Time Limits, Procedural

Time Limits, Procedural


the time period within which the participants in a trial have the right or are obliged to take certain procedural steps, such as the review of an appeal, the submission of comments on the record of court proceedings, and appeal of the sentence or judgment of the court.

In the USSR, procedural time limits are established by legislation, for example, by Articles 121, 133, 219, 265, and 328 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the RSFSR and by Articles 99, 229, and 284 of the Code of Civil Procedure of the RSFSR. They may also be established by the court in instances provided for by law, for example, by Article 130 of the Code of Civil Procedure of the RSFSR.

Procedural time limits are calculated in hours, days, or months. As a rule, the hour or day at which time the period begins is not taken into account. In calculating time periods in days, the time period expires at midnight of the last day, and in calculating time periods in months, on the corresponding day of the last month. If the end of the period does not fall on a working day but on a holiday or regular day off, the first subsequent working day is considered the last day.

The time period is not considered to have lapsed if an appeal or any other procedural document is put in the mail before the expiration of the time period (midnight of the last day), or for persons kept under guard, if the appeal or any other procedural document is delivered to the administration of the place of confinement before the expiration of the time period, even if the document arrives at its destination after the expiration of the time limit.

Procedural time limits established by law are not subject to change. They may be extended only in cases and in a manner provided for by legislation, as, for example, in Articles 97 and 133 of the Code of Criminal Procedure of the RSFSR. Time limits set by the court may be extended by the court itself, as, for example, in Article 104 of the Code of Civil Procedure of the RSFSR.

In criminal matters, lapsed time periods may be extended at the corresponding stages of the trial by the person conducting the inquiry, the investigator, or the procurator, or by a ruling of the court conducting the case. Petitions for extension of a lapsed time period with respect to the appeal of a sentence are reviewed at an administrative session of the court; the procurator must be present, and if necessary, the person who filed the petition may be summoned to provide explanations.

In civil matters, petitions for extending procedural time limits, lapsed or otherwise, are reviewed by the court in which the procedural action must be taken or to which the procedural document should have been submitted.

If the procedural time limit is not observed, appeals and documents are not reviewed, and the right to initiate a procedural action within such time limit is lost.