|1997 Rules of Appellate Procedure|
|Rule 53||Rule 54||Rule 55||Rule 56||Rule 57||Rule 58||Rule 59||Rule 60|
|Rule 61||Rule 62||Rule 63||Rule 64||Rule 65|
RULE 55. BRIEFS ON THE MERITS
55.1 Request by Court. A brief on the merits must not be filed unless requested by the Court. With or without granting the petition for review, the Court may request the parties to file briefs on the merits.
55.2 Petitioner's Brief on the Merits. The petitioner's brief on the merits must be confined to the issues or points stated in the petition for review and must, under appropriate headings and in the order here indicated, contain the following items:
(a) Identity of parties and counsel. The brief must give a complete list of all parties to the trial court's final judgment, and the names and addresses of all trial and appellate counsel.
(b) Table of contents. The brief must have a table of contents with references to the pages of the brief. The table of contents must indicate the subject matter of each issue or point, or group of issues or points.
(c) Index of authorities. The brief must have an index of authorities arranged alphabetically and indicating the pages of the brief where the authorities are cited.
(d) Statement of the case. The brief must contain a statement of the case that should seldom exceed one page and should not discuss the facts. The statement must contain the following:
(1) a concise description of the nature of the case (e.g., whether it is a suit for damages, on a note, or in trespass to try title);
(2) the name of the judge who signed the order or judgment appealed from;
(3) the designation of the trial court and the county in which it is located;
(4) the disposition of the case by the trial court;
(5) the parties in the court of appeals;
(6) the district of the court of appeals;
(7) the names of the justices who participated in the decision in the court of appeals, the author of the opinion for the court, and the author of any separate opinion;
(8) the citation for the court of appeals' opinion, if available, or a statement that the opinion was unpublished; and
(9) the disposition of the case by the court of appeals.
(e) Statement of jurisdiction. The petition must state, without argument, the basis of the Court's jurisdiction.
(f) Issues presented. The brief must state concisely all issues or points presented for review. The statement of an issue or point will be treated as covering every subsidiary question that is fairly included. The phrasing of the issues or points need not be identical to the statement of issues or points in the petition for review, but the brief may not raise additional issues or points or change the substance of the issues or points presented in the petition.
(g) Statement of facts. The brief must affirm that the court of appeals correctly stated the nature of the case, except in any particulars pointed out. The brief must state concisely and without argument the facts and procedural background pertinent to the issues or points presented. The statement must be supported by record references.
(h) Summary of the argument. The brief must contain a succinct, clear, and accurate statement of the arguments made in the body of the brief. This summary must not merely repeat the issues or points presented for review.
(i) Argument. The brief must contain a clear and concise argument for the contentions made, with appropriate citations to authorities and to the record.
(j) Prayer. The brief must contain a short conclusion that clearly states the nature of the relief sought.
55.3 Respondent's Brief. If the petitioner files a brief on the merits, any other party to the appeal may file a brief in response, which must conform to 55.2, except that:
(a) the list of parties and counsel is not required unless necessary to supplement or correct the list contained in the petitioner's brief;
(b) a statement of the case and a statement of the facts need not be made unless the respondent is dissatisfied with that portion of the petitioner's brief; and
(c) a statement of the issues presented need not be made unless:
(1) the respondent is dissatisfied with the statement made in the petitioner's brief;
(2) the respondent is asserting independent grounds for affirmance of the court of appeals' judgment; or
(3) the respondent is asserting grounds that establish the respondent's right to a judgment that is less favorable to the respondent than the judgment rendered by the court of appeals but more favorable to the respondent than the judgment that might be awarded to the petitioner (e.g., a remand for a new trial rather than a rendition of judgment in favor of the petitioner);
(d) a statement of jurisdiction should be omitted unless the petition fails to assert valid grounds for jurisdiction; and
(e) the respondent's argument must be confined to the issues or points presented in the petitioner's brief or asserted by the respondent in the respondent's statement of issues.
55.4 Petitioner's Brief in Reply. The petitioner may file a reply brief addressing any matter in the brief in response. However, the Court may consider and decide the case before a reply brief is filed.
55.5 Reliance on Prior Brief. As a brief on the merits or a brief in response, a party may file the brief that the party filed in the court of appeals.
55.6 Length of Briefs. A brief on the merits or brief in response must not exceed 50 pages, exclusive of pages containing the identity of parties and counsel, the table of contents, the index of authorities, the statement of the case, the statement of jurisdiction, the issues presented the signature, and the proof of service. A brief in reply may be no longer than 25 pages, exclusive of the items stated above. The Court may, on motion, permit a longer brief.
55.7 Time and Place of Filing; Extension of Time. Briefs must be filed with the Supreme Court clerk in accordance with the schedule stated in the clerk's notice that the Court has requested briefs on the merits. If no schedule is stated in the notice, petitioner must file a brief on the merits within 30 days after the date of the notice, respondent must file a brief in response within 20 days after receiving petitioner's brief, and petitioner must file any reply brief within 15 days after receiving respondent's brief. On motion complying with Rule 10.5(b) either before or after the brief is due, the Supreme Court may extend the time to file a brief.
55.8 Amendment. On motion showing good cause, the Court may allow a party to amend a brief on such reasonable terms as the Court may prescribe.
55.9 Court May Require Revision. If a brief does not conform with these rules, the Supreme Court may require the brief to be revised or may return it to the party who filed it and consider the case without further briefing by that party.
Notes and CommentsComment to 1997 change: The rule is new and provides for a 50 page brief on the merits if requested by the Supreme Court.
Copyright ©1996, 1997, 2001 Charles A. Matz, All rights reserved
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Last modified: March 25, 2010