Rule 45. Computing and Extending Time

(a) Computing Time. The following rules apply in computing any time period specified in these rules, in any local rule or court order, or in any statute that does not specify a method of computing time.

(1) Period Stated in Days or a Longer Unit. When the period is stated in days or a longer unit of time:

(A) exclude the day of the event that triggers the period;

(B) count every day, including intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays; and

(C) include the last day of the period, but if the last day is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the period continues to run until the end of the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.

(2) Period Stated in Hours. When the period is stated in hours:

(A) begin counting immediately on the occurrence of the event that triggers the period;

(B) count every hour, including hours during intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays; and

(C) if the period would end on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the period continues to run until the same time on the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.

(3) Inaccessibility of the Clerk's Office. Unless the court orders otherwise, if the clerk's office is inaccessible:

(A) on the last day for filing under Rule 45(a)(1), then the time for filing is extended to the first accessible day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday; or

(B) during the last hour for filing under Rule 45(a)(2), then the time for filing is extended to the same time on the first accessible day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.

(4) “Last Day” Defined. Unless a different time is set by a statute, local rule, or court order, the last day ends:

(A) for electronic filing, at midnight in the court's time zone; and

(B) for filing by other means, when the clerk's office is scheduled to close.

(5) “Next Day” Defined. The “next day” is determined by continuing to count forward when the period is measured after an event and backward when measured before an event.

(6) “Legal Holiday” Defined. “Legal holiday” means:

(A) the day set aside by statute for observing New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday, Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans’ Day, Thanksgiving Day, or Christmas Day;

(B) any day declared a holiday by the President or Congress; and

(C) for periods that are measured after an event, any other day declared a holiday by the state where the district court is located.

(b) Extending Time.

(1) In General. When an act must or may be done within a specified period, the court on its own may extend the time, or for good cause may do so on a party's motion made:

(A) before the originally prescribed or previously extended time expires; or

(B) after the time expires if the party failed to act because of excusable neglect.

(2) Exception. The court may not extend the time to take any action under Rule 35, except as stated in that rule.

(c) Additional Time After Certain Kinds of Service. Whenever a party must or may act within a specified period after service and service is made in the manner provided under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 5 (b)(2)(C), (D), (E), or (F), 3 days are added after the period would otherwise expire under subdivision (a).

Notes

(As amended Feb. 28, 1966, eff. July 1, 1966; Dec. 4, 1967, eff. July 1, 1968; Mar. 1, 1971, eff. July 1, 1971; Apr. 28, 1982, eff. Aug. 1, 1982; Apr. 29, 1985, eff. Aug. 1, 1985; Mar. 9, 1987, eff. Aug. 1, 1987; Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002; Apr. 25, 2005, eff. Dec. 1, 2005; Apr. 30, 2007, eff. Dec. 1, 2007; Apr. 23, 2008, eff. Dec. 1, 2008; Mar. 26, 2009, eff. Dec. 1, 2009.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1944

The rule is in substance the same as Rule 6 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure [28 U.S.C., Appendix]. It seems desirable that matters covered by this rule should be regulated in the same manner for civil and criminal cases, in order to preclude possibility of confusion.

Note to Subdivision (a). This rule supersedes the method of computing time prescribed by Rule 13 of the Criminal Appeals Rules, promulgated on May 7, 1934, 292 U.S. 661.

Note to Subdivision (c). This rule abolishes the expiration of a term of court as a time limitation for the taking of any step in a criminal proceeding, as is done for civil cases by Rule 6(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure [28 U.S.C., Appendix]. In view of the fact that the duration of terms of court varies among the several districts and the further fact that the length of time for the taking of any step limited by a term of court depends on the stage within the term when the time begins to run, specific time limitations have been substituted for the taking of any step which previously had to be taken within the term of court.

Note to Subdivision (d). Cf. Rule 47 (Motions) and Rule 49 (Service and filing of papers).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1966 Amendment

Subdivision (a).—This amendment conforms the subdivision with the amendments made effective on July 1, 1963, to the comparable provision in Civil Rule 6(a). The only major change is to treat Saturdays as legal holidays for the purpose of computing time.

Subdivision (b).—The amendment conforms the subdivision to the amendments made effective in 1948 to the comparable provision in Civil Rule 6(b). One of these conforming changes, substituting the words “extend the time” for the words “enlarge the period” clarifies the ambiguity which gave rise to the decision in United States v. Robinson, 361 U.S. 220 (1960). The amendment also, in connection with the amendments to Rules 29 and 37, makes it clear that the only circumstances under which extensions can be granted under Rules 29, 33, 34, 35, 37(a)(2) and 39(c) are those stated in them.

