Is Good Friday a Court Holiday? It Depends

Today an attorney asked me to confirm whether his deadline was really today under the rules, or if the deadline rolled to Monday. And I told him what I am telling you: it depends! What court are you in? As I’ve explained before, Florida Rule of Judicial Administration Rule 9.420 clarifies what constitutes a legal holiday, and defines holidays as:

(A) the day set aside by section 110.117, Florida Statutes, for observing New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Veterans’ Day, Thanksgiving Day, the Friday after Thanksgiving Day, or Christmas Day; and
(B) any day observed as a holiday by the clerk’s office or as designated by the chief judge.

Good Friday is not on the enumerated list. But it happens to be observed as a holiday by many, if not most, of the courts in this state, including the First DCA (Admin. Order 13-1, July 9, 2013 [.pdf]), Second DCA, Third DCA, Fourth DCA, Fifth DCA, and Florida Supreme Court [.pdf]. So if you have an appellate deadline today, Happy Easter! It’s due Monday instead. And if your deadline is in the trial court, I recommend checking the clerk’s website and putting a copy of the order in your records in case timeliness becomes an issue down the road on appeal.

Second District Implements Agreed Enlargements of Time

The Second District Court of Appeal has joined the Third, Fourth, and Fifth district courts of appeal in allowing parties to file stipulated enlargements of time. Administrative Order 2013-1 [.pdf] allows parties to agree without court order to up to 90 days’ worth of extra time to submit initial or answer briefs, and up to 60 days of extra time for reply briefs. The Second’s timing is thus in line with that of the Fifth District, while the Third and Fourth allow parties to agree to up to 120 days extra time without leave of court.

That leaves only the First DCA without an standing order allowing stipulated enlargements. For the time being, you still need to file a motion in the First.

Third DCA Becomes Third DCA to Allow Stipulated Enlargements

Following the trend started by the Fourth District Court of Appeal and Fifth District Court of Appeal, Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal yesterday issued an administrative order [.pdf] that, effective immediately, allows parties to stipulate to enlargements of time to serve briefs, rather than seek leave of court. Importantly, the procedure does not apply to writs, expedited or emergency matters, nor adoptions, dependency or termination of parental rights cases. The parties by stipulation can agree to an aggregate of 120 days’ worth of enlargments for initial and answer briefs, and 6o days for reply briefs.