Civil Discourse Now

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Under Indiana's Appellate Rules yesterday should have been a "non-business day" for purposes of deadlines.

   According to The Indiana Law Blog, yesterday both Chief Justice Dickson of the Indiana Supreme Court and Chief Judge Margaret Robb of the Indiana Court of Appeals declared the State’s courts closed due to the snow emergency. For those of you who had appellate briefs due yesterday, that should mean your due date is moved back. (WARNING: This only is an interpretation of the rules. The official word comes from the Court in question.)

   App.R. 25(A) provides that a "non-business day shall mean a Saturday, a Sunday, a legal holiday as defined by state statute, or a day the Office of the Clerk is closed during regular business hours. A business day shall mean all other days." App.R. 25(B) states that, for computing time, the "last day of the period so computed is to be included unless it is a non-business day. If the last day is a non-business day, the period runs until the end of the next business day. When the time allowed is less than seven (7) days, all non-business days shall be excluded from the computation."

   I called the Clerk of Courts shortly after 8 a.m. yesterday. The voice on the recording informed me the Clerk’s Office was closed for business due to the snow emergency. Coupled with the ILB report, it is reasonable to interpret yesterday, December 26, 2012, as having been a "non-business day" for purposes of the Appellate Rules and filing deadlines.

   In Calvin & Hobbes, Calvin, on one occasion, faced a deadline on a project but received a reprieve in the form of a blizzard and a "snow day" from school. Calvin bagged the work and used the "snow day" to play in the snow. Unfortunately, I do not have a stuffed tiger, am in my fifties, and have become somewhat of a bore. I drove to the office before the snow was very deep, jammed on the work I had to finish, and came home late afternoon to shovel the drive.

   The recording on the telephone of the Clerk’s Office stated he/they hope to be open today. For those of you with gerbils in the race (as opposed to dogs in the fight, a metaphor I hate), keep an eye on ILB and call the Office of the Clerk this morning.

   I’ll repeat my disclaimer—this is NOT the official word. But snow emergencies can have bright sides to them, in addition to the sledding, the snow ball fights, the snow forts, and so on.

   And maybe someone beat me to this interpretation and already posted on the ‘net. Or someone has given a different opinion. Today I shall shop for a stuffed tiger. DePauw’s mascot, after all, is a tiger.

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