Subdivision (c).—Subdivision (c) of Rule 45 is rescinded as unnecessary in view of the 1963 amendment to 28 U.S.C. §138 eliminating terms of court.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1968 Amendment

The amendment eliminates inappropriate references to Rules 37 and 39 which are to be abrogated.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1971 Amendment

The amendment adds Columbus Day to the list of legal holidays to conform the subdivision to the Act of June 28, 1968, 82 Stat. 250, which constituted Columbus Day a legal holiday effective after January 1, 1971.

The Act, which amended Title 5, U.S.C., §6103(a), changes the day on which certain holidays are to be observed. Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day and Veterans Day are to be observed on the third Monday in February, the last Monday in May and the fourth Monday in October, respectively, rather than, as heretofore, on February 22, May 30, and November 11, respectively. Columbus Day is to be observed on the second Monday in October. New Year's Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas continue to be observed on the traditional days.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1982 Amendment

The amendment to subdivision (a) takes account of the fact that on rare occasion severe weather conditions or other circumstances beyond control will make it impossible to meet a filing deadline under Rule 45(a). Illustrative is an incident which occurred in Columbus, Ohio during the “great blizzard of 1978,” in which weather conditions deteriorated to the point where personnel in the clerk's office found it virtually impossible to reach the courthouse, and where the GSA Building Manager found it necessary to close and secure the entire building. The amendment covers that situation and also similar situations in which weather or other conditions made the clerk's office, though open, not readily accessible to the lawyer. Whether the clerk's office was in fact “inaccessible” on a given date is to be determined by the district court. Some state time computation statutes contain language somewhat similar to that in the amendment; see, e.g., Md.Code Ann. art. 94, §2.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1985 Amendment

The rule is amended to extend the exclusion of intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays to the computation of time periods less than 11 days. Under the current version of the Rule, parties bringing motions under rules with 10-day periods could have as few as 5 working days to prepare their motions. This change corresponds to the change being made in the comparable provision in Fed.R.Civ.P. 6 (a).

The Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., which becomes a legal holiday effective January 1986, has been added to the list of legal holidays enumerated in the Rule.

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1987 Amendment

The amendments are technical. No substantive change is intended.

Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment

The language of Rule 45 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Criminal Rules to make them more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only.

The additional three days provided by Rule 45(c) is extended to the means of service authorized by the new paragraph (D) added to Rule 5(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, including—with the consent of the person served—service by electronic means. The means of service authorized in civil actions apply to criminal cases under Rule 49(b).

Rule 45(d), which governs the timing of written motions and affidavits, has been moved to Rule 47.

Committee Notes on Rules—2005 Amendment

Rule 45(b) has been amended to conform to amendments to Rules 29, 33, and 34, which have been amended to remove the requirement that the court must act within the seven-day period specified in each of those rules if it sets another time for filing a motion under those rules.

Currently, Rules 29(c)(1), 33(b)(2), and 34(b) require the defendant to move for relief under those rules within the seven-day periods specified in those rules or within some other time set by the court in an order issued during that same seven-day period. Courts have held that the seven-day rule is jurisdictional. Thus, for example, if a defendant files a request for an extension of time to file a motion for a judgment of acquittal or a motion for new trial within the seven-day period, the court must rule on that motion or request within the same seven-day period. If for some reason the court does not rule on the request for an extension of time within the seven days, the court loses jurisdiction to act on the underlying substantive motion. See, e.g., United States v. Smith, 331 U.S. 469, 473 –474 (1947) (rejecting argument that trial court had power to grant new trial on its own motion after expiration of time in Rule 33); United States v. Marquez, 291 F.3d 23, 27–28 (D.C. Cir. 2002) (citing language of Rule 33, and holding that “district court forfeited the power to act when it failed to . . . fix a new time for filing a motion for a new trial within seven days of the verdict”).

Rule 45(b)(2) currently specifies that a court may not extend the time for taking action under Rules 29, 33, or 34, except as provided in those rules.

Assuming that the current provisions in Rules 29, 33, and 34 were intended to promote finality, there is nothing to prevent the court from granting the defendant a significant extension of time, under those rules, as long as it does so within the seven-day period. Thus, the Committee believed that those rules should be amended to be consistent with all of the other timing requirements in the rules, which do not force the court to rule on a motion to extend the time for filing, within a particular period of time or lose jurisdiction to do so. The change to Rule 45(b)(2) is thus a conforming amendment.

