AOH :: SUPRULE1.TXT|
Supreme Court Rules of Proceedure #1
We present the rules of the U.S. Supreme Court, with
annotations, in a total of 3 sections.*/
TABLE OF CONTENTS
PART I. THE COURT
4. Sessions and Quorum
PART II. ATTORNEYS AND COUNSELORS
5. Admission to the Bar
6. Argument Pro Hac Vice
7. Prohibition Against Practice
8. Disbarment and Disciplinary Action
9. Appearance of Counsel
PART III. JURISDICTION ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI
10. Considerations Governing Review on Writ of Certiorari
11. Certiorari to a United States Court of Appeals Before
12. Review on Certiorari; How Sought; Parties
13. Review on Certiorari; Time for Petitioning
14. Content of the Petition for a Writ of Certiorari
15. Brief in Opposition; Reply Brief; Supplemental Brief
16. Disposition of a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari
PART IV. OTHER JURISDICTIONS
17. Procedure in an Original Action
18. Appeal from a United States District Court
19. Procedure on a Certified Question
20. Procedure on Petition for an Extraordinary Writ
PART V. MOTIONS AND APPLICATIONS
21. Motions to the Court
22. Application to Individual Justices
PART VI. BRIEFS ON THE MERITS AND ORAL ARGUMENT
24. Brief on the Merits; In General
25. Brief on the Merits; Time for Filing
26. The Joint Appendix
27. The Calendar
28. Oral Argument
VII. PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE
29. Filing and Service of Documents; Special Notifications
30. Computation and Enlargement of Time
32. Models, Diagrams, and Exhibits
33. Printing Requirements
34. Form of Typewritten Papers
35. Death, Substitution, and Revivor; Public Officers
36. Custody of Prisoners in Habeas Corpus Proceedings
37. Brief of an Amicus Curiae
39. Proceedings in Forma Pauperis
40. Veterans, Seamen, and Military Cases
VIII. DISPOSITION OF CASES
41. Opinions of the Court
42. Interest and Damages
45. Process; Mandates
46. Dismissing Cases
IX. APPLICATION OF TERMS AND EFFECTIVE DATE
47. Term "State Court"
48. Effective Date of Amendments
PART I. THE COURT
Rule 1. Clerk
.1. The Clerk shall maintain the Court's records and shall not
permit any of them to be removed from the Court building except
as authorized by the Court. Any pleading, paper, or brief filed
with the Clerk and made a part of the Court's records may not
thereafter by withdrawn from the official Court files. After the
conclusion of the proceedings in this Court, any original records
and papers transmitted to this Court by any other court will be
returned to the court from which they were received.
.2. The office of the Clerk will be open, except on federal
legal holiday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday,
unless otherwise ordered by the Court or the Chief Justice. See
5 USC Section 6103 for a list of federal legal holidays.
Rule 2. Library
.1. The Court's library is available for use by appropriate
personnel of this Court, members of the Bar of this Court,
Members of Congress and their legal staffs, and attorneys for the
United States, it department and agencies.
.2. The library will be open during such times as the reasonable
needs of the Bar may require. Its operation shall be governed by
regulations made by the Librarian with the approval of the Chief
Justice or the Court.
.3. Library books may not be removed from the building, except
by a Justice or a member of a Justice's legal staff.
Rule 3. Term
.1. The Court will hold a continuous annual Term commencing on
the first Monday in October. See 28 USC Section 2. At the end
of each Term, all cases pending on the docket will be continued
to the next Term.
/* This results in the quaint practice as all the cases are
captioned October term. It seems silly to state the term if there
is no other term. */
.2. The Court at every Term will announce the date after which
no case will be called for oral argument at the Term unless
Rule 4. Sessions and Quorum
.1. Open sessions of the Court will be held beginning at 10 a.m.
on the first Monday in October of each year, and thereafter as
announced by the Court. Unless otherwise ordered, the Court will
sit to hear arguments from 10 a.m. until noon and from 1 p.m.
until 3 p.m.
.2. Any six Members of the Court constitute a quorum. See 28
USC Section 1. In the absence of a quorum on any day appointed
for holding a session of the Court, the Justices attending, or if
no Justice is present, the Clerk or a Deputy Clerk may announce
that the Court will not meet until there is a quorum.
