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Court of Appeals

Division One

Policies


1.        Civil Appeals

           A.        Extensions of Time 

         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.  When the Court denies a request for an additional 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.        Case Management Statement 

  Pursuant to ARCAP 12(d), the appellant in a civil case must complete a case management statement and file it in the Court of Appeals within 20 days after distribution of the Clerk of the Court’s initial notice to parties.  Appellant must serve copies of the case management statement on unrepresented parties and counsel of record for all other parties.  The Court uses the case management statement to identify suitable cases for its settlement conference program and to detect jurisdictional defects, among other things.  Accordingly, questions on the case management statement 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 for more information. 

2.        Criminal Appeals 

           A.        Extensions of Time 

         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 CRextension@appeals.az.gov (copying opposing counsel). 

  Pursuant to Division One
Administrative Order 2014-05, the Court will grant any additional extension for the filing of a brief only upon a motion showing actual and substantial good cause.  Conclusory statements by counsel broadly asserting "scheduling conflicts" or "other work" normally will not constitute actual and substantial good cause sufficient to warrant a subsequent extension of time.  In determining whether such an extension will be granted, the Court will consider, among other factors, when counsel was appointed in the matter, whether counsel's inability to timely complete the brief is the result of circumstances that could not have been anticipated, the complexity of the appeal, the length of the trial resulting in the verdict on appeal, counsel's diligence, the size and workload of counsel's law firm or agency, the number of other appeals on counsel's docket, the briefing schedules of other appeals on counsel's docket, and counsel's diligence in those other appeals.

  When the Court denies a request for an additional extension, it will require that the brief be filed within 10 days of the order denying the request.  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. 

           B.        Requests to Supplement the Record 

           Ariz. R. Crim. P. 31.8(b)(2)  provides that, in every criminal appeal except one in which the death penalty has been imposed, certified transcripts of specified core proceedings in the superior court must be prepared and filed with the Court of Appeals.  Under Ariz. R. Crim. P. 31.8(b)(4), within five days after filing of the notice of appeal, an appellant may request the court reporter to prepare transcripts of additional proceedings not specified in Rule 31.8(b)(2).  Pursuant to Division One Administrative Order 2014-05, absent actual and substantial good cause, any request by a party to supplement the record pursuant to Ariz. R. Crim. P. 31.8(b)(4) must be made no later than 30 days following the Clerk's issuance of the Notice of Completion of record pursuant to Ariz. R. Crim. P. 31.10, or no later than 30 days after counsel's appointment, whichever is later. A party asserting "actual and substantial good cause" for a request to supplement the record will be expected to demonstrate diligence in the prosecution of the appeal, including timely review of the record and determination of the issues the party intends to raise on appeal.  Among the factors that will bear on whether "actual and substantial good cause" exists for a transcript is counsel's detailed explanation for why the need for the transcript was not discovered earlier.

   C.        Management Conferences 

  In an appeal from a lengthy trial or in which the record or legal issues are particularly complex, the Court, in its own discretion or at the request of a party, may schedule a management conference to set deadlines for the supplementation of the record and the filing of briefs.  Counsel desiring such a management conference must file a request within 30 days of issuance of the Clerk's Notice of Completion or within 30 days of counsel's appointment, whichever is later.

3.       Special Actions.             

   A.        Filing and Service           

   Pursuant to Administrative Order 2012-0001, when a petition for special action is filed electronically, the petitioner 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 by 1 p.m. on the fifth business day 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 generally will not consider granting a stay of a matter in the superior court unless the superior court already has denied a stay request.  For that reason, 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 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.        Appendices 

  A copy of the decision from which the petition for special action is being taken must be attached to the petition.  In addition, all references to the record must be supported by an appendix of documents in the record before the trial court that are necessary for a determination of the issues raised by the petition.  Where feasible, the Court asks filers to file a combined petition and appendix (or response and appendix), with the cover page of the appendix numbered sequentially to the last page of the petition or response.  The appendix should have a table of contents and, if filed electronically, the table of contents should be bookmarked to items in the appendix.  If feasible, when the appendix is combined with the petition or response, the petition or response should contain bookmarks or hyperlinks to items in the appendix whenever these items are cited in the petition/response.  In all cases, references to the record in the petition or response should be to the page number of the appendix. 

    E.        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.            

4.         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.  The Court normally posts its monthly calendar at least 30 days before the first day of the month at issue.  For example, the Court would post its June calendar before the end of April.  The monthly calendar shows oral arguments and lists which cases the court will consider in conference each week.  (The very latest, most current, information about the progress of a case may be found by checking the case's docket.)           

    A party wishing oral argument in a case must file a timely motion for oral argument pursuant to ARCAP 18.  The Court will email a notice of oral argument at least 20 days before the date of the argument.  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 ARCAP 6(b).  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 and video records may be accessed here. 

5.         Accelerated Appeals           

   Accelerated disposition of a civil appeal may be obtained by stipulation or motion pursuant to ARCAP 29.   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.

6.         Motions for Reconsideration 

   By rule, a response to a motion for reconsideration is not to be filed unless the Court orders a response.  ARCAP 22(d).  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.  The Court will not grant a motion for reconsideration without first requesting a response. 

7.         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. 

8.         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.

9.         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 may be closed for non-compliance with Rule 104(B). 

10.       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 a child in a family-court matter or 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 

 

11.       Documents Submitted in a Foreign Language            

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

12.      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.  With very few exceptions, all decisions this Court issues are a matter of public record.