District Court Highlights

File Your New Civil Case Whenever You Want Using Online Case Opening

Beginning October 13, 2009, attorneys will be able to open their own civil cases and file the case initiating documents online. This will allow cases to be filed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and will eliminate the delay caused by faxing or emailing a cover sheet to the clerks and waiting for the case number. This service has been available to the bankruptcy bar for some time, and the Court is proud to provide this convenience for the civil bar.

To assist in filing new cases, an online tutorial has been created and can be found on the WDMO website. Two documents, Party Entry Guide and Attorney's Guide to Filing a New Case, are also available on the website to provide additional information regarding Online Case Opening.

If you have any questions regarding this new procedure, please contact the CM/ECF Help Line at 1-800-466-9302.

When is a Twelve Day Deadline Not Really Twelve Days?

An annual tradition in the federal court is the rule changes that occur in December, and this year is no different. There are several changes this year in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, and the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure. This article highlights one of the rule changes that will become effective in December.

The current versions of FRCP 6 and FRCrP 45 say when a deadline is 11 days or greater intermediate weekends and holidays are not counted. This, along with the 3 additional days provided for mailing, can make a deadline extend well beyond the designated number of days and difficult to compute. The December 1, 2009 changes to both FRCP 6 and FRCrP 45 will make all deadlines much easier to compute. The change does away with the different counting method currently used when a deadline is less than 11 days versus one that is 11 days or greater. All deadlines are counted the same. In other words, every day is counted, including weekends and holidays. A 7 day deadline will be computed just the same as a 12 day deadline. The provision that a deadline ending on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday extends the time to the next business day (in addition to the 3 days for mailing) will still apply, so deadlines could still be slightly longer than designated.

Please review this change in both FRCP 6 and FRCrP 45. CM/ECF will be updated to provide deadlines based on these changes. The deadlines provided by CM/ECF should be used as a guide. Attorneys are still responsible for computing the appropriate deadline and ensuring the deadline is met.

U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals Sits in Kansas City - November 16 - 20, 2009

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals will sit in Kansas City in November this year. The appellate courtroom is on the tenth floor of the Charles Evans Whittaker U.S. Courthouse. Information on the times and cases to be heard will be set closer to the date. Arguments are usually heard in the mornings starting at 9:00 -9:30 a.m. Observers are welcome.


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