The following blog provides a high-level overview of time, time computation, limitation and compliance periods for current Trinidad & Tobago legal matters.
Computing time for litigious matters
Sometimes one of the first questions a client asks when they approach a lawyer (to conduct their matter) is, “Am I out of time?”
Many preliminary points are taken in relation to computation of time; and entire matters revolve around the computation of time (in relation to limitation and other issues).
[See: https://tenorequelegalandconsulting.com/limitation/ for some more on limitation.]
Computing time in legal matters is something lawyers are constantly required to do. Time computation is important. It is useful for persons to get familiar with and keep abreast of time, time computation and any new laws, regulations or measures that affect time (or its computation) for their legal matters.
- The T&T Civil Proceedings Rules (CPR) deals with time and its computation fairly comprehensively.
For instance, CPR 2.8 – 2.10 treats with (inter alia) clear days, short periods, what is a month etc. For example, time in days is treated as clear days and for a period of 5 days or less which includes Saturday, Sunday or a day the Court Office is closed, these days are not included in the calculation. And, a month is considered to be a calendar month.
[For a helpful website to calculate time over long periods – e.g. years see: https://dqydj.com/year-calculator/ ].
- Additionally, Section 25 of the Interpretation Act of T&T may also be instructive in relation to time.
- For a specialised matter with specific legislation (in the area), be mindful of the time limits and periods provided for therein. For e.g. the Judicial Review Act in T&T.
[See: https://tenorequelegalandconsulting.com/judicial-review/ for more on judicial review and https://tenorequelegalandconsulting.com/take-it-to-the-court-on-time/ for some more on time periods.]
- Certain limitation extension orders or companies (or other) compliance extensions may be in effect that may affect time and its computation.
For example, during the Covid-19 pandemic (in T&T); by virtue of the last issued Limitation Extension Order – The Limitation of Certain Actions (Extension of Period) (No.3) Order, 2021, the period 27 March 2020 to 2 May 2022 should not be used in the computation of limitation periods under the Act.
Therefore, as a result of The Limitation of Certain Actions (Extension of Period) (No.3) Order, 2021, many (court) claims may actually still be within time to be filed.
Time for companies, corporate and other compliance
Additionally, in T&T, there has been an extension of the period for citizens to comply with legal requirements for effecting certain payments/actions/licences/registrations to 2nd August 2022.
This includes (but is not limited to) extending the time for – registering Bills of Sales for chattels (goods and property); Non-Profit Organisations (and filing of Risk Assessment Questionnaires); Members and Proprietary Clubs and charges and this extension of time applies to the waiver of Companies Registry penalties for late filing. [See: https://agla.gov.tt/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Press-Release-Extension-for-Compliance-ending-August-2nd-2022.jpgfor more.]