.3. The Court in appropriate circumstances may direct the Clerk
or the Marshal to announce recesses.
PART II. ATTORNEYS AND COUNSELORS
Rule 5. Admission to the Bar
.1. It shall be requisite for admission to the Bar of this Court
that the applicant shall have been admitted to practice in the
highest court of a State, Commonwealth, Territory or Possession,
or of the District of Columbia for the three years immediately
proceeding the date of application and shall have been free from
any adverse disciplinary action whatsoever during that 3-year
period, and that the applicant appears to the Court to be of good
moral and professional character.
.2. Each applicant shall file with the Clerk (1) a certificate
from the presiding judge, clerk, or other authorized official of
the court evidencing the applicant's admission to practice there
and the applicant's current good standing, and (2) a completely
executed copy of the form approved by the Court and furnished by
the Clerk containing (i) the applicant's personal statement and
(ii) the statement of two sponsors (who must be members of the
Bar of this Court and who must personally know, but not be
related to, the applicant) endorsing the correctness of the
applicant's statement, stating that the applicant possesses all
the qualifications required for admission, and affirming that the
applicant is of good moral and professional character.
.3. If the documents submitted demonstrate that the applicant
possesses the necessary qualifications, has signed the oath or
affirmation, and has paid the required fee, the Clerk will notify
the applicant of acceptance by the Court as a member of the Bar
and issue a certificate of admission. An applicant who so
desires may be admitted in open court on oral motion by a member
of the Bar of this Court, provided that all other requirements
for admission have been satisfied.
.4. Each applicant shall take or subscribe to the following oath
I, ______________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that as an
attorney and as a counselor of this Court, I will conduct myself
uprightly and according of law, and that I will support the
Constitution of the United States.
.5. The fee for admission to the Bar and a certificate under
seal is $100, payable to the Marshal, U. S. Supreme Court. The
Marshal shall maintain the proceeds as a separate fund to be
disbursed by the Marshal at the direction of the Chief Justice
for the costs of admissions, for the benefit of the Court and the
Supreme Court Bar, and for related purposes.
.6. The cost for a duplicate certificate of admission to the Bar
under seal is $10, payable to the Marshal, U. S. Supreme Court.
The proceeds shall be maintained by the Marshall as provided in
paragraph .5 of this rule.
Rule 6. Argument Pro Hac Vice
.1. An attorney not admitted to practice in the highest court of
a State, Commonwealth, Territory or Possession, or the District
of Columbia for the requisite three years, but who is otherwise
eligible for admission to practice in this Court under Rule 5.1,
may be permitted to argue pro hac vice.
/* Although this rule is stated such relief is extremely
.2. An attorney, barrister, or advocate who is qualified to
practice in the courts of a foreign state may be permitted to
argue pro hac vice.
.3. Oral argument pro hac vice will be allowed only on motion of
the attorney of record for the party on whose behalf leave is
requested. The motion must briefly and distinctly state the
appropriate qualifications of the attorney who is to argue pro
hac vice. It must be filed with the Clerk, in the form
prescribed by Rule 21, no later than the date on which the
respondent's or appellee's brief on the merits is due to be filed
and must be accompanied by proof of service pursuant to Rule 29.
Rule 7. Prohibition Against Practice
.1. The Clerk shall not practice as an attorney or counselor
while holding office.
.2. No law clerk, secretary to a Justice, or other employee of
this Court shall practice as an attorney or counselor in any
court or before any agency of government while employed at the
Court; nor shall any person after leaving employment in this
Court participate, by way of any form of professional
consultation or assistance, in any case pending before this
Court or in any case being considered for filing in this Court,
until two years have elapsed after separation; not shall a former
employee ever participate, by way of any form of professional
consultation or assistance, in any case that was pending in this
Court during the employee's tenure.
