How to Calculate Deadlines for Serving and Filing Documents

1. Deadlines in Days

When a document is to be served or filed within a defined number of days before or after a specified event, do not include the day of the event when calculating the deadline, but do include all other days, including weekends and holidays (please see exceptions). The deadline includes the last day.

Example 1: Applications for leave to appeal

The deadline for serving and filing an application for leave to appeal is "within 60 days after the date of the judgment appealed from" (paragraph 58(1)(a) of the Supreme Court Act). To calculate the deadline, do not include the date of the judgment appealed from (which means date judgment pronounced, not date formal order signed), but do include the sixtieth day after judgment. In this example, the date of the judgment appealed from is April 30, so the application for leave to appeal must be served and filed by 5:00 p.m. on June 29.

April, May and June Calendars

Description of image

The months of April (30 days), May (31 days) and June (30 days) are represented side by side in a calendar view. Monday April 30 and Friday June 29 are highlighted in yellow to show the 60 day period.

Example 2: Response to an application for leave to appeal

The deadline for serving and filing a response to an application for leave to appeal is "within 30 days after the day on which a file is opened by the Court following the filing of an application for leave to appeal" or, if a file has already been opened, within 30 days after the service of an application for leave to appeal (subrule 27(1) of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada). To calculate the deadline, do not include the day the leave application was served or opened, as the case may be, but do include the thirtieth day. In this example, the application for leave to appeal was served on May 2 and the response must be served and filed by 5:00 pm on June 1.

May and June Calendars

Description of image

The months of May (31 days) and June (30 days) are represented side by side in a calendar view. Wednesday May 2 and Friday June 1 are highlighted in yellow to show the 30 day period.

2. Deadlines in Weeks

Where the filing and serving are to be done within a specified number of weeks after a specified day or event, that day or the day of the event is not included in the computation of time, but all other days, including weekends and holidays, are. A week is counted by counting out 7 days at a time. The last day of the last week is included in the computation of time (Rule 5(1.1)).

Example: Factums on appeals

An appellant's factum must be served and filed within 8 weeks of the notice of appeal. The respondent's factum on appeal must be served and filed "within 8 weeks after the service of the appellant's factum" (subrule 36(2) of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada). In this example, the appellant's factum was served on May 2. The respondent's factum must be served and filed by 5:00 pm on June 27.

May and June Calendars

Description of image

The months of May (31 days) and June (30 days) are represented side by side in a calendar view. Wednesday May 2nd and Wednesday June 27 are highlighted in yellow to show the eight week period.

3. Holidays/Weekends

As a general rule, holidays and weekends are included in the calculation of time.

Exceptions:

  • If a deadline is less than six days, holidays and weekends are not included in the calculation.
  • If the time limit for serving and filing a document expires or falls on a holiday on which the Court is closed or weekend, the document may be served or filed on the following business day.

The Registry of the Supreme Court of Canada is closed on the following holidays:

  • New Year's Day
  • Good Friday
  • Easter Monday
  • Victoria Day (Monday preceding May 25)
  • Canada Day (if July 1 falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the Court is closed the following Monday)
  • Civic Holiday (first Monday in August)
  • Labour Day (first Monday in September)
  • Thanksgiving Day (second Monday in October)
  • Remembrance Day (if November 11 falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the Court is closed the following Monday)
  • Christmas
  • Boxing Day

Notwithstanding the above, please note that the Registry of the Supreme Court of Canada may be open on holidays in the provinces and territories, including June 24 (National Day in Quebec) and the third Monday in February. Please contact the Registry if you have any questions about deadlines that may expire on a provincial holiday.

Example 1:

A notice of appeal as of right must be served and filed "within 30 days after the date of the judgment appealed from" (paragraph 58(1)(b) of the Supreme Court Act). The date of the judgment appealed from is not included in the computation of time. In this example, the date of the judgment appealed from is May 4 and the thirtieth day is a Sunday, so the notice of appeal as of right must be served and filed by 5:00 p.m. on the next business day, which is Monday June 4.

May and June Calendars

Description of image

The months of May (31 days) and June (30 days) are represented side by side in a calendar view. Friday May 4 and Monday June 4 are highlighted in yellow to show the 30 day period. Sunday June 3 is shaded because it is not counted in the computation of time.

Note that in this example May 21, which is a holiday (Victoria Day) is calculated in the computation of time.

