The Appellate Deadline Twilight Zone

Do appeal filing deadlines exist right now? Maybe. But you should act as though they do.

Back in December, Executive Order 9O provided that:

“[T]he suspension of the following requirements or deadlines shall expire upon a schedule to be determined by the Chief Court Administrator in consultation with the Chief Justice, but not later than December 15, 2020:

(1) as to the Supreme or Appellate Court only, all statutory time requirements, statutes of limitations or deadlines, including those governing Superior Court filings that affect Supreme or Appellate Court matters, relating to service of process, court proceedings or court filings;

(2) all statutory requirements or deadlines, including those governing Superior Court filings, related to the Supreme Court or the Appellate Court or their officials to issue notices, hold court, hear matters and/or render decisions; and

(3) all time requirements related to offers of compromise as set forth in General Statutes Sections §§ 52-192a and 52-193 through 52-195.”

To my knowledge, no such “schedule” was ever published.

Recently, the Governor issued Executive Order 10A, which says:

“[T]he provisions of Executive Order No. 7G, Section 2, dated March 19, 2020, that suspended various non-critical court operations and associated requirements, and which was extended by Executive Order No. 9L, Section 1, and as modified by Executive Order Nos. 7YY, Section 1; 7LLL, Section 1; 7OOO, Section 4; and 9O, Section 3, as they relate to the following, shall expire on March 1, 2021: a. all statutory time requirements, statutes of limitation or other limitations or deadlines relating to service of process, court proceedings or court filings in civil matters; …”

10A is the first time a “schedule” has been announced implementing 9O. So depending on how you read 9O, either (1) appeal filing deadlines went live 12/15/2020 at the latest, or (2) the schedule was to be determined by 12/15/2020 and, since it wasn’t, it’s ambiguous whether appeal filing deadlines have been live for the last two months. We strongly advise erring on the side of caution and timely filing an appeal. Especially since the Appellate and Supreme Court have, to our knowledge, been operating as though back to normal. But we have a couple weeks left of life in the appellate twilight zone before 10A snuffs it out on March 1, 2021.

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