Rule 8. Disbarment and Disciplinary Action
.1. Whenever it is shown to the Court that a member of the Bar
of this Court has been disbarred or suspended from practice in
any court of record, or has engaged in conduct unbecoming a
member of the Bar of this Court, that member will be suspended
from practice before this Court forthwith and will be afforded
the opportunity to show cause, within 40 days, why a disbarment
order should not be entered. Upon response, or upon the
expiration of the 40 days if no response is made, the Court will
enter an appropriate order.
.2. The Court may, after reasonable notice and an opportunity to
show cause why disciplinary action should not be taken, and after
a hearing if material facts are in dispute, take any appropriate
disciplinary action against any attorney who practices before it
for conduct unbecoming a member of the Bar or failure to comply
with these Rules or any Rule of the Court.
Rule 9. Appearance of Counsel
.1. An attorney seeking to file a pleading, motion, or other
paper in this Court in a representative capacity must first be
admitted to practice before this Court pursuant to Rule 5. The
attorney whose name, address, and telephone number appear on the
cover of a document being filed will be deemed counsel of record,
and a separate notice of appearance need not be filed. If the
name of more than one attorney is shown on the cover of the
document, the attorney who is counsel of record must be clearly
.2. An attorney representing a party who will not be filing a
document must enter a separate notice of appearance as counsel of
record indicating the name of the party represented. If an
attorney is to be substituted as counsel of record in a
particular case, a separate notice of appearance must also be
PART III. JURISDICTION ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI
Rule 10. Considerations Governing Review on Writ of Certiorari
.1. A review on writ of certiorari is not a matter of right, but
of judicial discretion. A petition for a writ of certiorari will
be granted only when there are special and important reasons
therefor. The following, while neither controlling nor fully
measuring the Court's discretion, indicate the character of
reasons that will be considered:
(a) When a United States court of appeals has rendered a
decision in conflict with the decision of another United
States court of appeals on the same matter; or has decided a
federal question in a way in conflict with a state court of
last resort; or has so far departed from the accepted and
usual course of judicial proceedings, or sanctioned such a
departure by a lower court, as to call for an exercise of
this Court's power of supervision.
(b) When a state court of last resort has decided a federal
question in a way that conflicts with the decision of
another state court of last resort or of a United States
court of appeals.
(c) When a state court or a United States court of appeals
has decided an important question of federal law which has
not been, but should be, settled by this Court, or has
decided a federal question in a way that conflicts with
applicable decisions of this Court.
/* A careful reading of this rule is necessary for all advocates
before the Court. It is vital to consider this part of the rule
as an actual guide to the inner workings of the court itself.
Having spoken to persons who have worked for the Court cases are
considered for possible review in accordance with their public
importance; the factors stated above are in fact primary to the
.2. The same general considerations outlined above will control
in respect to a petition for a writ of certiorari to review a
judgment of the United States Court of Military Appeals.
Rule 11. Certiorari to a United States Court of Appeals Before
A petition for a writ of certiorari to review a case pending in a
United States court of appeals, before judgment is given in that
court, will be granted only upon a showing that the case is of
such imperative public importance as to justify deviation from
normal appellate practice and to require immediate settlement in
this Court. 28 USC Section 2101(e).
Rule 12. Review on Certiorari; How Sought; Parties
.1. The petitioner's counsel, who must be a member of the Bar of
this Court, shall file, with proof of service as provided by Rule
29, 40 copies of printed petition for a writ of certiorari, which
shall comply in all respects with Rule 14, and shall pay the
docket fee prescribed by Rule 38. The case then will be placed
on the docket. It shall be the duty of counsel for the
petitioner to notify all respondents, on a form supplied by the
Clerk, of the date of filing and of the docket number of the
case. The notice shall be served as required by Rule 29.
