Rule 6 – Computing and extending time
(through July 14, 2022)
(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 6(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 6(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 may or must be done within a specified time, the court may, for good cause, extend the time: (A) with or without motion or notice if the court acts, or if a request is made, before the original time or its extension expires; or (B) on motion made after the time has expired if the party failed to act because of excusable neglect. (2) Exceptions. A court must not extend the time to act under Rules 50(b) and (d), 52(b), 59(b), (d), and (e), and 60(b).
(c) Motions, Notices of Hearing, and Affidavits. (1) In General. A written motion and notice of the hearing must be served at least 14 days before the time specified for the hearing, with the following exceptions: (A) when the motion may be heard ex parte; (B) when these rules set a different time; or (C) when a court order—which a party may, for good cause, apply for ex parte—sets a different time. (2) Supporting Affidavit. Any affidavit supporting a motion must be served with the motion. Except as Rule 59(c) provides otherwise, any opposing affidavit must be served at least 7 days before the hearing, unless the court permits service at another time.
(d) Additional Time After Certain Kinds of Service. When a party may or must act within a specified time after being served and service is made under Rule 5(b)(2)(C) (mail), (D) (leaving with the clerk), or (F) (other means consented to), 3 days are added after the period would otherwise expire under Rule 6(a).
Selected Committee Notes
Rule 6(d) is amended to remove service by electronic means under Rule 5(b)(2)(E) from the modes of service that allow 3 added days to act after being served.
Rule 5(b)(2) was amended in 2001 to provide for service by electronic means. Although electronic transmission seemed virtually instantaneous even then, electronic service was included in the modes of service that allow 3 added days to act after being served. There were concerns that the transmission might be delayed for some time, and particular concerns that incompatible systems might make it difficult or impossible to open attachments. Those concerns have been substantially alleviated by advances in technology and in widespread skill in using electronic transmission.
A parallel reason for allowing the 3 added days was that electronic service was authorized only with the consent of the person to be served. Concerns about the reliability of electronic transmission might have led to refusals of consent; the 3 added days were calculated to alleviate these concerns.
Diminution of the concerns that prompted the decision to allow the 3 added days for electronic transmission is not the only reason for discarding this indulgence. Many rules have been changed to ease the task of computing time by adopting 7- , 14 -, 21 -, and 28- day periods that allow “day – of-the -week” counting. Adding 3 days at the end complicated the counting, and increased the occasions for further complication by invoking the provisions that apply when the last day is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.
Electronic service after business hours, or just before or during a weekend or holiday, may result in a practical reduction in the time available to respond. Extensions of time may be warranted to prevent prejudice.
Eliminating Rule 5(b) subparagraph (2)(E) from the modes of service that allow 3 added days means that the 3 added days cannot be retained by consenting to service by electronic means. Consent to electronic service in registering for electronic case filing, for example, does not count as consent to service “by any other means” of delivery under subparagraph (F).
What is now Rule 6(d) was amended in 2005 “to remove any doubt as to the method for calculating the time to respond after service by mail, leaving with the clerk of court, electronic means, or by other means consented to by the party served.” A potential ambiguity was created by substituting “after service” for the earlier ref erences to acting after service “upon the party” if a paper or notice “is served upon the party” by the specified means. “[A]fter service” could be read to refer not only to a party that has been served but also to a party that has made service. That reading would mean that a party who is allowed a specified time to act after making service can extend the time by choosing one of the means of service specified in the rule, something that was never intended by the original rule or the amendment. Rules sett ing a time to act after making service include Rules 14(a)(1), 15(a)(1)(A), and 38(b)(1). “[A]fter being served” is substituted for “after service” to dispel any possible misreading.