Whether you are the Plaintiff filing a lawsuit or the Defendant being served with one, one of the most important things for a family law attorney in Greensboro and across the state to keep in mind are deadlines imposed by rules and statutes in North Carolina. Rule 6 of the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure sets the guidelines as to how we compute time in North Carolina.
In computing any period of time in a lawsuit, the day of the act that begins the running of the time period is not included. For example, when you are served a summons and complaint for divorce, you have thirty days to respond. If you are served on May 1st, the thirty days would not start until May 2nd, the day following the act that started the running of the time period.
The last day of a time period is typically included. However, if it is a Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday when the Courthouse is closed, it is not. So if your period of time to respond to a complaint is set to expire on July 4th, you don’t have to leave your cookout to file your answer. The period to answer would be extended until July 5th, or the next business day when the Courthouse is open.
If you need more time to respond to a pleading or other paper that you have been served, you can request that the Court grant an extension to your deadline. This is typically accomplished by filing a Motion for Extension of Time with the Clerk of Court, and it can be done at any time before the deadline expires. This allows the deadline to be extended for thirty additional days. These extensions are typically granted freely as long as they are timely filed with the Clerk of Court. Continue reading →