Wednesday, April 15, 2015

First District Explains New Mailbox Rule for Incarcerated Litigants

If you happen to be an incarcerated litigant, you should read the First District's opinion issued today in Roberto Rivera, M.D. v. Department of Health (1D15-0287). In that opinion, the First District states as follows:
We are concerned that incarcerated litigants may fail to understand the effect of the amendment and write to ensure that incarcerated litigants filing documents with the courts of this state are familiar with the recent amendment to rule 9.420(a)(2), and that they understand the burden the rule places on them to demonstrate timely filing. 
With regard to the amended rule, which is quoted in the opinion, the court stated:
As amended, the rule provides that when the institution has a system designed for legal mail that records the date a document is placed in the hands of an institution official for mailing and the inmate uses that system, then the date of filing will be presumed to be the date recorded by the institution’s legal mail system. If the inmate does not use the system designed for legal mail, the date of filing shall be presumed to be the date it is stamped for filing by the clerk of the court. If the institution does not have a legal mail system, or it has a legal mail system that does not record the date a document is placed in the hands of an institution official for mailing, then the date contained in the certificate of service is presumed to be the date of filing. 


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