The defendant is still required to file motions under Rules 29, 33, and 34 within the seven-day period specified in those rules. The defendant, however, may consistently with Rule 45, seek an extension of time to file the underlying motion as long as the defendant does so within the seven-day period. But the court itself is not required to act on that motion within any particular time. Further, under Rule 45(b)(1)(B), if for some reason the defendant fails to file the underlying motion within the specified time, the court may nonetheless consider that untimely motion if the court determines that the failure to file it on time was the result of excusable neglect.

Changes Made After Publication and Comment. The Committee made no substantive changes to Rule 45 following publication.

Committee Notes on Rules—2007 Amendment

Subdivision (c). Rule 45(c) is amended to remove any doubt as to the method for extending the time to respond after service by mail, leaving with the clerk of court, electronic means, or other means consented to by the party served. This amendment parallels the change in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 6 (e). Three days are added after the prescribed period otherwise expires under Rule 45(a). Intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays are included in counting these added three days. If the third day is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the last day to act is the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. The effect of invoking the day that the rule would otherwise expire under Rule 45(a) can be illustrated by assuming that the thirtieth day of a thirty-day period is a Saturday. Under Rule 45(a) the period expires on the next day that is not a Sunday or legal holiday. If the following Monday is a legal holiday, under Rule 45(a) the period expires on Tuesday. Three days are then added—Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday as the third and final day to act unless that is a legal holiday. If the prescribed period ends on a Friday, the three added days are Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, which is the third and final day to act unless it is a legal holiday. If Monday is a legal holiday, the next day that is not a legal holiday is the third and final day to act.

Application of Rule 45(c) to a period that is less than eleven days can be illustrated by a paper that is served by mailing on a Friday. If ten days are allowed to respond, intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays are excluded in determining when the period expires under Rule 45(a). If there is no legal holiday, the period expires on the Friday two weeks after the paper was mailed. The three added Rule 45(c) days are Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, which is the third and final day to act unless it is a legal holiday. If Monday is a legal holiday, the next day that is not a legal holiday is the final day to act.

Changes Made to Proposed Amendment Released for Public Comment. No change was made in the rule as published for public comment.

Committee Notes on Rules—2008 Amendment

This amendment revises the cross references to Civil Rule 5, which have been renumbered as part of a general restyling of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. No substantive change is intended.

Committee Notes on Rules—2009 Amendment

Subdivision (a). Subdivision (a) has been amended to simplify and clarify the provisions that describe how deadlines are computed. Subdivision (a) governs the computation of any time period found in a statute that does not specify a method of computing time, a Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure, a local rule, or a court order. In accordance with Rule 57(a)(1), a local rule may not direct that a deadline be computed in a manner inconsistent with subdivision (a). In making these time computation rules applicable to statutory time periods, subdivision (a) is consistent with Civil Rule 6(a). It is also consistent with the language of Rule 45 prior to restyling, when the rule applied to “computing any period of time.” Although the restyled Rule 45(a) referred only to time periods “specified in these rules, any local rule, or any court order,” some courts nonetheless applied the restyled Rule 45(a) when computing various statutory periods.

The time-computation provisions of subdivision (a) apply only when a time period must be computed. They do not apply when a fixed time to act is set. The amendments thus carry forward the approach taken in Violette v. P.A. Days, Inc., 427 F.3d 1015, 1016 (6th Cir. 2005) (holding that Civil Rule 6(a) “does not apply to situations where the court has established a specific calendar day as a deadline”), and reject the contrary holding of In re American Healthcare Management, Inc., 900 F.2d 827, 832 (5th Cir. 1990) (holding that Bankruptcy Rule 9006(a) governs treatment of a date-certain deadline set by court order). If, for example, the date for filing is “no later than November 1, 2007,” subdivision (a) does not govern. But if a filing is required to be made “within 10 days” or “within 72 hours,” subdivision (a) describes how that deadline is computed.

Subdivision (a) does not apply when computing a time period set by a statute if the statute specifies a method of computing time. See, e.g., 18 U.S.C. §3142(d) (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays from 10 day period). In addition, because the time period in Rule 46(h) is derived from 18 U.S.C. §§3142(d) and 3144, the Committee concluded that Rule 45(a) should not be applied to Rule 46(h).

