U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Appellate Procedure Guide
November 2014
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FILING AND SERVICE

FILING AND SERVICE
 
Electronic Filing and Service by Counsel
 
The Fourth Circuit adopted mandatory electronic filing by counsel for all cases effective June 1, 2008. Therefore, counsel must register for electronic filing and file and serve documents through the court’s CM/ECF system. Counsel unable to file electronically may request exemption for good cause shown in a particular case. Counsel appointed in the district court who wish to withdraw from CJA representation on appeal may file a motion to withdraw in paper form instead of registering for electronic filing for the sole purpose of withdrawing from the case. Electronic filing is complete at the time and date stated in the notice of docket activity.
 
CM/ECF automatically serves case participants who have registered with the court for electronic service; participants who do not receive electronic service through CM/ECF must be served by counsel as otherwise authorized by Fed. R. App. P. 25(c). A service preference report is available from the CM/ECF reports menu that identifies which participants counsel must serve conventionally. In addition, the notice of docket activity received upon completion of filing identifies the participants who must be served conventionally. In addition, sealed documents are not served through CM/ECF and must be served conventionally on any case participants authorized to see the sealed documents.
 
Paper Filing and Service by Pro Se Litigants
 
Pro se litigants are not required to file documents electronically, though they may request leave to file electronically in individual cases. Pro se documents filed in paper form should be addressed to: Patricia S. Connor, Clerk, United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, 1100 E. Main Street, Suite 501, Richmond, Virginia 23219-3517.
 
Filing is not timely unless the clerk receives the papers within the time fixed for filing. Fed. R. App. P. 25(a). However, papers filed by an inmate are timely if deposited in the institution’s internal mailing system on or before the last day for filing, and briefs are timely filed if placed in first-class mail or dispatched to a third-party courier within the time fixed for filing. Documents filed in paper form must be served in paper form, and the certificate of service must reflect service on opposing parties at the address of record.
 
Certificates of Service
 
Service on a party represented by counsel must be on all counsel of record, except as provided by rule or order. Fed. R. App. P. 25(b). Service may be personal, by mail, or by third-party commercial carrier for delivery within three days. Fed. R. App. P. 25(c). Service may also be made by electronic means if the party being served consents in writing. Service by electronic means is complete on transmission unless the party making service is notified that the paper was not received by the party served. Fed. R. App. P. 25(c).
 
All papers presented for filing must contain a signed certificate of service certifying the date and manner of service and the name and address of persons served. Fed. R. App. P. 25(d). If service was by fax or e-mail, the certificate must provide the fax number or e-mail address of the person served. Fed. R. App. P. 25(d). When a brief or appendix is filed by mailing or dispatch, the certificate of service must also state the date and manner by which the document was mailed or dispatched to the clerk. Fed. R. App. P. 25(d)(3). The notice of docket activity does not satisfy the certificate of service requirement.
 
Computation of Time
 
In computing any time period stated in days or a longer unit of time, “(A) exclude the day of the event that triggers the period; (B) count every day, including intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays; and (C) include the last day of the period, but if the last day is a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the period continues to run until the end of the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.” Fed. R. App. P. 26(a)(1).
 
In computing a time period stated in hours, “(A) begin counting immediately on the occurrence of the event that triggers the period; (B) count every hour, including hours during intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays; and (C) if the period would end on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the period continues to run until the same time on the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.” Fed. R. App. P. 26(a)(2).
 
Deadlines Running from Service of a Document
 
Whenever a party is required or permitted to act within a prescribed period after service of a paper upon that party, three days are added to this prescribed period unless the paper is delivered on the date of service stated in the proof of service. Fed. R. App. P. 26(c). A paper that is served electronically is not treated as delivered on the date of service; thus, the three-day rule applies to documents served by fax or e-mail. Fed. R. App. P. 26(c).
 
Specific Documents (chart)
 
File electronically in court of appeals. Exhibits should be filed as part of the Motion or Response/answer event, clearly identified by letter or number.
File electronically in court of appeals using BRIEF event; also file 8 paper copies (6 if counsel was appointed).
For briefing orders after September 1, 2014 - Standing Order 14-01 in appointed counsel and in forma pauperis cases: file 1 paper copy; if case is tentatively calendared for oral argument, file 3 additional paper copies within 10 days.
File electronically in court of appeals using SEALED BRIEF event; also file 4 paper copies.
For briefing orders after September 1, 2014 - Standing Order 14-01 in appointed counsel and in forma pauperis cases: file 1 paper copy; if case is tentatively calendared for oral argument, file 3 additional paper copies within 10 days.
File electronically in court of appeals using APPENDIX event. File 6 paper copies of appendix (5 if counsel was appointed).
For briefing orders after September 1, 2014 - Standing Order 14-01 in appointed counsel and in forma pauperis cases: file 1 paper copy; if case is tentatively calendared for oral argument, file 3 additional paper copies within 10 days.
File electronically in court of appeals using SEALED APPENDIX entry; also file 4 paper copies.
For briefing orders after September 1, 2014 - Standing Order 14-01 in appointed counsel and in forma pauperis cases: file 1 paper copy; if case is tentatively calendared for oral argument, file 3 additional paper copies within 10 days.
File electronically in court of appeals using entry Certificate of Confidentiality or MOTION/Seal; also file 1 paper copy with paper copy of sealed brief or appendix.
 
 
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