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Williams v. Singleton

Supreme Court of Delaware

May 6, 1960

A. Henry WILLIAMS, Appellant,
v.
Harry E. SINGLETON, Jr., by his next friends, Harry E. Singleton, Appellee.

Page 377

Appeal from an order of the Superior Court of New Castle County dismissing an appeal from a Justice of the Peace. Affirmed.

Max S. Bell, Jr., of Richards, Layton & Finger, Wilmington, for appellant.

Harold Shaffer, of Keil, Shaffer & Keil, of Wilmington, for appellee.

SOUTHERLAND, C. J., and WOLCOTT and BRAMHALL, JJ., sitting.

SOUTHERLAND, Chief Justice.

Singleton (appellee) brought a civil suit in a Justice of the Peace court against Williams (appellant) and recovered a judgment. The judgment was entered March 18, 1959. Williams [52 Del. 490] appealed from this judgment on April 2, 1959. The Superior Court dismissed the appeal on the ground that it was filed too late. Williams appeals.

The applicable appeal statute is found in 10 Del.C. § 9578(a), which provides as follows:

'(a) An appeal shall be allowed by the Justice at any time within 15 days from the day of giving the judgment and not after, counting that day as one, upon the party entitled to the appeal or his agent or attorney praying it.'

It is clear that if the statute governs the matter the appeal was filed too late. Counting March 18 as one day the fifteenth day of the allowable appeal time was April 1. Williams makes in passing an argument that the statute is ambiguous but we think it is clear and explicit.

Williams' principal contention is that Superior Court Civil Rule 6(a), Del.C.Ann., governs the matter. That rule provides:

'(a). Computation. In computing any period of time prescribed or allowed by these rules, by order of court, or by any applicable statute, the day of the act, event, or default after which the designated period of time begins to run is not to be included. The last day of the period so computed is to be included, unless it is a Sunday or a legal holiday, in which event the period runs until the end of the next day which is neither a Sunday nor a holiday.

Page 378

When the period of time prescribed or allowed is less than 7 days, intermediate Sundays and holidays shall be excluded in the computation. A half holiday shall be ...


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