U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Appellate Procedure Guide
September 2014
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APPELLATE DEADLINES

APPELLATE DEADLINES
 
FRAP 4: For civil cases, notice must be filed in district court within 30 days after entry of judgment (60 days if federal government a party), or within 14 days after filing of a timely notice of appeal by any other party. For criminal cases, defendant's notice must be filed in district court within 14 days after entry of judgment or within 14 days after filing of a timely appeal by the government; the government's notice of appeal must be filed within 30 days after entry of judgment or within 30 days after filing of a timely appeal by the defendant. See the rule for extensions based on post-judgment filings.
FRAP 13: Notice of appeal must be filed in tax court within 90 days after entry of tax court's decision or within 120 days after tax court's decision if any other party has filed a timely notice of appeal.
FRAP 15: Petition for review of agency order must be filed within the court of appeals within the time prescribed by law.
FRAP 15: An answer to an application for enforcement of an agency order must be served within 21 days after filing of the application.
28 USC § 1292(b): A petition for permission to appeal an order certified by the district court to involve a controlling question of law as to which there is substantial ground for difference of opinion and as to which immediate appeal would materially advance the termination of the litigation must be filed in the court of appeals within 10 days after entry of the order.
28 USC § 1453(c): A petition for permission to appeal an order remanding a class action to the state court from which it was removed must be filed within 10 days after entry of the order.
Fed R Civ P 23(f): A petition for permission to appeal an order granting or denying class-action certification must be filed within 14 days after entry of the order.
FRAP 5: The petition must not exceed 20 pages, exclusive of disclosure statement, certificate of service, and attachments.
28 USC § 158(d)(2): Any request by a party that the bankruptcy court or district court certify a bankruptcy court order for direct appeal to the court of appeals on the basis that the order involves a question of law as to which there is no controlling decision, that involves a matter of public importance, that requires resolution of conflicting decisions, or as to which an immediate appeal would materially advance the progress of the case must be filed within 60 days after entry of the order.
Bankr R 8001(f): A petition for permission to appeal directly from the bankruptcy court to the court of appeals must be filed within 30 days after certification of the order becomes effective. A certification does not become effective unless an appeal is filed within 14 days under Bankr R. 8002.
FRAP 5: The petition must not exceed 20 pages, exclusive of disclosure statement, certificate of service, and attachments.
FRAP 5: A party may file an answer in opposition or a cross-petition within 10 days after service of the petition. The answer or cross-petition must not exceed 20 pages, exclusive of disclosure statement, certificate of service, and attachments.
FRAP 21: The rules do not prescribe a time period for filing a petition for writ of mandamus or prohibition, but state that the petition may not exceed 30 pages, exclusive of disclosure statement, certificate of service, and attachments.
FRAP 21: The court may deny the petition without answer or order the respondent to answer within a fixed time. The rules do not establish a time period, but the court generally uses a 10-day period. The answer may not exceed 30 pages, exclusive of disclosure statement, certificate of service, and attachments.
FRAP 24: If leave to proceed in forma pauperis has not been granted by the district court, an application to proceed in forma pauperis on appeal must be filed in the court of appeals within the 15-day period set by the court's fee notice or within the subsequent 15-day period set by the court's Local Rule 45 notice.
Loc R 46(c): Each attorney of record must file an appearance of counsel within 14 days after docketing of the appeal or after being retained or appointed.
Loc R 26.1: A party in a civil, agency, bankruptcy, or mandamus case, other than the United States or a party proceeding in forma pauperis, must file a disclosure statement, except that a state or local government is not required to file a disclosure statement in a case in which the opposing party is proceeding without counsel. A corporate party in a criminal or post-conviction case, and a corporate amicus curiae, must also file a disclosure statement. The disclosure statement must be filed within 14 days after docketing of the appeal unless earlier pleadings are filed for the court's consideration, in which case the disclosure statement must be filed at that time. The disclosure statement must also be included in the party's principal brief.
Docketing statement (civil/agency)
Loc R 3(b): Counsel filing a notice of appeal, petition for review, or application for enforcement must file a docketing statement within 14 days after docketing of the appeal. If an opposing party wishes to object to the docketing statement, such objection must be filed within 10 days after service of the docketing statement.
FRAP 10(b): Appellant must order any necessary transcript within 14 days of filing the appeal. The transcript order form, and CJA 24 voucher if transcript costs are to be paid under the Criminal Justice Act, must be transmitted to the court reporter and the district court, and attached to the docketing statement filed in the court of appeals. If appellee believes additional portions of the transcript are needed, appellee must file and serve on appellant a designation of additional parts to be ordered within 14 days after service of the transcript order form. Unless appellant orders the additional parts within 14 days after service of the designation, the appellee may, within the following 14 days, either order the parts or move in the district court for an order requiring the appellant to do so.
