motionMost motions and applications made to the Supreme Court involve routine matters of procedure that don’t go to the merits of a case – such as a request for enlargement of a filing deadline or to dispense with the preparation of the joint appendix.  Rules 21 and 22 generally govern these submissions.  Counsel is advised to concisely state what relief is required and the reason it should be granted.  These documents and any related papers are either acted upon by the Clerk’s Office or forwarded to the appropriate Justice for consideration.

Booklet Format Motions and Applications

Rule 21.2 provides that motions to the Court that are likely to raise controversial questions of substance, including motions “the granting of which would dispose of the entire case or would affect the final judgment to be entered,” must satisfy the booklet format as prescribed in Rule 33.1.  Forty copies should be filed with the Court and three copies will be served on opposing counsel.  These filings include:

  • Motions for leave to file a brief as amicus curiae
  • Motions in original action cases
  • Motions to dismiss or affirm in jurisdictional statement cases
  • Motion for leave to file a supplemental brief after oral argument

Non-Booklet Format Motions and Applications

The Court’s requirements here are not as highly technical.  These documents can be printed on plain 8 ½- by 11-inch paper and stapled in the upper left-hand corner.  A signed original and two additional copies will be filed with the Court and one copy will be served on opposing counsel.  The first page should bear the case caption and include a corporate disclosure statement if filed on behalf of a corporation.  These filings include:

  • Applications for extension of time (read this post re: cert. petitions)
  • Motions to substitute one public officer for another
  • Motions for stay of execution
  • Motions for bail
  • Motions to withdraw appearance of counsel
  • Motions to dispense with a printed appendix
  • Applications to file documents in excess of applicable word limits
  • Motions concerning oral argument
  • Motions to proceed in forma pauperis, as a veteran, or as a seamen
  • Objection to the filing of an amicus curiae brief
  • Motions to file a document under seal
  • Motions to defer consideration or amend a petition for certiorari