.2. Parties interested jointly, severally, or otherwise in a
judgment may petition separately for a writ of certiorari; or any
two or more may join in a petition. A party who is not shown on
the petition for a writ of certiorari to have joined therein at
the time the petition is filed with the Clerk may not thereafter
join in that petition. When two or more cases are sought to be
reviewed on a writ of certiorari to the same court and involve
identical or closely related questions, a single petition for a
writ of certiorari covering all the cases will suffice. A
petition for a writ of certiorari shall not be joined with any
.3. Not more than 30 days after receipt of the petition for writ
of certiorari, counsel for a respondent wishing to file a cross-
petition that would otherwise be untimely shall file, with proof
of service as prescribed by Rule 29, 40 printed copies of a
cross-petition for a writ of certiorari, which shall comply in
all respects with Rule 14, except that materials printed in the
appendix to the original petition need not be reprinted, and
shall pay the docket fee pursuant to Rule 38. The cover of the
petition shall clearly indicate that it is cross-petition. The
cross-petition will then be placed on the docket subject,
however, to the provisions of Rule 13.5. It shall be the duty of
counsel for the cross-petitioner to notify the cross-respondent,
on a form suppled by the Clerk, of the date of docketing and of
the docket number of the cross-petition. The notice shall be
served as required by Rule 29. A cross-petition for a writ of
certiorari may not be joined with any other pleading, and the
Clerk shall not accept any pleading so joined. The time for
filing a cross-petition may not be extended.
.4. All parties to the proceeding in the court whose judgment is
sought to be reviewed shall be deemed parties in this Court,
unless the petitioner notifies the Clerk of this Court in writing
of the petitioner's belief that one or more of the parties below
has no interest in the outcome of the petition. A copy of the
notice shall be served as required by Rule 29 on all parties to
the proceeding below. A party noted as no longer interested may
remain a party by promptly notifying the Clerk, with service on
the other parties, of an intention to remain a party. All
parties other than petitioner shall be respondents, but any
respondent who supports the position of petitioner shall meet the
time schedule for filing papers which is provided for that
petitioner, except that a response to the petition shall be filed
within 20 days after its receipt, and the time may not be
.5. The clerk of the court having possession of the record shall
retain custody thereof pending notification from the Clerk of
this Court that the record is to be certified and transmitted to
this Court. When requested by the Clerk of the Court to certify
and transmit the record, or any part of it, the clerk of the
court having possession of the record shall number the documents
to be certified and shall transmit therewith a numbered list
specifically identifying each document transmitted. If the
record, or stipulated portions thereof, has been printed for the
use of the court below, that printed record, plus the proceedings
in the court below, may be certified as the record unless one of
the parties or the Clerk of this Court otherwise requests. The
record may consist of certified copies, but the presiding judge
of the lower court who believes that original papers of any kind
should be seen by the Court may, by order, make provision for
their transport, safekeeping, and return.
Rule 13. Review on Certiorari, Time for Petitioning
.1. A petition for a writ of certiorari to review a judgment in
any case, civil or criminal, entered by a state court of last
resort, a United States court of appeals, or the United States
Court of Military Appeals shall be deemed in time when it is
filed with the Clerk of this Court within 90 days after the entry
of the judgment. A petition for a writ of certiorari seeking
review of a judgment of a lower state court which is subject to
discretionary review by the state court of last resort shall be
deemed in time when it is filed with the Clerk within 90 days
after the entry of the order denying discretionary review.
.2. A justice of this Court, for good cause shown, may extend
the time to file a petition for a writ of certiorari for a period
not exceeding 60 days.
.3. The Clerk will refuse to receive any petition for a writ of
certiorari which is jurisdictionally out of time.
.4. The time for filing a petition for a writ of certiorari runs
from the date the judgment or decree sought to be reviewed is
rendered, and not form the date of the issuance of the mandate
(or its equivalent under local practice). However, if a petition
for rehearing is timely filed in the lower court by any party in
the case, the time for filing the petition for a writ of
certiorari for all parties (whether or not they requested
rehearing or joined in the petition for rehearing) runs from the
date of the denial of the petition for rehearing or the entry of
a subsequent judgment. A suggestion made to a United States
court of appeals for a rehearing in banc pursuant to Rule 35(b),
Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, is not a petition for
rehearing within the meaning of this Rule.
/* A trap for the unwary. A motion for rehearing to a panel of
the Circuit Court does toll the time; a motion for re-hearing en
banc (to the whole court) does not. */
.5. A cross petition for a writ of certiorari shall be deemed in
time when it is filed with the Clerk as provided in
paragraphs .1, .2, and .4 of this Rule, or in Rule 12.3.
