Rule 21: Computation and Extension of Time.



(a) Computation of Time.  In computing any period of time prescribed or allowed by these rules, the date of the act, event, or default after which the designated period of time begins to run shall not be included. The last day of the period so computed shall be included unless it is a Saturday, a Sunday, or a legal holiday as defined in Tenn. Code Ann. 6 15-1-101, or, when the act to be done is the filing of a paper in court, a day on which the office of the court clerk is closed or on whichweather or other conditions have made the office of the court clerk inaccessible, in which event the period runs until the end of the next day which is not one of the aforementioned days. When the period of time prescribed or allowed is less than 7 days, intermediate Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays shall be excluded from the computation.

(b) Extension of Time.   For good cause shown the appellate court may enlarge the time prescribed by these rules or by its order for doing any act or may permit an act to be done after the expiration of such time; however, the court may not enlarge the time for filing a notice of appeal prescribed in Rule 4, an application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court from the denial of an application for interlocutory appeal by an intermediate appellate court prescribed in Rule 9(c), an application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court from an intermediate appellate court’s denial of an extraordinary appeal prescribed in Rule 10(b), an application for permission to appeal prescribed in Rule 11, or a petition for review prescribed in Rule 12.

(c) Unaffected by Expiration of Term.  The period of time provided for the doing of any act or the taking of any proceeding shall not be affected or limited by the continued existence or expiration of a term of court. The continued existence or expiration of a term of court in no way affects the power of a court to do any act or take any proceeding.

[As amended by order entered January 21, 1988, effective August 1, 1988; and by order effective July 1, 1997; by order entered December 10, 2003, effective July 1, 2004; and by order entered December 21, 2010, effective July 1, 2011.]

Advisory Commission Comments.

Subdivision (b), on extension of time, should be read in connection with Rule 2 of these rules, dealing with the time for filing a notice of appeal, an application for permission to appeal, or a petition for review.

If a motion is made for extension of time, it should comply with Rule 22, which provides for the service of all motions on all parties.

Advisory Commission Comments [1988].

If a clerk's office is closed all day on a date other than a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, a lawyer would be unable to gain entrance to file a document on the "deadline." Consequently the amendment extends the deadline to the next business day that the courthouse is open.

Advisory Commission Comments [2004].

The second sentence of Rule 21(a) is altered to adopt federal language covering snow days and the like which make a clerk's office "inaccessible" for filing. Earlier language required that the office be "closed."

Rule 21(b) was amended to conform with Rule 2, which was recently amended to clarify that the filing deadlines to the Supreme Court under Rules 9(c) and 10(b) are jurisdictional, as are those in Rules 4, 11 and 12.

Termination of Parental Rights Proceedings. Rule 8A imposes special requirements governing the appeal of any termination of parental rights proceeding. In particular, Rule 8A(i) imposes a special provision regarding extensions of time in such an appeal.

Advisory Commission Comments [2011].

Rule 21(a) is amended to define "legal holiday" by reference to statute, Tenn. Code Ann. § 15-1-1 01. The status of a day as a legal holiday is statutory; thus, for the purpose of filing papers in court, it does not depend on whether the clerk's office is open for business. For  example, state offices might be open on Columbus Day, pursuant to the governor's authority under Tenn. Code Ann. 8 4-4-1 05(a)(3) to substitute the day after Thanksgiving for the Columbus Day holiday; in such circumstances, however, Columbus Day is still a "legal holiday" for purposes of computing time periods under the rule.

Rule 21(a) also is amended to add a reference to days on which the office of the court clerk is closed.

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