Today the NYT has an editorial on the Henderson case pending in the US Supreme Court. The lower court has applied a facial interpretation of the statute governing certain veterans benefits to find an appeal out of time. This is particularly harsh because the delay was caused by the very mental illness for which the vet was seeking treatment. The Times concludes: In this case, the law is clear in setting a deadline. But it’s not a reasonable deadline, and the court can and must conclude that the law and precedent allow veterans like Mr. Henderson leeway. Otherwise, the neediest, most challenged veterans would be the least likely to obtain essential benefits, which is certainly not the purpose of the law, nor the nation.
For a somewhat out of date collection of cases in the state courts, see, Albrecht, Greacen, Hough and Zorza, Judicial Techniques in Cases Involving Self-Represented Litigants, 42 Judges Journal 17 (Winter 2003).
If you know of recent cases dealing with such timeliness issues, please share in the comments.