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Frequently Asked Questions

 
Updated August 21, 2015

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

(updated August 2015)

 

FILING

What is the Court’s address?

Mailing Address for
U.S. Postal Service

Mailing Address for
Overnight Delivery
(FedEx, UPS, etc.)

Street Address

Office of the Clerk
James R. Browning Courthouse
U.S. Court of Appeals
P.O. Box 193939
San Francisco, CA
94119-3939

Office of the Clerk
James R. Browning Courthouse
U.S. Court of Appeals
95 Seventh Street
San Francisco, CA
94103-1526

95 Seventh Street
San Francisco, CA
94103       

Public entrance is at
the corner of 7th Street
and Mission Street.

 

1. Where can I find information about electronic filing and the Appellate Case Management/Electronic Case Files (“CM/ECF”) system?

All information about electronic filing and Appellate CM/ECF is available at http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/cmecf/     

 

2. What hours are you open for filing and are you open during the lunch hour?

The courthouse is open from 8:30 am - 5:00 pm Monday through Friday, except federal holidays. Yes, we are open during the lunch hour.

Appellate CM/ECF allows you to file documents electronically 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  For information about system outages, check http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/cmecf/.

 

3. Is a document considered timely if it is served on the due date?

Only briefs and excerpts of record are considered timely when served on the due date.  All other documents, including motions, petitions for rehearing, and bill of costs, must be delivered to the court or electronically filed no later than the due date.  See Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 25(a)(2)(A) and (a)(2)(B).                   

 

4. What should I do if I have an emergency motion?

Any emergency situation must be brought to the attention of the Motions Unit.  During business hours, call the Motions Unit directly at (415) 355-8020.  After hours, call (415) 355-8509.  See 9th Circuit Rule 27-3.

 

5. What color should I use for the cover of my brief?

Opening Brief by appellant and petitioner:                                   Blue
Answering Brief by appellee and respondent: Red
Reply Brief: Gray
Brief by amicus and intervenor: Green
Second Brief on Cross-appeal: Red
Third Brief on Cross-appeal: Yellow
Supplemental Brief: Tan

 

6. What are the page or word limitations for my brief?

The length of a principal brief may not exceed 30 pages unless it complies with Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 32 (a)(5), (a)(7)(B) and (a)(7)(C) which limits the principal brief to 14,000 words of 14-point type or, if using a monospace type face (such as Courier), not more than 1,300 lines of text.

Reply briefs may not exceed 15 pages, or alternatively may not contain more than half of the type volume specified above.                                    

 

7. What belongs in the Excerpts of Record and what color is the cover?

Please read 9th Circuit Rule 30-1 for an explanation of the contents of the Excerpts of Record.  Excerpts have white covers. 

Unrepresented litigants are not required to file Excerpts of Record. 

Petitioners challenging an order of the Board of Immigration Appeals are exempted from the Excerpts requirement but must include an addendum (the decision by the immigration judge or Board of Immigration Appeals) which should be bound with the brief pursuant to 9th Circuit Rule 28-2.7. 

Note that, as of March 1, 2013, Excerpts of Record must be submitted electronically.   See www.ca9.uscourts.gov/excerpts               

 

8. If I filed a document electronically, how many paper copies should I send to the Court?

Briefs: 7 copies, but send paper copies to the Court only after you receive an order requesting them.

Excerpts: 4 copies, but send paper copies to the Court only after you receive an order requesting them.

Everything else: None, unless the Court orders you to submit paper copies.

 

9. If I am filing a document by paper and not electronically via the Appellate ECF system, how many paper copies should I send to the Court?

Briefs: Original + 7 copies of the brief
Excerpts of Record: 4 copies
Everything else: Only the original paper document

Note that, as of July 1, 2013, Presentence Reports must be submitted electronically.  See 9th Cir. R. 30-1.10.

At its discretion, the Court may order that additional paper copies of any document be filed.

For a copy stamped “Filed” (a “conformed copy”), please provide an extra copy of the document along with a self-addressed label.   

 

10. Can I speak to a judge about my case?

No, all questions about your case should be directed to the Clerk either by calling (415) 355-8000 or by putting your question in writing.  See 9th Circuit Rule 25-2.                 

                                                                                                                 

FEES/COPIES

11. How can I obtain a copy of a decision?

Decisions are available on PACER and are also available for free at http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov under Opinions.

 

12. What are the most common fees in the Ninth Circuit (as of December 1, 2013)?

Petition for Review: $500.00
Petition for Writ of Mandamus: $500.00
Attorney Admission: $230.00
Certificate of Good Standing: $18.00
BIA Record on CD: $30.00
Certified Decision: $13.00                               
Certified Docket: $14.00                                            

 

13. Where do I file a Notice of Appeal and where do I pay the fee?

Where to file:

You must file your Notice of Appeal in the originating court (the district court, BAP, bankruptcy court, or tax court).

Where to pay fee:

District Court:  The $505.00 filing fee is collected by the district court. Partial payments are collected by the district court.

BAP:  The fee for 9th Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (“BAP”) cases are payable to “Clerk, U.S. Courts” and collected by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals using the San Francisco address.  

Tax Court:  The fee for Tax Court cases is collected by the Tax Court.  See 9th Circuit Rule 3-1.                                       

 

14. How can I obtain a copy of the 9th Circuit Rules or General Orders?

Both documents are available for free at http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov under Rules.

 

15. How can I get copies of forms?

Forms are available at http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov under Forms. You may also call the Clerk’s Office at (415) 355-8000 or send a written request.

 

 

BRIEFING/HEARING PROCESS

16. How long does it take from the time of the notice of appeal until oral argument?

For a civil appeal, approximately 12-20 months from the notice of appeal date.  If briefing isn’t delayed, approximately 9-12 months from completion of briefing.

For a criminal appeal, approximately 4-5 months after briefing is complete.

 

17. How long does it take from the time of argument to the time of decision?

The Court has no time limit, but most cases are decided within 3 months to a year.

 

18. How long does it take to decide a petition for panel rehearing or petition for rehearing en banc?

The Court has no time limit.  A decision on a petition for rehearing en banc may take a few months.

 

19. How can I get a copy of a brief, motion, etc.?

All documents filed after January 1, 2009 (with the exception of Excerpts of Record filed before March 1, 2013, and sealed documents) are available online via PACER.  For more information on PACER, go to http://www.pacer.gov/psc/faq.html                                                        

 

For documents of up to 10 pages, the Clerk’s Office will copy them for
$0.50 per page.  You can come to the Court and copy any documents for
$0.25 per page on the public copy machine.  Court documents cannot be
taken outside the Court for copying/

 

20. How can I get an audio copy of an oral argument?

Oral arguments are available for free at http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov under Audio and Video.                 

 

21. Is there public wireless (WiFi) access in the courtrooms?

In San Francisco, WiFi access is not available in the courtrooms, but it is available in the café. 

In Pasadena, WiFi access is not available in the courtrooms, but it is available in the attorney lounges and the library.

In Seattle, WiFi access is available in all courtrooms.     

In Portland, WiFi access is not available in the courtrooms, but it is available in the attorney lounge.

           

ATTORNEY ADMISSIONS

A list of frequently asked questions (“FAQs”) concerning Attorney Admissions is available at:                  http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/uploads/forms/atty_faqs.pdf

 
 



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