Friday, August 17, 2007

Magtanong v. Gonzales (9th Cir. - July 23, 2007)

Putting things in the mail isn't the same as filing them. Yes, I know that seems obvious. But it's true. And don't think that overnight mail is necessarily overnight. It ain't.

So, for example, when a statute says that you have to file a document not later than 30 days after removal, and when you give the document to DHL on the 29th day, and mail it by overnight mail, you probably figure it's going to be filed on the 30th day. And maybe it will be. Or, unfortunately, maybe it won't. Like here.

The document is one day late, and hence filed on the 31st day. Sorry. Out of luck. The 30 day deadline here was mandatory and jurisdictional. I don't care that you relied on DHL. That's no excuse.

Which, I'm sure, upsets the lawyer. But that's the rule. And you can only imagine how the client feels. Who, here, gets deported to the Phillipines as a result.

File it on time. Walk it down to the courthouse yourself if you have to. It's that important. Really.

Lesson of the day.