United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
Local Rules & Internal Operating Procedures
December 1, 2023

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Local Rule 30(a). Attorney Sanctions for Unnecessary Appendix Designations.
The Court, on its own motion or on motion of any party, may impose sanctions against attorneys who unreasonably and vexatiously increase the costs of litigation through the inclusion of unnecessary material in the appendix. Attorneys shall receive reasonable notice and opportunity to respond before the imposition of any sanction. A party's motion for the imposition of sanctions will be entertained only if filed within 14 days after entry of judgment and only if counsel for the moving party previously objected to the designation of the allegedly unnecessary material in writing to opposing counsel within 14 days of the material's designation.
Local Rule 30(b). Appendix Contents; Pagination; Number of Copies.
(1) Required Contents: In designating or agreeing upon the contents of the appendix, and in assembling the appendix, the parties should avoid unnecessary duplication of materials. The appellee's designation should only include those additional parts of the record to which it wishes to direct the Court's attention that have not already been designated by the appellant.
The use of a selectively abridged record allows the judges to refer easily to relevant parts of the record and saves the parties the considerable expense of reproducing the entire record. Although there is no limit on the length of the appendix except as provided in Local Rule 32(a), it is unnecessary to include everything in the appendix. The appendix should, however, contain the final order or order appealed from, the complaint or petition, as finally amended (civil appeals) or indictment (criminal appeals), as well as all other parts of the record which are vital to the understanding of the basic issues on appeal. Although the entire record is available to the Court should it believe that additional portions are important to a full understanding of the issues, citation to portions of the record not included in the appendix is not favored.
(2) Table of Contents; Witness Names and Type of Examination: The table of contents to the appendix should be sufficiently detailed to be helpful to the Court. Referring to the transcript of a trial under a single reference to "proceeding" or "trial transcript" is not sufficient. When the testimony of a witness is included in the appendix, the testimony should be clearly identified in the table of contents, beneath the proceeding in which it occurred. The name of the testifying witness and the type of examination (e.g., direct, cross, redirect, or recross) should also be clearly indicated at the top of each page of the appendix where the witness's testimony appears. Exhibits should be listed in the table of contents by number or letter and by name or brief description.
(3) Sentencing Guideline Appeals: In all criminal appeals seeking review of the application of the sentencing guidelines, appellant shall include the sentencing hearing transcript and presentence report in the appendix. The presentence report must be included in a separate sealed volume, stamped "SEALED" on the volume itself and on the envelope containing it, and be accompanied by a certificate stating that the volume contains sealed material. In criminal cases in which presentence reports are being filed for multiple defendants, each presentence report must be placed in a separate, sealed volume that is served only on counsel for the United States and for the defendant who is the subject of the report.
(4) Pagination: The pages of a joint or supplemental appendix must be numbered using the automated Bates numbering feature of the software used to convert the document to PDF and the format required by the Fourth Circuit Appendix Pagination & Brief Citation Guide.
(5) Number of Copies:
(A) Filing: One paper copy and one electronic copy of any joint, sealed, or supplemental appendix must be filed. The Court will order the filing of additional paper copies for oral argument or if otherwise needed by the Court.
(B) Service: If the electronic appendix is served on counsel and on any party not represented by counsel, service of the paper appendix is not required. One paper copy of any sealed appendix volume must be served on lead counsel for each party separately represented who is authorized to have access to the sealed volume and on any party not represented by counsel who is authorized to have access to the sealed volume.
Local Rule 30(c). Responsibility of Parties.
Notwithstanding that FRAP 30 provides that the appellant shall prepare and file the appendix, the Court considers the coordination of preparing the appendix to be the responsibility of both sides. The failure of a side to designate does not absolve the other side from the responsibility.
Except under the most extraordinary circumstances, supplementary appendices will not be accepted. If the appellant omits from the appendix the portions designated by the appellee, the appellant will be required to file a corrected appendix incorporating such material, and to bear the cost regardless of the outcome of the appeal.
If a party files a motion for leave to file a supplemental appendix, the motion must specifically identify the contents of the supplemental appendix, state that the items are matters of record, and set forth good cause why the original appendix should not be returned for insertion of the additional materials.
Local Rule 30(d). Dispensing with Appendix.
Motions to proceed on the original record pursuant to FRAP 30(f) are carefully reviewed in the Fourth Circuit and are not usually granted unless the appellant is proceeding in forma pauperis, the record is short, or the appeal is expedited. Even if the motion is granted, counsel must include an abbreviated appendix consisting of:
i. pertinent district court docket entries,
ii. indictment or complaint,
iii. judgment or order being appealed,
iv. notice of appeal,
v. any crucial portions of the transcript of proceedings referred to in appellant's brief, and
vi. a copy of the order granting leave to proceed on the original record.
The requisite number of copies of the abbreviated appendix as set forth in Local Rule 30(b) must be filed with the brief.