Posted: February 18, 2016
Appellate E-filing Rules — Comment Period Closed April 1, 2016
Summary of Amendments. The model for e-filing may change as the courts and lawyers gain experience, but the following points describe the main features of the model that we anticipate:
- As in the district court and in the juvenile court, e-filing in the appellate courts will be optional when it is available, with mandatory e-filing by lawyers about 2-4 months after that. The AOC will host e-filing. There will be no third-party service providers, as there are in district court.
- Self-represented parties will continue to file and serve documents by traditional means, but will be encouraged to e-mail them to the court and to the other parties.
- Printed courtesy copies of some briefs will be required. Otherwise only a digital file will be filed.
- As in the district court, e-filing a document has the effect of serving the document on other e-filers. Self-represented parties will have to serve and be served using traditional means, which will include email. Unlike URCP 5, service by email on a self-represented party will not require the party’s agreement.
- The transcriber will electronically file the transcript, as is now the case.
- The record in the review of an administrative agency will be assembled either as a digital or paper file, depending on the capability of the agency, and delivered to the appellate court.
- There will be no traditional assembly of the record on appeal from the district court or juvenile court nor an electronic equivalent of assembly into a single digital file. Exhibits offered or introduced as evidence and not electronically filed in the trial court will be sent to the appellate court in the traditional way.
- The digital records of the district court and juvenile court will be available to lawyers, self-represented parties and the courts through the courts’ e-filing systems. A digital file of assembled agency records will be available to lawyers, self-represented parties and the courts as a digital file. A paper file of assembled agency records will be checked out of the agency or the appellate court in the traditional manner. The court will print select portions of a digital file for a self-represented party upon request and a showing of need.
- Citations in briefs and other appellate filings to the trial court record will be by the number of the document in the trial court docket and the relevant page number within the document. The citation to the trial court record will be a link to the relevant page of the document. Citations to the record of an administrative agency’s digital or paper file will be by citation to the relevant Bates number or page number of the file. The IT department of the AOC has developed an application to simplify the process of creating links, and the application will be publicly available.
- A traditional signature on filings will be permitted but not required. The effective signature is the filer’s electronic signature, which is governed by Title 46, Chapter 4, Uniform Electronic Transactions Act. The filer’s electronic signature carries all of the representations and consequences of a traditional signature.
StandingOrder 08. As to establishment of a pilot program to require submission of electronic courtesy briefs to the Utah Supreme Court and the Utah Court of Appeals.
CJA 05-0201. Requests for enlargement of time by court recorders and transcribers. Amend.
URAP 003. Appeal as of right: how taken. Amend.
URAP 005. Discretionary appeals from interlocutory orders. Amend.
URAP 009. Docketing statement. Amend.
URAP 010. Motion for summary disposition. Amend.
URAP 011. The record on appeal. Amend.
URAP 012. Transmission of the record. Amend.
URAP 013. Notice of filing by clerk. Amend.
URAP 014. Review of administrative orders: how obtained; intervention. Amend.
URAP 016. The agency record on appeal. New.
URAP 019. Extraordinary writs. Amend.
URAP 020. Habeas corpus proceedings. Amend.
URAP 021. Filing and service. Amend.
URAP 021A. Hyperlinks. New.
URAP 022. Computation and enlargement of time. Amend.
URAP 023. Motions. Amend.
URAP 023B. Motion to remand for findings necessary to determination of ineffective assistance of counsel claim. Amend.
URAP 023C. Motion for emergency relief. Amend.
URAP 024. Briefs. Amend.
URAP 025. Brief of an amicus curiae or guardian ad litem. Amend.
URAP 026. Filing and service of briefs. Amend.
URAP 027. Form of briefs. Amend.
URAP 029. Oral argument. Amend.
URAP 034. Award of costs. Amend.
URAP 035. Petition for rehearing. Amend.
URAP 036. Issuance of remittitur. Amend.
URAP 039. Duties of the clerk. Amend.
URAP 041. Certification of questions of law by United States courts. Amend.
URAP 042. Transfer of case from Supreme Court to Court of Appeals. Amend.
URAP 043. Certification by the Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court. Amend.
URAP 047. Transmission of record; joint and separate petitions; cross-petitions; parties. Amend.
URAP 048. Time for petitioning. Amend.
URAP 050. Brief in opposition; reply brief; brief of amicus curiae. Amend.
URAP 051. Disposition of petition for writ of certiorari. Amend.
URAP 053. Notice of appeal. Amend.
URAP 054. Transcript of proceedings. Amend.
