Practice Points with Mark Scruggs – Counting the Statute Of Limitations and Other Time Periods
Have you ever wondered about this as you approached the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury action: Is the statute of limitations counted in days or years? At Lawyers Mutual, we get this question occasionally. I think we intuitively know the answer, but anxiety might prompt the question. Especially since 2020 is a leap year. Well, the answer is unequivocally years.
Defendant contends that the DHC should not have been allowed to consider a letter of warning issued to him on 25 July 1998. The complaint in this case was filed 25 July 2001. Defendant contends that admission of this letter violated the DHC's rule that a letter of warning may only be disclosed to the committee if the letter was issued within three years of the present complaint. Defendant specifically argues that as three years is the equivalent of 1,095 days, because the intervening year 2000 was a leap year, 1,096 days had actually passed between the issuance of the letter of warning and the filing of the complaint. We reject this argument. It is apparent from the record that the complaint in this case was filed three **343 years to the day after the issuance of the letter of warning. Thus, the letter of warning was properly considered in determining disciplinary sanctions against defendant.
N. Carolina State Bar v. Rogers, 164 N.C. App. 648, 656, 596 S.E.2d 337, 342–43 (2004)
Sometimes the law is what you think it is. But sometimes the law is not what you think it is.
Consider this. In 2016, the last leap year, during the 90-day period spanning February, one of our insureds called to report that opposing counsel alleged that he had issued an A&P summons one day late. (Remember, in a leap year, February has 29 days, and I suppose that fact slipped by our insured when he was counting days.) Our insured did some research and to my astonishment (and gratitude), he found N.C. Gen. Stat. 12-3(4). Under this statute, the increasing day and the day before are counted as one day. So, the A&P summons was timely issued.