Rule 86. Effective Dates

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(a) In General. These rules and any amendments take effect at the time specified by the Supreme Court, subject to 28 U.S.C. §2074. They govern:

(1) proceedings in an action commenced after their effective date; and

(2) proceedings after that date in an action then pending unless:

(A) the Supreme Court specifies otherwise; or

(B) the court determines that applying them in a particular action would be infeasible or work an injustice.

(b) December 1, 2007 Amendments. If any provision in Rules 1–5.1, 6–73, or 77–86 conflicts with another law, priority in time for the purpose of 28 U.S.C. §2072(b) is not affected by the amendments taking effect on December 1, 2007.


(As amended Dec. 27, 1946, eff. Mar. 19, 1948; Dec. 29, 1948, eff. Oct. 20, 1949; Apr. 17, 1961, eff. July 19, 1961; Jan. 21 and Mar. 18, 1963, eff. July 1, 1963; Apr. 30, 2007, eff. Dec. 1, 2007.)

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1937

See [former] Equity Rule 81 (These Rules Effective February 1, 1913—Old Rules Abrogated).

Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1948 Amendment

By making the general amendments effective on the day following the adjournment of the first regular session of Congress to which they are transmitted, subdivision (c), supra, departs slightly from the prior practice of making amendments effective on the day which is three months subsequent to the adjournment of Congress or on September 1 of that year, whichever day is later. The reason for this departure is that no added period of time is needed for the Bench and Bar to acquaint themselves with the general amendments, which effect a change in nomenclature to conform to revised Title 28, substitute present statutory references to this Title and cure the omission or defect occasioned by the statutory revision in relation to the substitution of public officers, to a cost bond on appeal, and to procedure after removal (see Rules 25(d), 73(c), 81(c)).

Committee Notes on Rules—2007 Amendment

The language of Rule 86 has been amended as part of the general restyling of the Civil 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 subdivisions that provided a list of the effective dates of the original Civil Rules and amendments made up to 1963 are deleted as no longer useful.

Rule 86(b) is added to clarify the relationship of amendments taking effect on December 1, 2007, to other laws for the purpose of applying the “supersession” clause in 28 U.S.C. §2072(b). Section 2072(b) provides that a law in conflict with an Enabling Act Rule “shall be of no further force or effect after such rule[] ha[s] taken effect.” The amendments that take effect on December 1, 2007, result from the general restyling of the Civil Rules and from a small number of technical revisions adopted on a parallel track. None of these amendments is intended to affect resolution of any conflict that might arise between a rule and another law. Rule 86(b) makes this intent explicit. Any conflict that arises should be resolved by looking to the date the specific conflicting rule provision first became effective.

Effective Date of 1966 Amendment; Transmission to Congress; Rescission

Sections 2–4 of the Order of the Supreme Court, dated Feb. 28, 1966, 383 U.S. 1031, provided:

“2. That the foregoing amendments and additions to the Rules of Civil Procedure shall take effect on July 1, 1966, and shall govern all proceedings in actions brought thereafter and also in all further proceedings in actions then pending, except to the extent that in the opinion of the court their application in a particular action then pending would not be feasible or would work injustice, in which event the former procedure applies.

“3. That the Chief Justice be, and he hereby is, authorized to transmit to the Congress the foregoing amendments and additions to the Rules of Civil Procedure in accordance with the provisions of Title 28, U.S.C., §§2072 and 2073.

“4. That: (a) subdivision (c) of Rule 6 of the Rules of Civil Procedure for the United States District Courts promulgated by this court on December 20, 1937, effective September 16, 1938; (b) Rule 2 of the Rules for Practice and Procedure under section 25 of An Act To amend and consolidate the Acts respecting copyright, approved March 4, 1909, promulgated by this court on June 1, 1909, effective July 1, 1909; and (c) the Rules of Practice in Admiralty and Maritime Cases, promulgated by this court on December 6, 1920, effective March 7, 1921, as revised, amended and supplemented be, and they hereby are, rescinded, effective July 1, 1966.”