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Court of Appeals

Division One

Policies

I.          Extensions of Time.

             A.        Civil Appeals.

             Any request for an extension of time to file a brief in a civil appeal must be made by filing a motion for a procedural order pursuant to ARCAP 6(b).  The Court routinely grants one 30-day extension of time for the filing of an opening or answering brief and one 20-day extension of time for the filing of a reply brief, without requiring a showing of any cause.  An additional extension will be allowed only upon a showing of actual and substantial good cause arising from unforeseen and extraordinary circumstances.  Scheduling conflicts do not constitute actual and substantial good cause.  Illness, emergencies or bona fide settlement discussions may constitute actual and substantial good cause.  When the Court denies a request for an extension, it will require that the brief be filed within 10 days of the order denying the motion.  After issuance of such an order, if the appellant fails to timely file the opening brief, the appeal may be dismissed; if the appellee fails to file the answering brief, the appeal may be submitted on the record and on the opening brief.  Late briefs also are subject to sanctions under ARCAP 25.

             B.        Criminal Appeals.

The Court routinely grants a filer one 30-day extension of time for the filing of an opening or answering brief, and one 20-day extension of time for the filing of a reply brief, without requiring a showing of any cause.  Parties may obtain these automatic extensions by emailing a request to CRextensions@appeals.az.gov (copying opposing counsel).  Requests for subsequent extensions will be granted only upon a showing of actual and substantial good cause arising from unforeseen and extraordinary circumstances.  Scheduling conflicts do not constitute actual and substantial good cause.  Illness or emergencies may constitute actual and substantial good cause.  When the Court denies a request for an extension, it will require that the brief be filed within 10 days.  If counsel who has been granted a second extension fails to meet the new filing deadline, he or she will be ordered to appear to show cause why sanctions should not be imposed.      

II.         Special Actions.

             A.        Filing and Service.

Pursuant to Administrative Order 2012-0001, when a petition for special action is filed electronically, counsel must serve all respondents and real parties in interest by email on the same day as the petition is filed.  Likewise, any response or reply filed electronically must be served by email the same day as filing.  In addition, any party filing a petition for special action must file a separate list of all parties to the special action (including respondents and any real parties in interest), their counsel and their counsel's email address, or a mailing address if the email address is unavailable, and telephone number.

Special action documents may not be processed by the Clerk of the Court if they do not comply with the rules or if they are tendered without the required filing fee.

             B.        Timing.

Any response to a petition for special action must be filed in writing within seven business days after service of the petition upon the respondent.  Any reply to the response must be filed within five business days after the response is filed.  ("Business days" do not include intermediate Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays.  If the last day of the period falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, the filing deadline is the next day.)

      C.  Stay Requests.

The Court of Appeals will not consider granting a stay of a matter in the superior court unless the superior court already has denied a stay request.  Accordingly, a party should not request a stay in the Court of Appeals before first asking for a stay in the superior court.

To obtain a hearing before the Court of Appeals on a motion for stay, a party must contact the chambers of the presiding judge of the panel to which the special action is assigned.  That judge's name and telephone number will appear on the Order Setting Dates Directing Electronic or Alternative Service and Fixing Time for Response that the Clerk's Office will issue upon filing of the petition for special action.

Before asking for a stay, the petitioner should consider whether the date scheduled for oral argument or conference on the petition is soon enough to obtain the relief needed.  

             D.        Screening.         

The judges assigned to decide a special action will screen the petition upon its filing.  If the panel determines from the face of the petition that it clearly lacks merit or otherwise is not appropriate for review by special action, the panel will issue an order summarily declining to accept jurisdiction of the petition without awaiting a response.


III.        Civil Docketing Statement.
 

Pursuant to Rule 12(e) of the Arizona Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure, the appellant in a civil case must complete a docketing statement form and file it in the superior court within 10 days after filing the notice of appeal.  Appellant must serve copies of the docketing statement on counsel of record for all other parties.  The Court of Appeals uses the docketing statement to identify suitable cases for the court’s mediation program and to detect jurisdictional defects, among other things.  Accordingly, questions on the docketing statement form about the entry and nature of the judgment and about the parties and claims involved in the case should be answered carefully and thoroughly.  Click here or a copy of the docketing statement form. 


IV. Calendars and Oral Arguments.
  

The Court normally sets its cases on calendars for consideration by panels of the Court on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.  When Monday is a holiday, Tuesday calendars may move to Thursday. 