Subdivision (a)(1). New subdivision (a)(1) addresses the computation of time periods that are stated in days. It also applies to time periods that are stated in weeks, months, or years. See, e.g., Rule 35(b)(1). Subdivision (a)(1)(B)'s directive to “count every day” is relevant only if the period is stated in days (not weeks, months or years).

Under former Rule 45(a), a period of 11 days or more was computed differently than a period of less than 11 days. Intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays were included in computing the longer periods, but excluded in computing the shorter periods. Former Rule 45(a) thus made computing deadlines unnecessarily complicated and led to counterintuitive results. For example, a 10-day period and a 14-day period that started on the same day usually ended on the same day—and the 10-day period not infrequently ended later than the 14-day period. See Miltimore Sales, Inc. v. Int'1 Rectifier, Inc., 412 F.3d 685, 686 (6th Cir. 2005).

Under new subdivision (a)(1), all deadlines stated in days (no matter the length) are computed in the same way. The day of the event that triggers the deadline is not counted. All other days—including intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays—are counted, with only one exception: if the period ends on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, then the deadline falls on the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. An illustration is provided below in the discussion of subdivision (a)(5). Subdivision (a)(3) addresses filing deadlines that expire on a day when the clerk's office is inaccessible.

Where subdivision (a) formerly referred to the “act, event, or default” that triggers the deadline, the new subdivision (a) refers simply to the “event” that triggers the deadline; this change in terminology is adopted for brevity and simplicity, and is not intended to change the meaning.

Periods previously expressed as less than 11 days will be shortened as a practical matter by the decision to count intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays in computing all periods. Many of those periods have been lengthened to compensate for the change. See, e.g., Rules 29(c)(1), 33(b)(2), 34, and 35(a).

Most of the 10-day periods were adjusted to meet the change in computation method by setting 14 days as the new period. A 14-day period corresponds to the most frequent result of a 10-day period under the former computation method—two Saturdays and two Sundays were excluded, giving 14 days in all. A 14-day period has an additional advantage. The final day falls on the same day of the week as the event that triggered the period—the 14th day after a Monday, for example, is a Monday. This advantage of using weeklong periods led to adopting 7-day periods to replace some of the periods set at less than 10 days, and 21-day periods to replace 20-day periods. Thirty-day and longer periods, however, were generally retained without change.

Subdivision (a)(2). New subdivision (a)(2) addresses the computation of time periods that are stated in hours. No such deadline currently appears in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. But some statutes contain deadlines stated in hours, as do some court orders issued in expedited proceedings.

Under subdivision (a)(2), a deadline stated in hours starts to run immediately on the occurrence of the event that triggers the deadline. The deadline generally ends when the time expires. If, however, the time period expires at a specific time (say, 2:17 p.m.) on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, then the deadline is extended to the same time (2:17 p.m.) on the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. Periods stated in hours are not to be “rounded up” to the next whole hour. Subdivision (a)(3) addresses situations when the clerk's office is inaccessible during the last hour before a filing deadline expires.

Subdivision (a)(2)(B) directs that every hour be counted. Thus, for example, a 72-hour period that commences at 10:23 a.m. on Friday, November 2, 2007, will run until 9:23 a.m. on Monday, November 5; the discrepancy in start and end times in this example results from the intervening shift from daylight saving time to standard time.

Subdivision (a)(3). When determining the last day of a filing period stated in days or a longer unit of time, a day on which the clerk's office is not accessible because of the weather or another reason is treated like a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. When determining the end of a filing period stated in hours, if the clerk's office is inaccessible during the last hour of the filing period computed under subdivision (a)(2) then the period is extended to the same time on the next day that is not a weekend, holiday or day when the clerk's office is inaccessible.

Subdivision (a)(3)'s extensions apply “[u]nless the court orders otherwise.” In some circumstances, the court might not wish a period of inaccessibility to trigger a full 24-hour extension; in those instances, the court can specify a briefer extension.

The text of the rule no longer refers to “weather or other conditions” as the reason for the inaccessibility of the clerk's office. The reference to “weather” was deleted from the text to underscore that inaccessibility can occur for reasons unrelated to weather, such as an outage of the electronic filing system. Weather can still be a reason for inaccessibility of the clerk's office. The rule does not attempt to define inaccessibility. Rather, the concept will continue to develop through caselaw, see, e.g., William G. Phelps, When Is Office of Clerk of Court Inaccessible Due to Weather or Other Conditions for Purpose of Computing Time Period for Filing Papers under Rule 6(a) of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure , 135 A.L.R. Fed. 259 (1996) (collecting cases). In addition, many local provisions address inaccessibility for purposes of electronic filing, see, e.g., D. Kan. Rule CR49.11 (“A Filing User whose filing is made untimely as the result of a technical failure may seek appropriate relief from the court.”).

