Bohart v. Hanna – 7/26/2006

July 26, 2006

Arizona Supreme Court Holds That The Five-Day Window To Appeal A Nomination Challenge Under A.R.S. § 16-351(A) Does Not Exclude Weekends Or Holidays.

Robert Bohart challenged the “nomination petitions of David Goulet, a candidate for Glendale City Council.” The trial court rejected his challenge, and Bohart filed his notice of appeal six calendar days later.

The Supreme Court dismissed Bohart’s appeal as untimely. Under A.R.S. § 16-351(A), the notice of appeal must be filed “within five days.” Contrary to Bohart’s argument, the statute does not exclude weekends or holidays from the five-day deadline. Although the legislature modified A.R.S. § 16-351(A) expressly to exclude weekends and holidays for other time limits, it did not modify the time for filing the notice of appeal. Cf. Bedard v. Gonzales, 120 Ariz. 19, 20, 583 P.2d 906, 907 (1978) (construing the time limit for challenging petitions in superior court). Furthermore, this construction is consistent with “the requirement that the time elements in election statutes be strictly construed,” and “[i]t also serves the goal of expeditious resolution of nomination challenges.”

Justice Berch authored the unanimous opinion. Justice Ryan did not participate in the decision.