day, whether it is a Saturday, Sunday, holiday, or weekday. The main objectives of the changes are to make the process of calculating time periods more consistent, simpler, and more predictable.
Because every day is now counted for all time periods, including those under 11 days, most time periods of 10 days or less were lengthened so that the actual length of the period is approximately the same. When possible, time periods were converted to multiples of 7 so that periods starting on a working day also end on a working day. In general, the following changes were made: 3 days became 5; 5 and 6 days became 7; 7 remains unchanged; 10 and 15 days became 14; 20 days became 21; and 45 and 41 days became 42. Thirty-day periods, including 30-day appeal periods, remain unchanged. The changes affect time periods in all divisions of the superior court. The counting method applies to periods in procedural rules, as well as applicable statutes and court orders that do not otherwise specify a method for counting time.
A chart listing all of the rule changes is available below:
The promulgated orders delineating each change are available on the judiciary website at the following address: https://www.vermontjudiciary.org/attorneys/rules/promulgated