However, a cross-petition which, except for Rule 12.3, would be
untimely, will not be granted unless a timely petition for a writ
of certiorari of another party to the case is granted.
.6. An application to extend the time to file a petition for a
writ of certiorari must set out the grounds on which the
jurisdiction of this Court is invoked, must identify the judgment
sought to be reviewed and have appended thereto a copy of the
opinion and any order respecting rehearing, and must set forth
with specificity the reasons why the granting of an extension of
time is thought justified. For the time and manner of presenting
the application, see Rules 21, 22, and 30. An application to
extend the time to file a petition for a writ of certiorari is
/* Not favored means exactly what it is said. You start with two
strikes against you. */
Rule 14. Content of the Petition for a Writ of Certiorari
.1. The petition for a writ of certiorari shall contain, in the
order here indicated:
(a) The questions presented for review, expressed in the
terms and circumstances of the case, but without unnecessary
detail. The questions should be short and concise and
should not be argumentative or repetitious. They must be
set forth on the first page following the cover with no
other information appearing on that page. The statement of
any question presented will be deemed to comprise every
subsidiary question fairly included therein. Only the
questions set forth in the petition, or fairly included
therein, will be considered by the Court.
(b) A list of all parties to the proceeding in the
court whose judgment is sought to be reviewed, unless the
names of all parties appear in the caption of the case.
This listing may be done in a footnote. See also Rule 29.1
for the required listing of parent companies and non wholly
(c) A table of contents and a table of authorities, if the
petition exceeds five pages.
(d) A reference to the official and unofficial reports of
opinions delivered in the case by other courts or
(e) A concise statement of the grounds on which the
jurisdiction of this Court is invoked showing:
(i) The date of the entry of the judgment or decree sought
to be reviewed;
(ii) The date of any order respecting a rehearing, and the
date and terms of any order granting an extension of time
within which to file the petition for a writ of certiorari;
(iii) Express reliance upon Rule 12.3 when a cross-petition
for a writ of certiorari is filed under that Rule and the
date of receipt of the petition for a writ of certiorari in
connection with which the cross-petition is filed; and
(iv) The statutory provision believed to confer on this
Court jurisdiction to review the judgment or decree in
question by writ of certiorari.
(f) The constitutional provisions, treaties, statutes,
ordinances, and regulations involved in the case, setting
them out verbatim, and giving the appropriate citation
therefor. If the provisions involved are lengthy, their
citation alone will suffice at this point and their
pertinent text must be set forth in the appendix referred to
in subparagraph .1(k) of this Rule.
(g) A concise statement of the case containing the facts
material to the consideration of the questions presented.
(h) If review of a judgment of a state court is sought, the
statement of the case shall also specify the stage in the
proceedings, both in the court of first instance and in the
appellate courts, at which the federal questions sought to
be reviewed were raised; the method or manner of raising
them and the way in which they were passed upon by those
courts; and such pertinent quotation of specific portions of
the record or summary thereof, with specific reference to
the places in the record where the matter appears (e.g.
ruling on exception, portion of court's charge and exception
thereto, assignment of errors) as will show that the federal
question was timely and properly raised so as to give this
Court jurisdiction to review the judgment on a writ of
certiorari. When the portions of the record relied upon
under this subparagraph are voluminous, they shall be
included in the appendix referred to in subparagraph .1(k)
of the Rule.
(i) If review of a judgment of a United States court of
appeals is sought, the statement of the case shall also show
the basis for federal jurisdiction in the court of first
(j) A direct and concise argument amplifying the reasons
relied on for the allowance of the writ. See Rule 10.
(k) An appendix containing, in the following order:
(i) The opinions, order, findings of fact, and conclusions
of law, whether written or orally given and transcribed,
delivered upon the rendering of the judgment or decree by
the court whose decision is sought to be reviewed.
(ii) Any other opinions, order, findings of fact, and
conclusions of law rendered in the case by courts or
administrative agencies, and, if reference thereto is
necessary to ascertain the grounds of the judgment or
decree, of those in companion cases. Each document shall
include the caption showing the name of the issuing court or
agency, the title and number of the case, and the date of
(iii) Any order on rehearing, including the caption showing
the name of the issuing court, the title and number of the
case, and the date of entry.
