How to Count Days: California Courts

  Code of Civil Procedure sections 12-12c tell you how to count days. The first step is to determine if the days are calendar or court days–a distinction with a difference. The next step is to count either forward, or backward, the correct number of days. The third step is to add days, as required, due to the specific manner of service. The following rules apply:

  1. Time is computed by excluding the first day, and including the last, unless the last day is a Saturday, Sunday or holiday, and then it is also excluded.

  2. If the last day is a Saturday, Sunday or holiday, the period is extended to and including the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday or holiday.

  3. Where an act must be performed no later than a specified number of days, i.e, either calendar or court days, before a hearing date, the last day to perform that act is determined by: 1) counting backward from the hearing date, excluding the day of the hearing the necessary number of days; 2) continuing to count backward to add any extra days due to manner of service.

  In order to determine whether to count calendar or court days, you must refer to the applicable statute. Warning: Failure to follow these counting rules exactly may result in lack of timely notice or filing and may be jurisdictional.

  HINT: The Los Angeles County Superior Court has a court date calculator on their website. You may use it to calculate court days (Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays are excluded) for California state courts.

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