Only lawyers could have at least six separate sets of rules explaining how to compute a deadline.  However, in an effort to create a uniform rule of procedure for computation of time periods in all types of proceedings, the Florida Supreme Court recently issued its opinion in Case No. SC10-2299, amending various rules of procedure concerning the computation of time.  Newly enacted Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.514 is now the primary rule governing computation of time. 

The following procedural rules have all been deleted or replaced with a directive that “Computation of time shall be governed by Florida Rule of Judicial Administration 2.514”: Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.090(a) and (e); Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.040; Florida Rule of Civil Procedure for Involuntary Commitment of Sexually Violent Predators 4.090(a); Florida Probate Rule 5.042(a); Florida Rules of Traffic Court 6.350 and 6.370; Florida Rules of Juvenile Procedure 8.085(e), 8.180(a), 8.240(a) and (c)(2), and 8.630(a) and (c)(2); Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.420(e) and (f); and Florida Family Law Rule 12.090.

The new Rule 2.514 sets forth in great detail the procedures for computing time, whether stated in hours, days, or a longer unit of time, including which days to include and exclude, whether to count weekends, definitions for terms such as “Last Day,” “Next Day,” and “Legal Holiday,” and specification of when additional time is provided after service by mail or e-mail.  The new rule is effective October 1, 2012.  Accordingly, after that date, lawyers in all practice areas should make sure to calendar deadlines in compliance with Rule 2.514.