One of the JCC’s in West Palm Beach just issued a ruling on 1-time changes and when the 5-day clock starts. This is not a 1st DCA decision, so it is not “law”, but it is an indication on how other judges might rule.
As we all well know, the 1st DCA has previously ruled that the 5-days to respond to the request for a 1-time change is 5 calendar days. In doing so, the 1st DCA has ignored the WC Q-rules of procedure which states anything less than 7 days is calendar days.
The same Q rule (below) also states you do not count the day you receive you receive it, and if the deadline should fall on a weekend or legal holiday, you would have until the next business day. I have always been concerned that if they ignored one part of this rule they would ignore the other two aspects.
In this JCC decision, the Judge ruled that the timeframe started on the day the PFB was e-filed and emailed to the carriers e-filing portal. Meaning the clock starts as soon as it is e-filed, that day counts. It does not matter when it is date stamped or makes it to the adjuster’s desk. If it is faxed or emailed, it would be the day it was sent. For mail, it would be the date it was received.
The actual 5th day in this case would have then been on Memorial day, but the JCC does not fully address whether or not they would have had till the next business day. Here is the decision and the rule below:
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60Q-6.109. COMPUTATION OF TIME
In computing any period of time prescribed or allowed by these rules, by order, or by applicable statute, the day of the act or event from which the designated period of time begins to run shall not be included. The last day of the period so computed shall be included. If any act required to be done, or allowed to be done, falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, performance of that act shall be required on the next regular working day. When the period of time allowed is less than seven days, intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays shall be excluded from the computation. As used in this rule, legal holiday means those days designated in Section 110.117, Florida Statutes.