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Appellate Motions

Under the Rules of the United States Supreme Court, the requirements as to the form and filing of motions depend on the type of motion in question and whether the movant is proceeding in forma pauperis. A motion may not be presented in open court, unless the motion is for bar admission or if the proceeding to which the motion refers is being argued[i]. Oral argument on behalf of a motion is usually permitted only by order of the court[ii].

Unless the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure prescribe another form of proceeding, an application for an order or some other relief from a federal court of appeals is made by filing a motion for the order or relief[iii]. Special rules must be followed, however, in order to obtain permission to appeal[iv], a stay of judgment pending appeal,6 an extraordinary writ directed to a judge, or a stay of mandate[v]. Unless the court orders otherwise, a motion will be decided without oral argument[vi]. A single judge of a federal court of appeals may act alone on any motion, except that a single judge may not dismiss or otherwise determine an appeal or other proceeding, and the court may provide by rule or by order in a particular case that only the court may act on any motion or class of motions. In the United States Supreme Court, an application addressed to an individual Justice must be submitted to the clerk, who will promptly transmit it to the appropriate Justice if an individual Justice has authority to grant the sought relief, and will advise all parties concerned, by appropriately speedy means, of the application’s disposition.

Generally, appellate rules relate to motions before the appellate courts only[vii]. If a specific request must be presented to the trial court, the manner of presentation is governed by the practice rules of the trial court and not by the appellate rules.

[i]USCS Supreme Ct R 21.3

[ii] USCS Supreme Ct R 21.3

[iii] USCS Fed Rules App Proc R 27

[iv] USCS Fed Rules App Proc R 5

[iv] USCS Fed Rules App Proc R 21

[v] USCS Fed Rules App Proc R 21

[vi] USCS Fed Rules App Proc R 27

[vii] USCS Fed Rules App Proc R 1

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