Arizona Procedural Time Computation Rules
In a number of Arizona cases, procedural time computation rules have been applied to time periods provided by statute.
Thielking v. Kirschner, 176 Ariz. 154, 859 P.2d 777 (App. 1993) (holding that Rule 6(e) applies to A.R.S. 12-904 to extend the time for filing a superior court complaint seeking judicial review of an administrative decision when the decision has been served by mail);
Upton v. Cochise County Bd. of Adjustment, Dist 1, 121 Ariz. 238, 589 P.2d 481 (App. 1979) (applying Rule 6(a) to A.R.S. 11-807 to extend the thirty-day time period for the appeal of a county board of adjustment decision to the superior court when the thirtieth day fell on a Saturday);
Salzman v. Morentin, 116 Ariz. 79, 567 P.2d 1208 (App. 1977) (applying Rule 6(a) to extend the statute of limitations for filing a personal-injury action when the last day of the statutory period fell on a Saturday).
However, in Bedard v. Gonzales, 120 Ariz. 19, 583 P.2d 906 (1978), the Supreme Court, relying on Board of Supervisors v. Superior Court, 103 Ariz. 502, 446 P.2d 231 (1968), held that Rule 6(a) had no application to the time requirements for challenging the nomination petitions of candidates for elective office.
The difference between Bedard and the other cases in which the procedural time computation rules were applied to statutory time periods was clarified by the court in Theilking.
In that opinion, the court explained that Bedard was the exception that proves the rule. Thielking, 176 Ariz. at 161 n.5, 859 P.2d at 784 n.5.
The court continued by stating that the timetable of electoral events is such that the time elements in election statutes are to be strictly construed. Id. (citing Bedard, 120 Ariz. at 20, 583 P.2d at 907).
However, the court in Thielking concluded that in the other cases in which procedural rules for time computation were applied to statutes, "no comparable need for haste affects" the applicable time periods. Id.
The situation in the present case is analogous to Bedard in that there is a comparable need for haste.
Specifically, the fifteen-day deadline is intended to remove drunk drivers from the road as soon as possible to protect public safety.
Therefore, as in Bedard, the time period in A.R.S. 28-1385 should be strictly construed.