(iv) The judgment sought to be reviewed if the date of its
entry is different from the date of the opinion or order
required in sub-subparagraph (i) of this subparagraph.
(v) Any other appended materials.
If what is required by subparagraph .1(f), (h), and (k) of this
Rule to be included in or filed with the petition is voluminous,
it may be presented in a separate volume or volumes with
/* Counsel who has never filed such a petition should read and
then re-read these requirements and be sure to follow them. There
is nothing more disheartening than getting your petition returned
with a table of misdeeds. */
.2. The petition for a writ of certiorari and the appendix
thereto, whether in the same or a separate volume, shall be
produced in conformity with Rule 33. The Clerk shall not accept
any petition for a writ of certiorari that does not comply with
this Rule and with Rule 33, except that a party proceeding in
forma pauperis may proceed in the manner provided in Rule 39.
.3. All contentions in support of a petition for a writ of
certiorari shall be set forth in the body of the petition, as
provided in subparagraph .1(j) of this Rule. No separate brief
in support of a petition for a writ of certiorari will be
received, and the Clerk will refuse to file any petition for a
writ of certiorari to which is annexed or appended any supporting
.4. The petition for a writ of certiorari shall be as short as
possible and may not exceed the page limitations set out in Rule
.5. The failure of a petitioner to present with accuracy,
brevity, and clearness whatever is essential to a ready and
adequate understanding of the points requiring consideration will
be a sufficient reason for denying the petition.
/* Brevity is the soul of wit. Although clever lawyering can
help, for a case to make it to the Supreme Court, the facts and
legal issues are vital. A clear statement of the issue, briefly
and concisely made will impress more than any length of verbiage.
It is hard to be brief! */
Rule 15. Brief in Opposition; Reply Brief; Supplemental Brief
.1. A brief in opposition to a petition for a writ of certiorari
serves an important purpose in assisting the Court in the
exercise of its discretionary jurisdiction. In addition to other
arguments for denying the petition, the brief in opposition
should address any perceived misstatements of fact or law set
forth in the petition which have a bearing on the question of
what issues would properly be before the Court if certiorari were
granted. Unless this is done, the Court may grant the petition
in the mistaken belief that the issues presented can be decided,
only to learn upon full consideration of the briefs and record at
the time of oral argument that such is not the case. Counsel are
admonished that they have an obligation to the Court to point out
any perceived misstatements in the brief in opposition, and not
later. Any defect of this sort in the proceedings below that
does not go to jurisdiction may be deemed waived if not called to
the attention of the Court by the respondent in the brief in
.2. The respondent shall have 30 days (unless enlarged by the
Court or a Justice thereof or by the Clerk pursuant to Rule 30.4)
after receipt of a petition within which to file 40 printed
copies of an opposing brief disclosing any matter or ground as to
why the case should not be reviewed by this Court. See Rule 10.
The brief in opposition shall comply with Rule 33 and with the
requirements of Rule 24 governing a respondent's brief, and shall
be served as prescribed by Rule 29. A brief in opposition shall
not be joined with any other pleading. The Clerk shall not
accept a brief which does not comply with this Rule and with Rule
33, except that a party proceeding in forma pauperis may proceed
in the manner provided in Rule 39. If the petitioner is
proceeding in forma pauperis, the respondent may file 12
typewritten copies of a brief in opposition prepared in the
manner prescribed by Rule 34.
.3. A brief in opposition shall be as short as possible and may
not exceed the page limitations set out in Rule 33.
.4. No motion by a respondent to dismiss a petition for a writ
of certiorari will be received. Objections to the jurisdiction
of the Court to grant a writ of certiorari may be included in the
brief in opposition.
.5. Upon the filing of a brief in opposition, the expiration of
the time allowed therefor, or an express waiver of the right to
file, the petition and brief in opposition, if any, will be
distributed by the Clerk to the Court for its consideration.
However, if a cross-petition for a writ of certiorari has been
filed, distribution of both it and the petition for a writ of
certiorari will be delayed until the filing of a brief in
opposition by the cross-respondent, the expiration of the time
allowed therefor, or an express waiver of the right to file.