Subdivision (a)(4). New subdivision (a)(4) defines the end of the last day of a period for purposes of subdivision (a)(1). Subdivision (a)(4) does not apply in computing periods stated in hours under subdivision (a)(2), and does not apply if a different time is set by a statute, local rule, or order in the case. A local rule may, for example, address the problems that might arise if a single district has clerk's offices in different time zones, or provide that papers filed in a drop box after the normal hours of the clerk's office are filed as of the day that is date-stamped on the papers by a device in the drop box.

28 U.S.C. §452 provides that “[a]ll courts of the United States shall be deemed always open for the purpose of filing proper papers, issuing and returning process, and making motions and orders.” A corresponding provision exists in Rule 56(a). Some courts have held that these provisions permit an after-hours filing by handing the papers to an appropriate official. See, e.g., Casalduc v. Diaz, 117 F.2d 915, 917 (1st Cir. 1941). Subdivision (a)(4) does not address the effect of the statute on the question of after-hours filing; instead, the rule is designed to deal with filings in the ordinary course without regard to Section 452.

Subdivision (a)(5). New subdivision (a)(5) defines the “next” day for purposes of subdivisions (a)(1)(C) and (a)(2)(C). The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure contain both forward-looking time periods and backward-looking time periods. A forward-looking time period requires something to be done within a period of time after an event. See, e.g., Rule 35(a) (stating that a court may correct an arithmetic or technical error in a sentence “[w]ithin 14 days after sentencing”). A backward-looking time period requires something to be done within a period of time before an event. See, e.g., Rule 47(c) (stating that a party must serve a written motion “at least 7 days before the hearing date”). In determining what is the “next” day for purposes of subdivisions (a)(1)(C) and (a)(2)(C), one should continue counting in the same direction—that is, forward when computing a forward-looking period and backward when computing a backward-looking period. If, for example, a filing is due within 10 days after an event, and the tenth day falls on Saturday, September 1, 2007, then the filing is due on Tuesday, September 4, 2007 (Monday, September 3, is Labor Day). But if a filing is due 10 days before an event, and the tenth day falls on Saturday, September 1, then the filing is due on Friday, August 31. If the clerk's office is inaccessible on August 31, then subdivision (a)(3) extends the filing deadline forward to the next accessible day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday—no earlier than Tuesday, September 4.

Subdivision (a)(6). New subdivision (a)(6) defines “legal holiday” for purposes of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, including the time-computation provisions of subdivision (a). Subdivision (a)(6) continues to include within the definition of “legal holiday” days that are declared a holiday by the President or Congress.

For forward-counted periods— i.e., periods that are measured after an event—subdivision (a)(6)(C) includes certain state holidays within the definition of legal holidays. However, state legal holidays are not recognized in computing backward-counted periods. For both forward- and backward-counted periods, the rule thus protects those who may be unsure of the effect of state holidays. For forward-counted deadlines, treating state holidays the same as federal holidays extends the deadline. Thus, someone who thought that the federal courts might be closed on a state holiday would be safeguarded against an inadvertent late filing. In contrast, for backward-counted deadlines, not giving state holidays the treatment of federal holidays allows filing on the state holiday itself rather than the day before. Take, for example, Monday, April 21, 2008 (Patriot's Day, a legal holiday in the relevant state). If a filing is due 14 days after an event, and the fourteenth day is April 21, then the filing is due on Tuesday, April 22 because Monday, April 21 counts as a legal holiday. But if a filing is due 14 days before an event, and the fourteenth day is April 21, the filing is due on Monday, April 21; the fact that April 21 is a state holiday does not make April 21 a legal holiday for purposes of computing this backward-counted deadline. But note that if the clerk's office is inaccessible on Monday, April 21, then subdivision (a)(3) extends the April 21 filing deadline forward to the next accessible day that is not a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday—no earlier than Tuesday, April 22.

Changes Made to Proposed Amendment Released for Public Comment. The Standing Committee changed Rule 45(a)(6) to exclude state holidays from the definition of “legal holiday” for purposes of computing backward-counted periods; conforming changes were made to the Committee Note to subdivision (a)(6).

References in Text

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, referred to in subd. (c), are set out in the Appendix to Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure.

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