FRAP 44: If a party questions the constitutionality of a federal law in a case in which the federal government is not a party, or the constitutionality of a state law in a case in which the state government is not a party, the questioning party must give written notice to the court upon filing of the record or as soon as the question is raised so that the clerk can certify that fact to the attorney general.
FRAP 17: The agency must file the administrative record within 40 days after filing of the briefing order in an agency case.
FRAP 27: Application for an order or other relief is made by a motion, the length of which may not exceed 20 pages, exclusive of the disclosure statement and attachments. In cases in which all parties are represented by counsel, the motion must state that the other parties have been informed of the intended filing of the motion and indicate whether the other parties consent or intend to file responses in opposition. Loc R 27(a). With the following exceptions, the rules do not establish deadlines for the filing of motions.
FRAP 16(d): A motion to intervene in an agency review proceeding must be filed within 30 days of filing of the petition for review.
Loc R 31(c): A motion for extension of time to file a brief must be filed well in advance of the brief due date.
Loc R 27(b): Any party adversely affected by an order of the clerk may file a motion to reconsider the clerk's action within 14 days after entry of the order.
Loc R 27(f): A motion for summary disposition should be made only after briefs are filed. If submitted before completion of the briefing schedule, the court will defer action on the motion until the case is mature for full consideration.
Loc R 30(a): A motion for sanctions for unnecessary appendix designations must be filed within 14 days after entry of judgment, and will be considered only if counsel objected to the designation of unnecessary material in writing to opposing counsel within 14 days of the designation.
Loc R 34(c): Any motion that would affect the argument date of a case must be filed within the 10-day period established by the notice that a case has been tentatively assigned to a particular argument session.
Loc R 34(d): A motion for additional argument time must be filed well in advance of the hearing date and set forth the position of opposing counsel.
Loc R 34(e): Any motion to submit on the briefs must be filed as soon as possible upon completion of the briefing schedule or within 10 days of tentative notification of argument, whichever is earlier.
FRAP 41: Any motion to stay the mandate must be filed prior to issuance of the mandate. The mandate issues 7 days after the time to file a petition for rehearing expires, or 7 days after entry of an order denying a timely petition for rehearing or rehearing en banc, or a motion for stay of mandate.
FRAP 27: A response to a motion must be filed within 10 days after service of the motion unless the court shortens or extends the time. A motion authorized by Rules 8, 9, 18, or 41 may be granted before the 10-day period runs only if the court gives reasonable notice to the parties that it intends to act sooner. Responses must not exceed 20 pages, exclusive of the disclosure statement and attachments.
FRAP 27: Any reply to a response must be filed within 7 days after service of the response. The court will not ordinarily await the filing of a reply before reviewing a motion and response. If movant intends to file a reply and does not want the court to actively consider the motion and response until a reply is filed, the movant should notify the clerk in writing of the intended filing of the reply and request that the court not act until the reply is received.
 
FRAP 30: Unless deferred under FRAP 30(c), appellant must file the joint appendix at the time of filing the opening brief. The appendix must comply with the Fourth Circuit Brief & Appendix Requirements. In court-appointed cases, the appendix cannot exceed 250 double-sided sheets without advance permission of the court.
FRAP 31: In civil cases, appellant's opening brief must be filed within 40 days after filing of the briefing order.
Loc R 31(a): In criminal cases, appellant's opening brief must be filed within 35 days after filing of the briefing order.
FRAP 32(a): The opening brief may not exceed 14,000 words, must be accompanied by a certificate of compliance and must satisfy the Fourth Circuit Brief & Appendix Requirements.
FRAP 31: In civil cases, appellee's response brief must be filed within 30 days after service of appellant's opening brief.
Loc R 31(a): In criminal cases, appellee's response brief must be filed within 21 days after service of appellant's opening brief.
FRAP 32(a): The response brief may not exceed 14,000 words, must be accompanied by a certificate of compliance, and must satisfy the Fourth Circuit Brief & Appendix Requirements.
FRAP 28.1: In civil cross-appeals, appellee's opening/response brief must be filed within 30 days after service of appellant's opening brief.
Loc R 31(a): In criminal cross-appeals, appellee's opening/response brief must be filed within 21 days after service of appellant's opening brief.
FRAP 28.1: The opening/response brief may not exceed 16,500 words, must be accompanied by a certificate of compliance, and must satisfy the Fourth Circuit Brief & Appendix Requirements.
