By David deForrest General Manager
What is a "Legal Holiday" in Florida?
This is an important question and one on which few people,
including real estate agents and attorneys, are fully up-to-date. Time periods
for performance of obligations, or for cancellation or withdrawals of purchase
contracts are often stated as "Business Days" which are defined as excluding,
"Saturday, Sunday and Legal Holidays."
You may think that "everyone knows" what a "Legal Holiday" is
but you will probably be in for a surprise if you are not careful.
In Florida real estate purchase transactions are governed by
Florida Statutes. Here is a list.
683.01 Legal holidays.--
(1) The legal holidays, which are also public holidays, are
(a) Sunday, the first day of each week.
(b) New Year's Day, January 1.
(c) Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., January 15.
(d) Birthday of Robert E. Lee, January 19.
(e) Lincoln's Birthday, February 12.
(f) Susan B. Anthony's Birthday, February 15.
(g) Washington's Birthday, the third Monday in February.
(h) Good Friday.
(i) Pascua Florida Day, April 2.
(j) Confederate Memorial Day, April 26.
(k) Memorial Day, the last Monday in May.
(l) Birthday of Jefferson Davis, June 3.
(m) Flag Day, June 14.
(n) Independence Day, July 4.
(o) Labor Day, the first Monday in September.
(p) Columbus Day and Farmers' Day, the second Monday in
(q) Veterans' Day, November 11.
(r) General Election Day.
(s) Thanksgiving Day, the fourth Thursday in November.
(t) Christmas Day, December 25.
(u) Shrove Tuesday, sometimes also known as "Mardi Gras," in
counties where carnival associations are organized for the
purpose of celebrating the same.
(2) Whenever any legal holiday shall fall upon a Sunday, the
Monday next following shall be deemed a public holiday for all
and any of the purposes aforesaid.
I'll bet you've never heard of half of these Legal Holidays,
yet each one is a day exempted from the calculation when you are trying to
determine the important dates for contract fulfillment etc.
To make matters even more confusing, the Legal Holidays stated
not the "Legal Holidays" you would need to use, as a Florida Landlord, in
calculating the expiration date of the mandatory "3-Day Notice" you must give a
delinquent tenant before proceeding to file suit for eviction! That's because
the Florida Landlord-Tenant Act defines "Legal Holidays" not by reference to
683.01 above but in the following language:
Florida Statues 83.43(13) "Legal holiday"
means holidays observed by the clerk of the court.
Here is a list of Holidays observed by the
Miami-Dade District Courts. Note that this will vary from county to
county and from year-to-year:
The following legal holidays are officially
observed by Miami-Dade County government.
New Year's Day - Jan 2 (Mon)
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - Jan 16 (Mon)
President's Day - Feb 20 (Mon)
Memorial Day - May 29 (Mon)
Independence Day - Jul 4 (Tue)
Labor Day - Sep 4 (Mon)
Columbus Day - Oct 9 (Mon)
Veterans Day - Nov 10 (Fri)
Thanksgiving - Nov 23 (Thurs)
Day after Thanksgiving - Nov 24 (Fri)
Christmas Day - Dec 25 (Mon)
Even weirder, the 11th Circuit
District Court maintains an entirely different schedule of Court Holidays.
Since the County Court in Miami-Dade is a part of this administration, one
best use this final list:
The following is the list of official holidays which
will be observed by the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in
2017 . Accordingly, the Courts will be closed for
business on the following days:
01/02/2017 - New Year’s Day (Observed)
01/16/2017 - Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday
02/20/2017 - Presidents Day
04/14/2017 - Good Friday
05/29/2017 - Memorial Day
07/04/2017 - Independence Day
09/04/2017 - Labor Day
09/21/2017 - Rosh Hashanah
11/10/2017 - Veteran’s Day (Observed)
11/23/2017 - Thanksgiving Day
11/24/2017 - Friday after Thanksgiving
12/25/2017 - Christmas Day
Here is a
link to the Miami-Dade Clerk's web site which shows the Legal
Holidays recognized by the Clerk of the Court in Miami-Dade County. If you
own property in other counties, you should check with the Clerk of the Court
for the particular county where your property is located.
Here is the
link to the 11th Judicial Circuit holiday schedule.
I hope this helps explain why we always recommend that Buyers,
Sellers and Landlords use a Florida Attorney when making a purchase, a sale
or enforcing the terms of a lease. These seemingly simple matters are not as
simple as they might seem.