The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals—like all of the federal circuit courts—uses both the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure (FRAP), as well as its own set of local rules.

One important deviation from the FRAP in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals is the record excerpt requirement. FRAP Rule 30 requires the appellant to file an appendix that includes the relevant docket entries and pleadings, the order or judgment being appealed, and then generally those parts of the record below that will help the appellate court in its deliberations.

fifth cir rec exAdditionally, FRAP Rule 30 notes that “[t]he parties are encouraged to agree on the contents of the appendix.” If the parties cannot agree, the Rule provides a scheme for the parties to designate certain parts of the record for inclusion in the appendix.

But in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, Local Rule 30 declares that “[r]ecord excerpts are filed in lieu of the appendix prescribed by [FRAP Rule 30].” Generally, record excerpts have a more specifically described set of requirements. In the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, record excerpts are delineated into a set of expressly required contents (LR 30.1.4), and an additional set of optional contents (LR 30.1.5).

The appellant must file its record excerpts with its principal brief, and the appellee has the option of filing a separate set of record excerpts. The local rule makes no provision for a cooperative set of record excerpts.

Appeals to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals seeking a review of an agency decision do not require either appendices or record excerpts. Instead, the agency’s record will be independently transmitted to the Court. The parties need only file their briefs.

If you are filing in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, you can contact Cockle Legal Briefs to speak with an expert on the filing requirements of that Court.