When you have a case pending in this court and you want to ask the court to do something, you need to file a written request in your case. The court generally will not take action in your case based on a phone call or email.

Rules and Forms

  • Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 27 and Ninth Circuit Rule 27 govern motions in the Ninth Circuit. See rules.
  • This court’s general orders also cover certain motions, such as motions for reinstatement (General Order 2.4), motions for stays of removal (General Order 6.4(c)), and motions for reconsideration en banc (General Order 6.11)”
  • The court provides forms for various types of motions
  • A group of outside appellate lawyer representatives maintain an informal practice guide for the Ninth Circuit that is updated periodically

Timeline for Motions

Under Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 27, the response to a motion is due 10 days after the motion is filed, and the optional reply in support of the motion is due 7 days after the response is filed, unless the court orders otherwise. If you want the court to set a shorter schedule for a motion, you should make your request as soon as possible.

A motion should include the position of the opposing party or parties. See Ninth Circuit Rule 27-1(2); Circuit Advisory Committee Note to Rule 27-1(5). The court may resolve a procedural motion without waiting for a response. See Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 27(b).

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Effect of Motions on Briefing

Certain motions automatically stay the briefing schedule until the motions are decided. See Ninth Circuit Rule 27-11. Those motions include motions to dismiss, motions to transfer, motions to remand, motions to proceed in forma pauperis, motions for transcripts at government expense, and motions to appoint or withdraw counsel. Additionally, a motion for summary disposition will stay briefing until the motion is decided; if you file a motion for summary disposition you do not need to separately request to stay briefing. The briefing schedules will be reset as needed when the above motions are resolved.

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Emergency Motions

An emergency motion is one where the filing party needs relief within 21 days to avoid irreparable harm. See Ninth Circuit Rule 27-3. The court generally considers only a substantive request, like a motion for stay or injunction, to be an emergency. A procedural request, like a request for an extension of time, is not considered an emergency, regardless of how quickly the relief is sought. See Circuit Advisory Committee Note to Rule 27-3.

Emergency motions must comply with all the requirements for other motions and must include a Circuit Rule 27-3 Certificate that explains, among other things, the facts showing the nature of the emergency, whether you have sought the relief before the district court or agency first, and why you could not have filed the motion sooner. See Ninth Circuit Rule 27-3. Also, if you plan to file an emergency motion or you have just filed an emergency motion you must contact the court (See Contacting the Court below). Circuit Advisory Committee Note to Rule 27-3. If you plan to file your emergency motion in a case that has not yet been opened, file your notice of appeal or original action as soon as possible, because you will not be able to file your motion until the court opens the case.

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Contacting the Court

The court has two email addresses regarding motions, one for emergency motions and one for all other motions. Choosing the right one will help the court process your matter most efficiently. The court generally considers only substantive matters to be emergencies; procedural requests like motions for extensions of time are not considered emergencies (See Emergency Motions above). Circuit Advisory Committee Note to Rule 27-3.


You can contact the court about an emergency motion by emailing Emergency@ca9.uscourts.gov. If you are unable to email, you can call the court at 415.355.8020 and leave a message. If you are contacting the court about an emergency motion that you have just filed or plan to file, please include your case information, when you filed or plan to file your motion, what type of relief you seek, and by when you seek relief.

The court monitors emails and phone messages during business hours (8:30am-5:00pm Monday through Friday). The court also monitors emails and phone messages periodically after hours and on holidays and weekends, though you should make every effort to contact the court during business hours if possible. If you contact the court after hours, you will receive a response the next business day unless the court determines that a more immediate response is needed.

Other Motions

You will be notified when the court rules on a motion in your case. You can check the electronic docket in a case to make sure you didn’t miss a notice. If you have concerns or questions that you have not yet raised with the court about a pending motion, you can email Motions@ca9.uscourts.gov.

Other Inquiries

For questions about opening a new case in the court of appeals or general questions about the court, email Questions@ca9.uscourts.gov.

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Specific Motions

Motion to Expedite

The court will only expedite a case under specific circumstances, for example where expediting is required to avoid irreparable harm or mootness. See Ninth Circuit Rule 27-12. If you plan to seek expedited consideration of a case, please do so as early as possible. In your motion to expedite, you should include the latest date by which the case must be decided to avoid the claimed harm. If you propose an expedited briefing schedule, make sure to allow a significant amount of time after briefing is complete for the court to process, review, consider, and decide the case.

Motion to Extend Time

In most cases, each party is entitled to one streamlined extension of time of up to 30 days to file an opening, answering, reply, or cross-appeal brief. See Ninth Circuit Rule 31-2.2(a). Streamlined extensions of time are not available in preliminary injunctions appeals, recalcitrant witness appeals, appeals under the Class Action Fairness Act, cases that have been expedited, or cases where the court has issued a Notice of Oral Argument. If you are not entitled to a streamlined extension of time for any reason, you must request any extension of time in writing.

If you request an extension of time to file a brief, a response to a motion, or any other filing, and the court does not rule on your request by the original due date, the court ordinarily will grant some additional time even if it does not grant your request in full. See, e.g., Circuit Advisory Committee Note to Rule 31-2.2. If the court has not ruled by the date that you requested, you should submit your filing by that date. See, e.g., Circuit Advisory Committee Note to Rule 31-2.2.

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Court Expectations Re Briefing

The court’s new case filings are down and its backlog of pending cases is substantially reduced. For the first time in many years, the court is able to assign most cases to panels shortly after briefing is complete. As a result, the court has tightened initial briefing schedules, including transcript designation deadlines, where possible.

The court also aims to limit the number and length of extensions of time to file briefs. Written motions to extend time must include specific reasons why the current due date is not feasible and it is expected that litigants will no longer deprioritize this court’s deadlines.

While written motions to further extend time will not be routinely granted, the court will continue to approve reasonable requests to accommodate unavoidable conflicts.

The court recognizes that this is a shift from prior court practice, requiring re-prioritization of work across attorneys and offices with finite resources. The court appreciates best efforts to adapt to the court’s new policy and to support the court’s mission to resolve cases as promptly as possible.