Leap Year Lawsuit

In 1997 John Melo was sentenced to "ten years to ten years and one day" for home invasion. Seven years later he filed a motion in the Massachusetts Superior Court complaining that the Department of Correction "had miscalculated the length of his sentence because it had failed to credit one day for each February 29 ('leap year' day) he had served to date."

The defendant argues that the policy and practice of the DOC not to recognize and credit the additional day in a "leap year" is incorrect. He argues that a "year," as imposed by the sentence of ten years to ten years and one day, consists of 365 days each, not the 366 days contained in a leap year.

The Superior Court ruled against him, noting he had been "sentenced to a term of years, not to a term of days." It also concluded that his lawsuit shouldn't have been allowed in the first place.


His case was a longshot, but it's true that leap years can be more beneficial to some than to others. Salaried employees essentially have to work an extra day for free, whereas hourly employees get an extra payday. And banks often don't include February 29 when they calculate the interest they owe their customers, thereby giving themselves an extra day of profit at everyone else's expense.
     Posted By: Alex - Thu Feb 29, 2024
     Category: Lawsuits

If banks don't include February 29 in their calculations, it should be a double-edged sword, affecting the interest they collect on loans as well as the interest they pay for deposits. I'm skeptical that they do this at all.
Posted by ges on 02/29/24 at 08:54 AM
February 29th? Hey, I'm for anything that puts an extra day between me and next Monday.
Posted by Phideaux on 03/01/24 at 12:36 AM
Not to mention the sad, sad story of Frederic.
Posted by Richard Bos on 03/03/24 at 04:34 AM

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