FRAP 28.1: In civil cross-appeals, appellant's response/reply brief must be filed within 30 days after service of appellee's opening/response brief.
Loc R 31(a): In criminal cross-appeals, appellant's response/reply brief must be filed within 21 days after service of appellee's opening/response brief.
FRAP 28.1: The response/reply brief may not exceed 14,000 words, must be accompanied by a certificate of compliance, and must satisfy the Fourth Circuit Brief & Appendix Requirements.
FRAP 31: In civil cases, the reply brief must be filed within 14 days after service of the response brief or the response/reply brief.
Loc R 31(a): In criminal cases, the reply brief must be filed within 10 days after service of the response brief or the response/reply brief.
FRAP 32(a): The reply brief may not exceed 7,000 words, must be accompanied by a certificate of compliance, and must satisfy the Fourth Circuit Brief & Appendix Requirements.
FRAP 16(d): A person wishing to intervene in an agency review proceeding must file a motion for leave to intervene within 30 days after the petition for review is filed.
FRAP 29(e): An amicus curiae must file its brief, accompanied by a motion for filing when necessary, no later than 7 days after the principal brief of the party being supported is filed. An amicus that does not support either party must file its brief no later than 7 days after the appellant's opening brief is filed. The court may grant leave for later filing, specifying the time within which the opposing party may answer.
Anders v. California, 388 U.S. 738 (1967): If appellate counsel is convinced, after obtaining and reviewing the entire record in a criminal appeal, that the appeal is frivolous, an Anders brief is filed, raising anything in the record that could possibly support an appeal. A copy of counsel's brief is served on the defendant with a letter advising the defendant that the court will afford him time to raise any issues he may wish to pursue. The court then notifies the defendant that he has 30 days to file his pro se brief under Anders.
Loc R 34(b): In pro se cases, the court sets an informal briefing schedule that requires the filing of appellant's informal opening brief within 21 days of service of the briefing order. The court sets a preliminary informal briefing schedule in all non-capital cases in which a certificate of appealability is needed under FRAP 22(b). The preliminary informal briefing schedule requires the filing of an informal opening brief within 21 days of service of the briefing order for the court to use in considering whether to grant a certificate of appealability. No deadline is set for a response brief unless a certificate of appealability is granted.
Loc R 34(b): In pro se cases, appellee may (but is not required to) file an informal response brief within 14 days after service of the informal opening brief.
Loc R 34(b): In pro se cases, appellant may file an informal reply brief within 10 days after service of the informal response brief.
Loc R 34(c): Counsel must notify the clerk of any conflict with proposed argument dates within the 10-day period established by the notice that a case has been tentatively assigned to a particular argument session.
FRAP 40: A petition for rehearing must be filed within 14 days after entry of judgment, but in a civil case in which the United States or its agency or officer is a party, any party may file a petition for rehearing within 45 days after entry of judgment. A petition for rehearing must not exceed 15 pages.
Loc R 40(c): The court strictly enforces the time limits for filing petitions for rehearing. The only grounds for extension are the death or serious illness of counsel, a pro se party, or a family member of counsel or a pro se party; or an extraordinary circumstance wholly beyond the control of counsel or a pro se party.
Loc R 35(a): A petition for rehearing en banc must be made at the same time and in the same document as a petition for rehearing; the combined document may not exceed 15 pages.
FRAP 40: Unless the court requests, no answer to a petition for panel rehearing is permitted. If an answer is requested, the court generally allows 10 days.
FRAP 35: Unless the court orders, no response may be filed to a petition for rehearing en banc. If a response is ordered, the court generally allows 10 days.
FRAP 39: A prevailing party who wants costs taxed must file a bill of costs within 14 days after entry of judgment.
FRAP 39: Objections to a bill of costs must be filed within 14 days after service of the bill of costs.
CJA Implementation Plan: Appointed or assigned counsel's compensation voucher is due within 60 days of entry of judgment, denial of a petition for rehearing, or the grant or denial of a petition for certiorari, whichever is later.
Local Rule 46(d): To ensure compliance with the requirement that counsel receiving a written request that a certiorari petition be filed in a criminal case either file a petition for certiorari or move to withdraw on the basis that a certiorari petition would be frivolous, the court requires counsel to file a certiorari status form within 60 days after entry of judgment.
IOP 41.2: A petition for writ of certiorari must be filed with the Supreme Court within 90 days after entry of judgment. The time runs from issuance of the court's decision or from denial of a timely petition for rehearing or rehearing en banc, not from issuance of the mandate.