.6. A reply brief addressed to arguments first raised in the
brief in opposition may be filed by any petitioner, but
distribution and consideration by the Court under paragraph .5 of
this Rule will not be delayed pending its filing. Forty copies
of the reply brief, prepared in accordance with Rule 33 and
served as prescribed by Rule 29, shall be filed.
.7. Any party may file a supplemental brief at any time while a
petition for a writ of certiorari is pending calling attention to
new cases or legislation or other intervening matter not
available at the time of the party's last filing. A supplemental
brief must be restricted to new matter. Forty copies of the
supplemental brief, prepared in accordance with Rule 33 and
served as prescribed by Rule 29, shall be filed.
Rule 16. Disposition of Petition for a Writ of Certiorari
.1. After consideration of the papers distributed pursuant to
Rule 15, the Court will enter an appropriate order. The order
may be a summary disposition on the merits.
.2. Whenever a petition for a writ of certiorari to review a
decision of any court is granted, the Clerk shall enter an order
to that effect and shall forthwith notify the court below and
counsel of record. The case will then be scheduled for briefing
and oral argument. If the record has not previously been filed,
the Clerk of this Court shall request the clerk of the court
having possession of the record to certify it and transmit it to
this Court. A formal writ shall not issue unless specially
.3. Whenever a petition for a writ of certiorari to review a
decision of any court is denied, the Clerk shall enter an order
to that effect and shall forthwith notify the court below and
counsel of record. The order of denial will not be suspended
pending disposition of a petition for rehearing except by order
of the Court or a Justice.
PART IV. OTHER JURISDICTION
Rule 17. Procedure in an Original Action
.1. This Rule applies only to an action within the Court's
original jurisdiction under Article III of the Constitution of
the United States. See also 28 USC Section 1251 and the Eleventh
Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. A petition
for an extraordinary writ in aid of the Court's appellate
jurisdiction must be filed in accordance with Rule 20.
.2. The form of pleadings and motions prescribed by the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure should be followed in an original action
to be filed in this Court. In other respects those Rules, when
their application is appropriate, may be taken as a guide to
procedure in an original action in this Court.
.3. The initial pleading in any original action shall be
prefaced by a motion for leave to file, and both the pleading and
motion must be printed in conformity with Rule 33. A brief in
support of the motion for leave to file, which shall also comply
with Rule 33, may also be filed with the motion and pleading.
Sixty copies of each document, with proof of service as
prescribed by Rule 29, are required, except that when an adverse
party is a State, service shall be made on both the Governor and
the attorney general of that State.
/* Yes, the Supreme Court does consider under its original
jurisdiction cases between states etc. They are usually sent to a
master for a report and recommended judgment. Note that the Court
requires the Motion for Leave to file. */
.4. The case will be placed on the docket when the motion for
leave to file and the pleading are filed with the Clerk. The
docket fee provided by Rule 38 must be paid at that time.
.5. Within 60 days after the receipt of the motion for leave to
file and the pleading, an adverse party may file, with proof of
service as prescribed by Rule 29, 60 printed copies of a brief in
opposition to the motion. The brief shall comply with Rule 33.
When the brief in opposition has been filed, or when the time
within which it may be filed has expired, the motion, pleading,
and briefs will be distributed to the Court of the Clerk. The
Court may thereafter grant or deny the motion, set it down for
oral argument, direct that additional pleadings be filed, or
require that other proceedings be conducted.
.6. A summons issuing out of this Court in an original action
shall be served on the defendant 60 days before the return day
set out therein. If the defendant does not respond by the return
day, the plaintiff may proceed ex parte.
.7. Process against a State issued from the Court in an original
action shall be served on both the Governor and the attorney
general of that State.
Rule 18. Appeal from a United States District Court
.1. A direct appeal from a decision of a United States district
court, when authorized by law, is commenced by filing a notice of
appeal with the clerk of the district court within 30 days after
the entry of the judgment sought to be reviewed. The time may
not be extended. The notice of appeal shall specify the parties
taking the appeal, shall designate the judgment, or part thereof,
appealed from and the date of its entry, and shall specify the
statute or statutes under which the appeal is taken. A copy of
the notice of appeal shall be served on all parties to the
proceeding pursuant to Rule 29 and proof of service must be filed
in the district court with the notice of appeal.