Example 2:

A reply must be filed "within five days after the service of the response to the motion" (subrule 50(1) of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada). In this example, the response was served on April 3, so the deadline for serving and filing the reply is by 5:00 p.m. on April 12 because two holidays and two weekend days are excluded from the calculation. The shaded days, April 6 (Good Friday), April 7 and April 8 (weekend days) and April 9 (Easter Monday) are not counted in the computation of time.

April Calendar

Description of image

The month of April (30 days) is represented in a calendar view. Tuesday April 3 and Thursday April 12 are highlighted in yellow to show the the 5 day period. Friday April 6, Saturday April 7, Sunday April 8 and Monday April 9 are shaded because it is not counted in the computation of time.

4. Exclusions

Some deadlines are suspended during the month of July and for a two-week period between December 21 of one year and January 7 of the next.

a. The Month of July

The month of July is not included in the computation of time for the serving and filing of the following documents:

At the application for leave to appeal stage:
  • Notice of application for leave to appeal (and all material necessary for the application)
  • Response to an application for leave to appeal
  • Reply to a response to the application for leave to appeal
  • Application for leave to cross-appeal
  • Response on application for leave to cross-appeal
  • Reply to a response on an application for leave to cross appeal
At the appeal stage:
  • Notice of appeal
Motion (at any stage):
  • All motions, except for a motion for leave to intervene in an appeal
  • All responses, except for a response to a motion for leave to intervene in an appeal
  • All replies, except for a reply to a response to a motion for leave to intervene in an appeal
Example:

A notice of appeal as of right must be served and filed "within 30 days after the date of the judgment appealed from" (paragraph 58(1)(b) of the Supreme Court Act). In this example, the judgment appealed from was rendered on June 21. The shaded days in the month of July are not counted. The 30 day time limit for serving and filing the notice of appeal expires on August 21.

June, July and August Calendars

Description of image

The months of June (30 days) and July (31 days) and August (31 days) are represented side by side in a calendar view. Thursday June 21 and Tuesday August 21 are highlighted in yellow to show the 30 day period. All days in July are shaded because they are not counted in the computation of time.

The month of July is included in the computation of time for the serving and filing of the following documents:

At the appeal stage:
  • Factums
  • Books of Authorities
  • Records
  • Notice of intervention respecting constitutional questions
Motion:
  • Notice of constitutional question
  • Motion for leave to intervene in an appeal
  • Response to a motion for leave to intervene in an appeal
  • Reply to a response to a motion for leave to intervene in an appeal

b. Holiday Recess Period from December 21 to January 7

The two-week period beginning on December 21 in a year and ending on January 7 inclusively in the following year is not included in the calculation of deadlines in the Rules of the Supreme Court of Canada except for the service and filing of a notice of constitutional question.

Also the following deadlines are imposed by statute (Paragraph 58 of the Supreme Court Act), so there is no suspension of the time limits for the serving and filing of the following:

  • Notice of Application for Leave to Appeal (and all material necessary for the application)
  • Notice of Appeal
  • Motion to state a constitutional question

If you are served with a document during the holiday recess period, the calculation of your deadline for serving and filing any documents in response commences on January 8, even if this day falls on a weekend. The only exception to this is the calculation of a deadline for filing a reply to a response to a motion - the five day deadline is calculated from the first day after January 8 that is not a weekend.

Examples:

1) Deadlines in Days

The deadline for serving and filing a response to an application for leave to appeal is 30 days after the leave application was served. To calculate the deadline, you do not include the day the leave application was served, you do include day 30. In this example, the application for leave to appeal was served on December 14 and the response must be served and filed by 5:00 pm on January 31.

December and January Calendars

Description of image

The months of December (31 days) and January (31 days) are represented side by side in a calendar view. Friday December 14 and Thursday, January 31 are highlighted in yellow to show the 30 day period. All days between Friday, December 21 and Monday, January 7 inclusive are shaded because they are not counted in the computation of time.

The shaded days from December 21 to January 7, the holiday recess period, are not included in the computation of time.

2) Deadlines in Weeks

Within 2 weeks after being served with the factum in a cross-appeal, an appellant may serve and file a factum in response to the cross-appeal. In this example, the factum on cross-appeal was served on December 14 and the factum in response to the cross-appeal must be served and filed by 5:00 pm on January 15.

December and January Calendars

Description of image

The months of December (31 days) and January (31 days) are represented side by side in a calendar view. Friday, December 14 and Tuesday, January 15 are highlighted in yellow to show the two week period. All days between Friday, December 21 and Monday, January 7 inclusive are shaded because they are not counted in the computation of time.

The shaded days from December 21 to January 7, the holiday recess period, are not included in the computation of time. A week is counted by counting out 7 days at a time Rule 5(1.1).