15 December 2011

Colorado Supreme Court adopts major rule changes

Big changes are coming to time calculations in Colorado courts in January. The Supreme Court has approved amendments eliminating the provisions that provide additional time when a deadline falls on a weekend or a document is served by mail; all deadlines will now be multiples of seven days, such that each should fall on a weekday. The court also deleted the provision of Rule 54(a) that allowed the clerk to tax costs on one day's notice, which had been a source of ongoing confusion for practitioners (and the impetus for at least one appeal that The Witt Law Firm defended).
For most motions, the opposing party will now have twenty-one days to respond, with a reply to follow after seven days. The court made minor adjustments to deadlines in the appellate courts to fit the "Rule of 7," such as extending the time for transmission of the record from 90 to 91 days, but the court appears to have retained the 45-day requirement for filing a notice of appeal in civil and criminal cases, at least for now. The court did adjust the deadlines for appeals from the ICAO, in dependency and neglect matters, and for interlocutory civil and criminal appeals.

These changes seem like they will eventually lead to less confusion over deadlines, though this benefit will inevitably be preceded by a long period of panic by lawyers and paralegals accustomed to the old rules.

Click here for more information and a redline copy of the changes.