A party wishing oral argument in a case must file a timely motion for oral argument.  ARCAP 18.  When oral argument is granted, each side usually is allowed 20 minutes for argument, except in Rule 29 (accelerated) civil cases, in which each side is allowed 30 minutes.  Time is allocated "per side."  When there are multiple parties on a “side,” they must divide among themselves the time allotted. 

Motions to continue oral argument from the scheduled date and time generally are granted only for true emergencies or unavoidable schedule conflicts.  Scheduling conflicts with discovery matters or superior court proceedings ordinarily are not sufficient.  Stipulations to continue oral arguments generally will not be accepted unless accompanied by a showing of sufficient cause.  Motions for continuance should be filed as motions for a procedural order.  See Rule 6(b), Ariz. R. Civ. App. P.  Any such motion should state the position of the opposing party regarding the request for continuance. 

Before oral argument, the panel of judges already will have read the briefs and conferred about the case.  In almost all cases, the panel also will have reviewed a bench memorandum or a proposed draft decision.  Accordingly, advocates should not spend their oral argument time repeating the facts of the case, and instead should proceed to directly address the questions presented. 

The Court makes unofficial digital audio and video recordings of each oral argument, which it maintains until the case to which it relates has been mandated or otherwise closed.  These recordings do not constitute official records of the proceedings.  Audio records may be accessed here. Video recordings may be accessed here. 


VI. Accelerated Appeals.
 

Accelerated disposition of a civil appeal may be obtained by stipulation or motion pursuant to Rule 29, Arizona Rules of Civil Appellate Procedure.  Under Rule 29, the briefs filed in an accelerated appeal may be shorter and the case is afforded priority in consideration and disposition.  The current version of Rule 29 allows the parties to petition for review to the Arizona Supreme Court from a decision issued pursuant to the rule. 


VII. Motions for Reconsideration.
 

By rule, a response to a motion for reconsideration is not to be filed unless the Court orders a response.  Rule 22(b), Ariz. R. Civ. App. P.  A motion for reconsideration that merely re-urges the arguments made in the briefs or that raises a new issue is very unlikely to succeed. Rule 22 provides that such a motion "shall be directed solely to discussion of those specific points or matters in which it is claimed the appellate court erred in determination of facts or law." 

VIII. Requests for Publication. 

            When the Court receives a request for publication of a memorandum decision as an opinion, it treats that request as a motion for reconsideration.  Such a request may be captioned as a motion for reconsideration.  Pursuant to ARCAP 22, such a request or motion must be filed within 15 days of the Court’s decision.

IX. Post-Conference Status Inquiry.
 

After a case has been taken under advisement, a party/attorney may contact the Court to inquire about its status.  All inquiries must be directed to the Clerk of the Court.  If appropriate, the Clerk's Office will confirm whether the case is pending and being decided in the normal course of business.  The judges on the panel will be advised that an inquiry has been received, but will not be informed who has inquired.  


X. Juvenile Case Notices of Appeal and Rule 104(B).
 

Notices of appeal filed by counsel on behalf of parties in juvenile cases must contain certain mandatory language prescribed by Rule 104(B), Arizona Rules of Procedure for the Juvenile Court: “By signing and filing this notice of appeal, undersigned counsel avows that [he/she] communicated with the client after entry of the judgment being appealed, discussed the merits of the appeal and obtained authorization from the client to file this notice of appeal.”  When counsel in a juvenile matter files a notice of appeal that does not contain this required statement, the appeal will be closed for non-compliance with Rule 104(B).

XI. Notice Concerning Disclosure of Briefs.

              Parties should be aware that, except for briefs in juvenile cases and mental health cases, most briefs filed with the Court are sent to Thomson-Reuters for scanning and inclusion in its Westlaw online Arizona brief bank service.  In addition, any member of the public may read such briefs in the office of the Clerk of Court.  In light of the public nature of these briefs, parties should avoid using the full name of any crime victim in any brief filed with the Court.  In any case in which counsel or a party prefer that a brief not be included in the brief bank service, they must contact: 

Thomson-Reuters Briefs Team
651-687-4994 or
west.westbriefsnotification@thomson.com
 

XII. Documents Submitted in a Foreign Language. 

            The Court will accept a document in a foreign language if it is accompanied by an English translation.


Xlll. Sealed Records/Cases/Decisions.
 

If the superior court record on appeal is transferred to this Court under seal, that record will remain closed to the public while the appeal is pending in this Court.  However, any document(s) filed by the parties in the Court of Appeals (e.g., briefs, appendices, motions) will be considered public record.  Such documents will be maintained under seal only if the Court of Appeals has granted a motion filed in this Court requesting that the document(s) be sealed.  Decisions issued by this Court in any matter are a matter of public record.