APPELLATE COURTS’ HOLIDAY CLOSINGS[Posted November 10, 2014] As the autumn and winter holidays approach, here’s your annual summary of the clerk’s offices’ closing schedules, along with the usual reminders how those closings will affect your deadlines.
The Supreme Court and Court of Appeals of Virginia and the Fourth Circuit will all be closed tomorrow for Veterans’ Day.
I don’t have information yet on the Fourth beyond tomorrow, but the schedules for the state courts are indeed available. For Thanksgiving, the SCV and CAV will close at noon on Wednesday, November 26, and will remain closed all day November 27 and 28. Both courts will close again – all day – on December 24, 25, and 26. And they’ll close at noon on December 31 and will remain closed January 1 and 2, 2015.
The rules for those closures are straightforward. On each of the dates mentioned above, if you have a pleading, brief, or other filing that’s due in the appellate-court clerk’s office, then your deadline is extended by operation of law to the next business day. If you have a filing due the day before Thanksgiving, you don’t have to scramble to get it in before noon; you can file it Monday.
Now the usual caveat: These extensions, as I note above, apply to filings that are due in the appellate-court clerk’s office. Some appeal-related filings are done in the trial-court clerk’s office. Notices of appeal, transcripts, and appeal bonds are notable – and jurisdictional – examples. For those documents, you must ascertain if your local clerk’s office will be closed. It’s a safe bet that that court will be closed on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day, but the “shoulder dates” might vary, and if your court remains open that day, you do not get the extension. Do yourself a favor and pick up the phone, just to check.
Of course, if you wait until the deadline day to file, you’re living on the edge anyway. File a day or two early, and save yourself the heartache.