Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

Oregon Service by Mail Adds 3 Days

The Oregon Court of Appeals vacated a lower court's dismissal of a prisoner's appeal as untimely. The court held that a state rule of civil procedure added three days to the applicable time limit.

Oregon prisoner William Harvey sued Elizabeth Christie in state court for negligence and mismanaging his property. The case was transferred to arbitration and ultimately dismissed by the arbitrator on October 31, 2007.

Pursuant to ORS 36.425(2)(a) Harvey had 20 days — until November 20, 2007 — to request a trial de novo. However, he filed his notice of appeal and motion for trial de novo on November 23, 2007. The trial court determined that because Harvey's "notice of appeal was not filed within 20 days of entry of the arbitrator's decision and award, a final, non-appealable judgment would be entered."

Oregon Rule of Civil Procedure (ORCP) 10C, however, provides a three day extension of filing deadlines when service is completed by mail. On appeal, Harvey argued that "the 20-day period in which he was required to file his notice of appeal began to run the day after the arbitration award was filed and, because the arbitrator mailed the decision and award, ORCP 10C provides that three days for mailing be added to the 20-day appeal period. With those three days added, his notice of appeal, filed on November 23, 2007, would be timely." He also invoked the prison mailbox rule.

The Oregon Court of Appeals agreed with Harvey that ORCP 10C's three-day extension was applicable. As such, "because the arbitration award was mailed to the parties in this case, three days should have been added to the appeal period," the court concluded. "With those three days added, plaintiff's filing of his notice of appeal was timely. Accordingly, the trial court's entry of a general judgment of dismissal was in error." Therefore, the court found it unnecessary to address Harvey's "prison mailbox rule" argument. See: Harvey v. Christie, 237 Or App. 237, 239 P.3d 279 (Or.App. 2010).

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login

Related legal case

Harvey v. Christie