|     printer icon  Printer-friendly version of this page

2014 California Rules of Court

Rule 8.212. Service and filing of briefs

(a) Time to file

(1)An appellant must serve and file its opening brief within:

(A)40 days after the record-or the reporter's transcript, after a rule 8.124 election-is filed in the reviewing court; or

(B)70 days after the filing of a rule 8.124 election, if the appeal proceeds without a reporter's transcript.

(2)A respondent must serve and file its brief within 30 days after the appellant files its opening brief.

(3)An appellant must serve and file its reply brief, if any, within 20 days after the respondent files its brief.

(Subd (a) amended effective January 1, 2010; previously amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(b) Extensions of time

(1)Except as otherwise provided by statute, the parties may extend each period under (a) by up to 60 days by filing one or more stipulations in the reviewing court before the brief is due. Stipulations must be signed by and served on all parties.

(2)A stipulation under (1) is effective on filing. The reviewing court may not shorten a stipulated extension.

(3)Before the brief is due, a party may apply to the presiding justice for an extension of each period under (a), or under rule 8.200(c)(6) or (7), on a showing that there is good cause and that:

(A)The applicant was unable to obtain-or it would have been futile to seek-the extension by stipulation; or

(B)The parties have stipulated to the maximum extension permitted under (1) and the applicant seeks a further extension.

(4)A party need not apply for an extension or relief from default if it can file its brief within the time prescribed by rule 8.220. The clerk must file a brief submitted within that time if it otherwise complies with these rules.

(Subd (b) amended effective January 1, 2014; previously amended effective January 1, 2003, July 1, 2005, January 1, 2007, January 1, 2010, January 1, 2011, and January 1, 2013.)

(c) Service

(1)One copy of each brief must be served on the superior court clerk for delivery to the trial judge.

(2)If a brief is not filed electronically under rules 8.70-8.79, one electronic copy of each brief must be submitted to the Court of Appeal. For purposes of this requirement, the term "brief" does not include a petition for rehearing or an answer thereto.

(A)The copy must be a single computer file in text-searchable Portable Document Format (PDF), and it must exactly duplicate the appearance of the paper copy, including the order and pagination of all of the brief's components. By electronically submitting the copy, the filer certifies that the copy complies with these requirements and that all reasonable steps have been taken to ensure that the copy does not contain computer code, including viruses, that might be harmful to the court's system for receipt of electronic copies or to other users of that system.

(B)If the Court of Appeal has ordered the brief sealed, the party serving the brief must include as the first page in the PDF document a cover sheet that contains the information required by rule 8.204(b)(10) and labels the contents as "CONDITIONALLY UNDER SEAL." The Court of Appeal clerk must promptly notify the Supreme Court of any court order unsealing the brief. In the absence of such notice, the Supreme Court clerk must keep all copies of the brief under seal.

(C)If it would cause undue hardship for the party filing the brief to submit an electronic copy of the brief to the Court of Appeal, the party may instead serve four paper copies of the brief on the Supreme Court. If the Court of Appeal has ordered the brief sealed, the party serving the brief must place all four copies of the brief in a sealed envelope and attach a cover sheet that contains the information required by rule 8.204(b)(10) and labels the contents as "CONDITIONALLY UNDER SEAL." The Court of Appeal clerk must promptly notify the Supreme Court of any court order unsealing the brief. In the absence of such notice, the Supreme Court clerk must keep all copies of the brief under seal.

(3)One copy of each brief must be served on a public officer or agency when required by rule 8.29.

(Subd (c) amended effective January 1, 2014; previously amended effective January 1, 2004, January 1, 2005, January 1, 2007, January 1, 2008, and January 1, 2013.)

Rule 8.212 amended effective January 1, 2014; repealed and adopted as rule 15 effective January 1, 2002; previously amended and renumbered effective January 1, 2007; previously amended effective January 1, 2003, January 1, 2004, January 1, 2005, July 1, 2005, January 1, 2008, January 1, 2010, January 1, 2011, and January 1, 2013.

Advisory Committee Comment

Subdivision (a). Note that the sequence and timing of briefing in appeals in which a party is both appellant and respondent (cross-appeals) are governed by rule 8.216. Typically, a cross-appellant's combined respondent's brief and opening brief must be filed within the time specified in (a)(2) for the respondent's brief.

Subdivision (b). Extensions of briefing time are limited by statute in some cases. For example, under Public Resources Code section 21167.6(h) in cases under section 21167, extensions are limited to one 30-day extension for the opening brief and one 30-day extension for "preparation of responding brief."

Under rule 8.42, the original signature of only one party is required on the stipulation filed with the court; the signatures of the other parties may be in the form of copies of the signed signature page of the document.

Subdivision (b)(2) clarifies that a party seeking an extension of time from the presiding justice must proceed by application under rule 8.50 rather than by motion under rule 8.54.

Subdivision (c). In subdivision (c)(2) the word "brief" means only (1) an appellant's opening brief, (2) a respondent's brief, (3) an appellant's reply brief, (4) an amicus curiae brief, or (5) an answer thereto. It follows that no other documents or papers filed in the Court of Appeal, whatever their nature, should be served on the Supreme Court. Further, only briefs filed in the Court of Appeal "in a civil appeal" must be served on the Supreme Court. It follows that no briefs filed in the Court of Appeal in criminal appeals or in original proceedings should be served on the Supreme Court.

Information about electronic submission of copies of briefs to the Court of Appeal can be found on the web page for the Court of Appeal district in which the brief is being filed on the California Courts website at www.courts.ca.gov/courtsofappeal.

Examples of "undue hardship" under (2)(C) include but are not limited to when a party does not have access to a computer or the software necessary to prepare an electronic copy of a brief or does not have e-mail access to electronically submit a brief to the Court of Appeal.

[ Back to Top ]