Rules of Appellate Procedure

Rules of Appellate Procedure Appellate Procedure Rule 14: Computation and extension of time

Effective Date: 03/01/2019
Updates: Amended May 15, 1979, effective July 1, 1979 Amended October 31, 2018, effective March 1, 2019, 481 Mass. 1601

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Table of Contents

(a) Computation of time

In computing any period of time prescribed by these rules, by order of court, or by any applicable statute, the day of the act, event, or default after which the designated period of time begins to run shall not be included. The last day of the period shall be included, unless it is a Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday, in which event the period shall extend until the end of the next day which is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. When the period of time prescribed or allowed is less than 7 days, intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays shall be excluded in the computation. As used in this rule “legal holiday” means those days specified in G.L. c. 4, § 7 and any other day appointed as a holiday by the President or the Congress of the United States or so designated by the laws of the Commonwealth.

(b) Enlargement of time

The appellate court or a single justice of the appellate court in which the appeal will be, or is, docketed for good cause shown may upon motion enlarge the time prescribed by these rules or by its order for doing any act, or may permit an act to be done after the expiration of such time; but neither the appellate court nor a single justice may enlarge the time for filing a notice of appeal beyond 1 year from the date of entry of the judgment or order sought to be reviewed, or, in a criminal case, from the date of the verdict or finding of guilt or the date of imposition of sentence, whichever date is later.

(c) Additional time after service by first class mail or its equivalent

Whenever a party is required or permitted to do an act within a prescribed period after service of a document upon the party and the document is served by first class mail or its equivalent, 3 days shall be added to the prescribed period.

Reporter's notes

(2019)

Rule 14(b) was revised by adding text to clarify that the single justice referred to is a single justice of the appellate court in which the appeal will be or is docketed.

Rule 14(c) was revised to be consistent with the new definition in Rule 1(c) of “first class mail or its equivalent.”

Further organizational and stylistic revisions were made to this rule in 2019 in accordance with a global review and revision of all of the Appellate Rules. These revisions are described in the 2019 Reporter’s Notes to Rule 1.

With regard to the preparation of the 2019 Reporter’s Notes to this Rule, see the first paragraph of the 2019 Reporter’s Notes to Rule 1. For an overview of the 2019 amendments to the Rules and a summary of the global amendments to the Rules, see 2019 Reporter’s Notes to Rule 1, sections I. and II.

(1979) 

The only change in Rule 14 is the addition to subdivision (b) of language restricting the appellate court’s power to enlarge the time within which a notice of appeal may be filed in a criminal case to no longer than one year after the date of the verdict or finding of guilt or the date of the imposition of sentence, whichever date is later. Compare Rule 4(c), which limits any extension granted by the lower court to no more than sixty days after verdict or sentence. The failure of a party to notice his appeal prior to the expiration of the thirty-day limit of Rule 4(b), or within sixty days if extended may be rectified by the appellate court, or a single justice as long as it does not extend beyond one year past verdict or sentence.

(1973) 

Appellate Rule 14(a), dealing with computation of time, follows Mass.R.Civ.P. 6. By countenancing enlargement of appeal time up to one year after entry of the order or judgment appealed from, Appellate Rule 14(b) relaxes the cognate F.R.A.P. 26(b). Read together, Appellate Rules 4 and 14(b) mean that an “excusable neglect” extension may be granted only on such terms as to cause the extension to expire within the one-year period prescribed by Appellate Rule 14(b).

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Updates: Amended May 15, 1979, effective July 1, 1979 Amended October 31, 2018, effective March 1, 2019, 481 Mass. 1601
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