Supreme Court Rule 29.2 – the Court’s Mailbox Rule – operates so that a document is filed if, on or before its due date, it is:
- Received by the Clerk;
- Shipped to the Clerk through the United States Postal Service using postmarked first-class mail (a commercial postage meter cannot be used); or
- Handed to a third-party commercial carrier for delivery to the Clerk within three calendar days.
The Rule is based on a presumption of reliability of the Postal Service and third party commercial carriers like FedEx and UPS. At Cockle Legal Briefs, we prefer option 3 and use FedEx and UPS for delivery to the Clerk because:
- You have more time to perfect your brief. The majority of briefs that we file are printed on their due date (i.e., the last possible day to file under the Court’s rules). In fact, we frequently take a customer’s final edits at 12:00 PM CST on their due date. We leave enough time to finalize printing so that the briefs are packaged and awaiting the arrival of FedEx and UPS at 5:30 PM CST. In the case of an extremely late print run we can even drive the briefs directly to the airport where the carrier’s last flight of the day awaits.
- We watch each brief get filed, 15 feet from this desk. Your brief is filed the moment the carrier scans your package with its barcode reader. This is true regardless of what may happen to the package while in transit.
- You have satisfied your Rule 29.2 obligation the moment your briefs are picked up. The trackable shipping label is proof positive that your brief has been filed. Ask your D.C. printer if they can file a brief with the Supreme Court after the Court has closed for the day!
We only suggest hand delivery to the Court (option 1) for briefs that have an ‘in court’ due date. For example, a merits-stage reply brief must be in court no later than 2:00 PM EST one week before oral argument is scheduled. Under this option, a brief will not be filed until it is actually received by the Clerk, so for this option we would use our courier in D.C. for hand delivery.
Option 2 is undesirable due in part to the time it takes to drive to the post office, wait in line for a representative, and then drive back to our office. Plus, commercial carriers offer superior package tracking capabilities.
Our streamlined process, close relationships with the Clerk and third party carriers, and proximity to the carriers’ airport facilities allow us to lead the nation in Supreme Court brief printing and filing. Call us today to discuss your brief printing schedule!