Effective February 1, 2019, a number changes to the local rules of the Delaware Bankruptcy Court became effective.  Practitioners in the jurisdiction should be sure to review the new rules as there are a number of revisions to motion practice, filings, and the calculation of deadlines. 

 A few notable changes include:

·   Shortened Notice for Motons: Motions may now be filed 14 days before a hearing (down from 18) unless the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure or the court’s local rules state otherwise.  See Del. Bankr. L.R. 9006-1(c)(i).

·   Service of Objection and Replies Eliminated: There is no longer a requirement that objections to a motion or replies to an objection, must be “served so as to be received” by the applicable deadline.  See Del. Bankr. L.R. 9006-1(c)(ii) and 9006-1(d).

·   Motion for a Late Reply Can Be Filed Without Motion to Shorten Notice:  The court will now consider motions to file a late reply at the hearing on the underlying motion.  There is no longer a requirement to file a motion to shorten notice with the motion to file a late reply.  See Del. Bankr. L.R. 9006-1(d).

·   Requirements for Motions to Shorten Notice:  A motion to shorten notice must be filed with an averment by movant’s Delaware Counsel that a reasonable effort was made to notify the debtor, the United States Trustee, any official committee, and any trustee whether such parties object or consent to the relief sought, or the basis why the movant did not make that effort.  See Del. Bankr. L.R. 9006-1(e).

·   7 Day Period for Filing Summonses:  A completed summons must be filed within 7 days of service.  See Del. Bankr. L.R. 7004-2.

·   Shortened Page Limit for Briefs:  Page limits for opening and answering briefs have been reduced to 30 pages (from 40) and reply briefs are down to 15 pages (20 before) unless the Court orders otherwise.  See Del. Bankr. L.R. 7007-2.

·   Filing Plan Supplements: Plan supplements must be filed at least 7 days prior to the earlier of the balloting deadline, or the deadline to object to confirmation of the proposed plan (unless otherwise ordered by the Court).  See Del. Bankr. L.R. 3016-2 and 3017-2; and

·   Retention of Professionals: 21 days has replaced the term “adequate notice time” as the minimum notice period for the hearing on retention applications.  See Del. Bankr. L.R. 2014-1(b).