an image

Contents | New Rules Updates| Printable Version

1-8 | 9-10 | 11-15 | 16 | 17-21 | 22 | 23-27 | 28-29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33-36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42 | 43 | 44 | 45 | 46


These rules are not intended to reiterate all applicable laws. The word "counsel" throughout these rules also applies to pro se parties.

These rules are effective on February 17, 2021.


Rule 23. Time of Filing; Contempt; Dismissal.

(a) Appellant’s Brief.

Appellant’s brief shall be filed within 20 days after the appeal is docketed. Failure to file within that time, unless extended upon motion for good cause shown, may result in the dismissal of the appeal, and may subject the offending party and/or counsel to sanctions, including contempt. See Rule 7, Contempt, and Rule 13, Notice of Docketing.

Pursuant to Rule 16 (a), appellant’s motion for an extension of time to file a brief and enumeration of errors must be filed before the date the documents are due or the Court may dismiss the appeal. If two or more appeals are consolidated, a brief is still required to be filed in each appeal. Parties may adopt, and are encouraged to adopt, all or a portion of another brief in the same case or from another case pending in this Court. The party adopting language from another brief shall specify precisely what portion of the other brief the party is adopting and list the case number, if different.

(b) Appellee’s Brief.

To be considered, appellee’s brief should be filed within 40 days after the appeal is docketed or 20 days after the appellant’s brief is filed, whichever is later. Appellees are encouraged but, other than the State in a criminal case, are not required to file a brief. A brief shall be filed by the State when it is the appellee in the appeal of a criminal case. The State’s representative may be subject to sanctions, including contempt, for failing to file a timely responsive brief.

(c) Reply Brief.

Appellant may file a reply brief within 20 days from the date the appellee’s brief is filed. Appellee has no right to respond to appellant’s reply brief except as permitted under Rule 27, Supplemental Briefs.

(d) Other Parties.

Parties listed on the court’s docket as “Other Parties” may file a single brief, no later than the due date of the appellee’s brief, and must comply with the requirements of an initial brief per Rule 24.

Rule 24. Preparation.

(a) Limitations.

The parties to the appeal are entitled as of right to file an initial appellant’s brief, a responding appellee’s brief, and an appellant’s reply brief. Supplemental briefs and responses to amicus briefs are only accepted pursuant to the Court’s grant of a motion under Rule 27. Amicus curiae briefs conforming to Rule 26 will also be accepted. All counsel are required to efile in accordance with Rule 46, Electronic Filing of Documents. Paper filers need only file the original brief for each docketed appeal.

(b) Signatures, Paper, Spacing and Certificates of Service.

Briefs shall be filed in conformity with Rule 2 (a) and (c), Requirement for Written and Signed Documents, and Rule 6, Copies and Certificate of Service.

(c) Margins.

Writing shall be on only one side of each sheet, with a margin of not less than one inch at the top, sides, and bottom of each page.

(d) Citations to Authority.

All citations to cases shall be by name of the case as well as by volume, page, and year of the Official Report. Cases not yet reported shall be cited by the Court of Appeals or Supreme Court case number and the date of decision.

(e) Pages to be Numbered.

The pages of each brief shall be sequentially numbered with an Arabic numeral at the bottom of each page.

(f) Limitation as to Length.

(1) Electronic Filers.
Except upon written motion filed with the Clerk and approved by the Court, briefs and responsive briefs shall be limited to 8,400 words in civil cases or 14,000 words in criminal cases. Supplemental briefs, emergency motions, motions for reconsideration, appellant’s reply briefs, and responses to motions for reconsideration shall be limited to 4,200 words. Each submission must contain the following certification just above the signature block of the submitting attorney: “This submission does not exceed the word count limit imposed by Rule 24.” The person signing the certificate may rely on the word count of the word-processing system used to prepare the brief.

(2) Pro Se Submissions or Attorneys Allowed to File Paper Copies.
Except upon written motion filed with the Clerk and approved by the Court, briefs and responsive briefs are limited to 30 pages in civil cases or 50 pages in criminal cases if prepared with a typewriter or hand-written. Supplemental briefs, motions for reconsideration, and appellant's reply briefs shall be limited to 15 pages if prepared with a typewriter or hand-written.

(3) Items Not Considered in Length Limitation.
Tables of contents, tables of citations, cover sheets and certificates of service and of compliance with the word count limit shall not be counted toward the applicable page or word count limit.

