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The post below was published on Tuesday, November 30th, 2010 at 9:37 AM.

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Second District: Mailing Days For The Court?

Many years ago, I used to post a Florida law trivia question on Fridays. Perhaps it is time to bring that feature back. Meanwhile, here is a question for trial and appellate experts:

Does the court ever get mail days?

More specifically, if a motion to disqualify is served on a judge by mail, and knowing that rule 2.330(j) requires a ruling within 30 days of service or the motion is deemed granted, does the judge get rule 1.090(e)’s benefit of five additional days to respond following service by mail?

The Second District answered that question in the affirmative in this decision. The court held that the trial judge has 35 days to rule if the motion to disqualify is served by mail.

A look at rule 1.090(e) may be useful. It provides:

Additional Time after Service by Mail. When a party has the right or is required to do some act or take some proceeding within a prescribed period after the service of a notice or other paper upon that party and the notice or paper is served upon that party by mail, 5 days shall be added to the prescribed period.

In a footnote, the Second District pointed out that the judge is not a party to the underlying proceeding. That being the case, the court did not explain how the judge can qualify for additional time under rule 1.090.

Perhaps the court meant that the disqualification matter is distinct from the underlying proceeding and the judge is a party for purposes of what the court considered that collateral matter. Appellate specialists might wonder if such is a new — and different — way of treating disqualification rulings.

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