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Finding Legal Help

You are not required to hire an attorney, but legal matters can be complicated. Consider talking to an attorney to go over your options. See the Finding Legal Help page for information about free and low cost ways to get legal help. 

Como encontrar ayuda legal

Usted no está obligado a contratar un abogado, pero los asuntos legales pueden ser complicados. Considere la posibilidad de hablar con un abogado para hablar de sus opciones. Para información sobre cómo obtener ayuda legal vea nuestra página Como encontrar ayuda legal.

URAP Rule 27 (Rules of Appellate Procedure)


Rule 27. Form of briefs, motions, and other documents.
Rule printed on June 3, 2023 at 9:01 am. Go to https://www.utcourts.gov/rules for current rules.
Effective: 11/1/2021

(a) Form of briefs, motions, and other documents. Except as otherwise provided in this rule or by leave of court, all briefs, motions, and other documents must comply with the following standards:

(1) Size, line spacing, and margins. All documents must be prepared on 8½ by 11 inch sized paper. The text must be double spaced, except for matter customarily single spaced and indented. Margins must be at least one inch on all sides. Page numbers are required and may appear in the margins.

(2) Typeface. The type must be a plain, roman style with serifs. Italics or boldface may be used for emphasis. Cited case names must be italicized or underlined.

(3) Typesize.The typeface must be 13-point or larger for both text and footnotes.

(b) Documents submitted by unrepresented parties. An unrepresented party who does not have access to a word-processing system must file typewritten or legibly handwritten briefs, motions, and other appellate documents. An unrepresented party must sign any document filed with the court. These documents must otherwise comply with the form requirements of this rule, and, if applicable, Rules 24 and 24A.

(c) Caption. The cover of each brief or the first page of any other document must contain a caption that includes the following information:

(1) Case and document information:

(A) full title given to the case in the court or agency from which the appeal was taken, as modified under Rule 3(g),

(B) the designation of the parties both as they appeared in the lower court or agency and as they appear in the appeal

(C) the name of the appellate court;

(D) the number of the case in the appellate court opposite the case title;

(E) the title or description of the document (e.g., Brief of Appellant, Petition for Rehearing, Motion to Dismiss);

(F) the nature of the proceeding in the appellate court (e.g., Appeal, Petition for Review, Extraordinary Writ);

(G) the name of the court and judge, agency, or board below.

(2) For motions and other appellate documents, counsel or party information in the upper left-hand corner, including:

(A) name, address, telephone number, Utah State Bar number, and designation as attorney for appellant, petitioner, appellee, or respondent, as the case may be, or

(B) An unrepresented party must list the party’s name, address, and telephone number.

(3) For briefs on the merits, the names of all counsel for the respective parties must appear on the bottom half of the cover page. The party filing the document must appear in the lower right and opposing counsel in the lower left of the cover.

(d) Additional requirements for briefs on the merits.

(1) Binding. Briefs must be printed on both sides of the page, and securely bound on the left margin with a compact-type binding so as not unduly to increase the thickness of the brief along the bound side. Coiled plastic and spiral-type bindings are not acceptable.

(2) Color of cover page. The cover page of appellant’s opening brief must be blue; that of appellee, red; that of intervenor, guardian ad litem, or amicus curiae, green; that of any reply brief, or in cases involving a cross-appeal, the appellant’s second brief, gray. The cover page must be of heavy card stock. There must be adequate contrast between the printing and the color of the cover page.

(3) Criminal appeals. In criminal cases, the cover of the defendant’s brief must also state whether the defendant is presently incarcerated in connection with the case on appeal and if the brief is an Anders brief. An Anders brief is a brief filed pursuant to Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 793 (1967), in cases where counsel believes no nonfrivolous appellate issues exist.

(4) Effect of noncompliance. The clerk will examine all briefs before filing. If the briefs are not prepared in accordance with these rules, they will not be filed but will be returned to be properly prepared. The clerk will retain one copy of the noncomplying brief and the party must file a brief prepared in compliance with these rules within 5 days. The clerk may grant additional time for bringing a brief into compliance. This rule is not intended to permit significant substantive changes in briefs.

The Utah State Courts mission is to provide the people an open, fair, efficient, and independent system for the advancement of justice under the law.

Page Last modified: 3/29/2022

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