.2. All parties to the proceeding in the district court shall be
deemed parties to the appeal, but a party having no interest in
the outcome of the appeal may so notify the Clerk of this Court
and shall service a copy of the notice on all other parties.
Parties interested jointly, severally, or otherwise in the
judgment may appeal separately; or any two or more may join in an
.3. No more than 60 days after the filing of the notice of
appeal in the district court, counsel for the appellant shall
file, with proof of service as prescribed by Rule 29, 40 printed
copies of a statement as to jurisdiction and pay the docket fee
prescribed by Rule 38. The jurisdictional statement shall
follow, insofar as applicable, the form for a petition for a writ
of certiorari prescribed by Rule 14. The appendix must also
include a copy of the notice of appeal showing the date it was
filed in the district court. The jurisdictional statement and
the appendices thereto must be produced in conformity with Rule
33, except that a party proceeding in forma pauperis may proceed
in the manner prescribed in Rule 39. A Justice of this Court
may, for good cause shown, extend the time for filing a
jurisdictional statement for a period not exceeding 60 days. An
application to extend the time to file a jurisdictional statement
must set out the basis of jurisdiction in this Court, must
identify the judgment to be reviewed, must include a copy of the
opinion, any order respecting rehearing, and the notice of
appeal, and must set forth specific reason why the granting of an
extension of time is justified. For the time and manner of
presenting the application, see Rules 21, 22, and 30. An
application to extend the time to file a jurisdictional statement
is not favored.
.4. The clerk of the district court shall retain possession of
the record pending notification from the Clerk of this Court that
the record is to be certified and transmitted. See Rule 12.5.
.5. After a notice of appeal has been filed, but before the
case is docketed in this Court, the parties may dismiss the
appeal by stipulation filed in the district court, or the
district court may dismiss the appeal upon motion of the
appellant and notice to all parties. If a notice of appeal has
been filed, but the case has not been docketed in this Court
within the time prescribed for docketing or any enlargement
thereof, the district court may dismiss the appeal upon the
motion of the appellee and notice to all parties and may make any
order with respect to costs as may be just. If an appellee's
motion to dismiss the appeal is not granted, the appellee may
have the case docketed in this Court and may seek to have the
appeal dismissed by filing a motion pursuant to Rule 32. If the
appeal is dismissed, the Court may give judgment for costs
against the appellant.
.6. Within 30 days after the receipt of the jurisdictional
statement, the appellee may file 40 printed copies of a motion to
dismiss, to affirm, or, in the alternative, to affirm and
dismiss. The motion shall comply in all respects with Rules 21
and 33, except that a party proceeding in forma pauperis may
proceed in the manner provided in Rule 39. The Court may permit
the appellee to defend a judgment on any ground that the law and
record permit and that would not expend the relief granted.
.7. Upon the filing of the motion, or the expiration of the time
allowed therefor, or an express waiver of the right to file, the
jurisdictional statement and motion, if any, will be distributed
by the Clerk to the Court for its consideration.
.8. A brief opposing a motion to dismiss or affirm may be filed
by an appellant, but distribution to the Court under paragraph .7
of this Rule will not be delayed pending its receipt. Forty
copies, prepared in accordance with Rule 33 and served as
prescribed by Rule 29, shall be filed.
.9. Any party may file a supplemental brief at any time while a
jurisdictional statement is pending, calling attention to new
cases, new legislation, or other intervening matter not available
at the time of the party's last filing. Forty copies, prepared
in accordance with Rule 33 and served as prescribed by Rule 29,
shall be filed.
.10. After consideration of the papers distributed under this
Rule, the court may summarily dispose of the appeal on the
merits, not probable jurisdiction, or postpone jurisdiction to
the hearing on the merits. If not disposed of summarily, the
case will stand for briefing and oral argument on the merits. If
consideration of jurisdiction is postponed, counsel, at the
outset of their briefs and at oral argument, shall address the
question of jurisdiction.
/* The rules continue in part II of this section. */
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