30-day Time Period for Appealing a Planning Board Decision is Calculated Starting with the Day after the Date of the Decision

Krainewood Shores Assoc. v. Moultonborough
New Hampshire Supreme Court Case No. 2019-0719
Tuesday, March 2, 2021

After a planning board decision permitting development of a vacant lot as a condominium storage facility for boats, snowmobiles and motorcycles, two abutters appealed to the Superior Court.  The date of the planning board decision was May 8, 2019.  The appeal was filed in the Superior Court on June 8, 2019.  The town and the permit holder moved to dismiss because under RSA 677:15, I the 30-day period to timely appeal started running on May 9, 2019 and expired on June 7, 2019, divesting the Superior Court of jurisdiction to hear the appeal.  The plaintiff countered that considering language referenced in RSA 677:15 required counting the days allocated to timely appeal from the day following the day after the planning board decision.  According to the plaintiffs, the 30-day period would have expired on June 8, but because June 8 was a Saturday, the period actually expired on Monday, June 10. See RSA 21:35, II. Therefore, they reason, their electronically-filed June 8 appeal was timely.

Because RSA 677:15, I states that the counting of calendar days is to be done in accordance with RSA 21:35, the plaintiffs argued that this required the commencement of counting the time period to begin on the day after the date of the planning board decision.  Although the Supreme Court agreed this was a plausible argument, it agreed with the defendants that the language of the statute, and the legislative history required that the counting of the days to determine a timely planning board appeal commences on the day following the date of the decision.