DAVID A. BRAMBLE, INC., Plaintiff Below, Appellant,
OLD REPUBLIC GENERAL INSURANCE CORPORATION, Defendant Below, Appellee.
Submitted: March 6, 2017
Below-Superior Court of the State of Delaware C.A. No.
STRINE, Chief Justice; VAUGHN, and SEITZ, Justices.
Collins J. Seitz, Jr., Justice
20th day of March 2017, it appears to the Court
February 21, 2017, the Court received the appellant's
notice of appeal from a January 20, 2017 Superior Court
opinion dismissing his complaint and denying his motion for
partial summary judgment. A timely notice of appeal should have
been filed on or before February 20, 2017. The Chief Deputy
Clerk issued a notice directing the appellant to show cause
why this appeal should not be dismissed as untimely filed
under Supreme Court Rule 6.
his response to the notice to show cause, the appellant
states that he calculated the thirty-day appeal period as
expiring on February 21, 2017 because February 19, 2017 was a
Sunday and February 20, 2017 was Presidents' Day. Rule
11(a) provides that if the last day of a time period
prescribed by the Rules falls on a Saturday or Sunday, legal
holiday, or other day on which the Clerk's office is
closed, then the time period shall run until the end of the
next day on which the Clerk's office is open.
"'[L]egal holidays' shall be those days provided
by statute or appointed by the Governor or the Chief Justice
of the State of Delaware." Presidents' Day is not
designated a legal holiday.
According to the appellant, he mistakenly believed
Presidents' Day was a legal holiday. He states that he
has been unable to determine when Delaware stopped observing
Presidents' Day as a state holiday and when and how
the Court communicated this change to members of the Delaware
bar. He further claims many Delaware lawyers are unaware that
Delaware no longer observes Presidents' Day as a legal
Time is a jurisdictional requirement. A notice of appeal must be
received by the Office of the Clerk of this Court within the
applicable time period in order to be
effective. Unless an appellant can demonstrate that
the failure to file a timely notice of appeal is attributable
to court-related personnel, an untimely appeal cannot be
appellant suggests the Court is somehow to blame for his (and
allegedly other Delaware lawyers') mistaken belief that
Presidents' Day is a legal holiday, but offers no factual
or legal authority in support of this suggestion. As the
appellant himself admits, he should have checked whether
Presidents' Day was a legal holiday. The record does not
reflect that the appellant's failure to file a timely
notice of appeal is attributable to court-related personnel.
Consequently, this case does not fall within the exception to
the general rule that mandates the timely filing of a notice
of appeal. This appeal must be dismissed.
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED, under Supreme Court Rule 29(b),
that this appeal is DISMISSED.
Bramble v. Old Republic Gen. Ins.
Corp., 2017 WL 345144 (Del. Jan. 20, ...