|     printer icon  Printer-friendly version of this page

2014 California Rules of Court

Rule 8.504. Form and contents of petition, answer, and reply

(a) In general

Except as provided in this rule, a petition for review, answer, and reply must comply with the relevant provisions of rule 8.204.

(Subd (a) amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(b) Contents of a petition

(1)The body of the petition must begin with a concise, nonargumentative statement of the issues presented for review, framing them in terms of the facts of the case but without unnecessary detail.

(2)The petition must explain how the case presents a ground for review under rule 8.500(b).

(3)If a petition for rehearing could have been filed in the Court of Appeal, the petition for review must state whether it was filed and, if so, how the court ruled.

(4)If the petition seeks review of a Court of Appeal opinion, a copy of the opinion showing its filing date and a copy of any order modifying the opinion or directing its publication must be bound at the back of the original petition and each copy filed in the Supreme Court.

(5)If the petition seeks review of a Court of Appeal order, a copy of the order showing the date it was entered must be bound at the back of the original petition and each copy filed in the Supreme Court.

(6)The title of the case and designation of the parties on the cover of the petition must be identical to the title and designation in the Court of Appeal opinion or order that is the subject of the petition.

(7)Rule 8.508 governs the form and content of a petition for review filed by the defendant in a criminal case for the sole purpose of exhausting state remedies before seeking federal habeas corpus review.

(Subd (b) amended effective January 1, 2009; previously amended effective January 1, 2004, and January 1, 2007.)

(c) Contents of an answer

An answer that raises additional issues for review must contain a concise, nonargumentative statement of those issues, framing them in terms of the facts of the case but without unnecessary detail.

(d) Length

(1)If produced on a computer, a petition or answer must not exceed 8,400 words, including footnotes, and a reply must not exceed 4,200 words, including footnotes. Each petition, answer, or reply must include a certificate by appellate counsel or an unrepresented party stating the number of words in the document. The person certifying may rely on the word count of the computer program used to prepare the document.

(2)If typewritten, a petition or answer must not exceed 30 pages and a reply must not exceed 15 pages.

(3)The tables, the cover information required under rule 8.204(b)(10), the Court of Appeal opinion, a certificate under (1), any signature block, and any attachment under (e)(1) are excluded from the limits stated in (1) and (2).

(4)On application and for good cause, the Chief Justice may permit a longer petition, answer, reply, or attachment.

(Subd (d) amended effective January 1, 2011; adopted as subd (e); previously relettered effective January 1, 2004; previously amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(e) Attachments and incorporation by reference

(1)No attachments are permitted except:

(A)An opinion or order required to be attached under (b)(4) or (5);

(B)Exhibits or orders of a trial court or Court of Appeal that the party considers unusually significant;

(C)Copies of relevant local, state, or federal regulations or rules, out-of-state statutes, or other similar citable materials that are not readily accessible; and

(D)An opinion required to be attached under rule 8.1115(c).

(2)The attachments under (1)(B)-(C) must not exceed a combined total of 10 pages.

(3)No incorporation by reference is permitted except a reference to a petition, an answer, or a reply filed by another party in the same case or filed in a case that raises the same or similar issues and in which a petition for review is pending or has been granted.

(Subd (e) amended effective January 1, 2009; adopted as subd (f); previously relettered effective January 1, 2004; previously amended effective January 1, 2007.)

Rule 8.504 amended effective January 1, 2011; adopted as rule 28.1 effective January 1, 2003; previously amended and renumbered effective January 1, 2007; previously amended effective January 1, 2004, and January 1, 2009.

Advisory Committee Comment

Subdivision (d). Subdivision (d) states in terms of word counts rather than page counts the maximum permissible lengths of a petition for review, answer, or reply produced on a computer. This provision tracks a provision in rule 8.204(c) governing Court of Appeal briefs and is explained in the advisory committee comment to that provision. Subdivision (d)(3) specifies certain items that are not counted toward the maximum length of a petition, answer, or reply. Signature blocks, as referenced in this provision include not only the signatures, but also the printed names, titles, and affiliations of any attorneys filing or joining in the petition, answer, or reply, which may accompany the signature.

[ Back to Top ]