(g) Attachments and Exhibits.

Do not attach documents or exhibits to appellate briefs or motions for reconsideration.

(h) Address of Defendant.

Counsel for defendant shall include the address of the defendant in a criminal case on the face of the brief and shall notify the Court of any change of address. Efilers shall submit this information in the eFast system under the filing category “Other” and the filing type “Information.”

Rule 25. Structure and Content.

(a) Appellant.

The brief of appellant shall consist of three parts:

(1) Part One shall contain a succinct and accurate statement of the proceedings below and the material facts relevant to the appeal; a citation of the parts of the record or transcript essential to a consideration of the errors; and a statement of the method by which each enumeration of error was preserved for consideration. Parties are encouraged but not required to include a summary of argument section in their briefs.

(2) Part Two shall consist of the enumeration of errors and shall contain a statement of jurisdiction as to why this Court, and not the Supreme Court, has jurisdiction. A separately filed enumeration of errors is not required.

(3) Part Three shall contain the argument and citation of authorities. It shall also include a concise statement of the applicable standard of review with supporting authority for each issue presented in the brief.

(b) Appellee.

The brief of appellee shall be divided in the following manner:

(1) Part One shall point out any material inaccuracy or incompleteness of appellant’s statement of facts and any additional statement of facts deemed necessary, plus citations to additional parts of the record or transcript deemed material. Failure to do so shall constitute consent to a decision based on the appellant’s statement of facts. Except as controverted, appellant’s statement of facts may be accepted by this Court as true.

(2) Part Two shall contain appellee’s argument and the citation of authorities as to each enumeration of error. It shall also include the standard of review if different from that contended by the appellant.

 (c) General Provisions.

(1) Sequence of Arguments.

The sequence of arguments in the briefs shall follow the order of the enumeration of errors, and shall be numbered accordingly.

(2) Unsupported Claim of Error; References to Record and Transcripts.

Any enumeration of error that is not supported in the brief by citation of authority or argument may be deemed abandoned.

(i) Each enumerated error shall be supported in the brief by specific reference to the record or transcript. In the absence of a specific reference, the Court will not search for and may not consider that enumeration.

(ii) A contention that certain matters are not supported by the record may be answered by reference to particular volume and pages where the matters appear.

(3) Citations to the record.

Reference to a paper record should be indicated by the volume number of the appellate record and the trial court’s stamped page number (Vol. Number - Stamped Number; for example, V2-46).

Reference to an electronic record should be indicated by the volume number of the electronic record and the PDF page number within that volume (Vol. Number - PDF Page Number; for example, V2-46).

Citations to audio and video recordings should identify the recording itself according to its location in the record and specify the relevant portion of the recording by indicating the time range during which the cited material is found.

(4) Sealing Briefs or Motions.

No briefs or motions shall be filed under seal unless counsel has moved the Court for permission to file under seal and the Court has granted the motion.

Rule 26. Amicus Curiae Briefs.

Amicus curiae briefs may be filed without leave of Court, disclosing the identity and interest of the person or group on whose behalf the brief is filed and limited to issues properly raised by the parties. Only members of the Bar of this Court or attorneys appearing by courtesy may file amicus curiae briefs. Amicus curiae briefs shall conform to Rule 24 (b)-(g), Preparation of Briefs.

Rule 27. Supplemental Briefs.

(a) Guidelines.

Briefs of the parties shall be limited to an appellant’s brief, an appellee’s brief, and an appellant’s reply brief. Supplemental briefs may be filed only by leave of the Court. Counsel may file a motion for permission to file supplemental briefs. Counsel may not file a supplemental brief contemporaneously with the motion, but may include a copy of the supplemental brief with the motion for permission to file as an exhibit. Counsel shall file a supplemental brief, in compliance with the limitation on length at Rule 24 (f), only after permission to file is granted. If paper filing, only the original must be filed. A certificate of service must be attached to the supplemental brief, and service must be made upon opposing counsel.

(b) Letter Briefs and Communication with the Court.

Parties are not permitted to file letter briefs. Any communication with the Court regarding recent authority which comes to the attention of a party subsequent to the filing of the party’s brief or after oral argument, but before decision, must be filed in compliance with Rule 27 (a) above as a supplemental brief. Any response shall be made promptly and in accordance with this rule.