URAP 055. Petition on appeal. Amend.
URAP 056. Response to petition on appeal. Amend.
URAP 057. Record on appeal; transmission of record. Amend.
URAP 058. Ruling. Amend.
URAP 059. Extensions of time. Amend.
URAP 060. Judicial bypass appeals. Amend.
Will the AOC filing and hyperlink programs be compatible with Mac operating systems?
Will the Court have an example on its webpage of a brief that is formatted properly? (I just attended a CLE today where Rodney Parker showed one of his briefs in the proper format; it would be helpful to have an example to what a properly formatted brief looks like under the new Rule 27.)
A few minor suggestions:
1. There is a word missing on line 11 of Rule 21A. I think it should read, “(b)(2) The displayed text of a link to a document in the appellate court record . . . ,” not “document the appellate court record.”
2. The Advisory Committee Notes to Rule 21A suggest that one can create a file of material on the internet, include it in the addendum, and link to it there, as opposed to creating a hyperlink to source material that may change. It might be nice to include that possibility in Rule 24(a)(11) on addenda or at least cross-reference the committee note and the rule.
3. In Rule 24(e)(1) and (2) it says that the second number in the record cite (“R:#:#”) is to the PDF page on which the reference “is found.” It may make sense to change “is found” to “begins,” since, as I understand it, there should just be one number after the last colon in the record cite, but the supporting record material may cover multiple pages.
4. Rule 27(d) says that briefs not prepared according to the rules are “subject to being stricken.” I think the preferred word is “struck,” not “stricken.” See, e.g., Bryan A. Garner, A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage 835-36 (2d ed. 1995) (entry for “stricken”).
5. Finally, this is not a comment on the proposed amendments, but something in the rules I hadn’t focused on before. Under Rule 24(g), in cases of cross-appeals, the original appellant gets a total of 28,000 words to argue his appeal and argue against the cross-appeal, but the cross-appellant only gets a total of 23,500 words to argue his cross-appeal and argue against the appellant’s appeal. I’m sure this is something that the advisory committee and court have considered before, but it seems to me that where each is both an appellant and an appellee with respect to certain issues, they should be entitled to the same number of total words. Otherwise, the first to appeal has an advantage. And sometimes the more significant issues, requiring more briefing, may be those raised in the cross-appeal.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the proposed rule changes. I look forward to the implementation of e-filing in the appellate courts.
Comments for rule 21A. Hyperlinks
1. The citation format—R:#:#—doesn’t allow a party to cite to multiple records on appeal. For example, in an appeal from the dismissal of a post-conviction petition, there will be the underlying criminal record, a direct appeal record, and the post-conviction record. The citation format does not allow a party to distinguish between all of these records. And the problem is compounded when there are successive post-conviction petitions, which often occurs in death penalty cases.
2. The rule doesn’t account for circumstances where there is no electronic record to cite to. For example, where a person files an appeal from the denial of a post-conviction petition that challenges a conviction from 1995, before court documents were electronically filed or scanned.
3. Section (b) addresses the requirements for displayed text of a hyperlink or citation. Subsection (b)(3) states that if “the document cited is included in the addendum to the filing, the displayed text of the citation must include the name of the document and the page number on which the document is found.” This is confusing. Presumably the document included as an addendum is not part of the record (for example, it’s a law review article). The rule requires that the text of the citation must include “the name of the document and the page number on which the document is found.” What does “page number on which the document is found” mean? Instead of the word “document,” shouldn’t it be “citation”?
4. There doesn’t appear to be a provision for service to multiple email addresses. For example, it would be helpful when something is filed that both the attorney and support staff get notified, not just the attorney.
Comment for rule 27. Form of briefs, and other documents; courtesy copies.
1. Section (c) requires paper courtesy copies. This is wholly unnecessary and inconsistent with the purpose of e-filing.
Regarding proposed Rule 27(c):
No courtesy should be filed unless specifically requested by the court, and only in numbers requested. I fear if the requirement is left in place, paper copies of briefs will be filed, only for most or all to eventually be disposed without ever being used. Printing briefs imposes a not insignificant expense on parties, or, in the case of indigent defendants, on the county responsible for the costs of the indigent defendants’ defense.
If judges or their staff prefer a paper copy of a brief in any case or in certain cases, a order to submit paper copies can be made after the brief is submitted electronically. It may be that some cases are exceptionally complex and a paper copy of the brief may be useful. In other cases there may be no issues of significance, leaving no use for a paper brief. Leaving it to the discretion of the judges whether paper copies of briefs should be submitted avoids wasteful printing.