TBD | How-To Write Written Objections in Federal Court (Rule 72, etc.)
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How-To: Draft Your Written Objections (Federal)

Background: The Court made an important ruling in your case
Problem: The Court's ruling was based on error/mistake/oversight/etc.
Solution: You write & submit a formal objection

I. Legal Citations

28 USC §636(b)(1)(C) | Pro Se Civil-Rights Cases and Collateral Attacks on Criminal Convictions
"Within fourteen days after being served with a copy, any party may serve and file written objections to such proposed findings and recommendations as provided by rules of court. A judge of the court shall make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made. A judge of the court may accept, reject, or modify, in whole or in part, the findings or recommendations made by the magistrate judge. The judge may also receive further evidence or recommit the matter to the magistrate judge with instructions." Rule 46 Fed. R. Civ. P. | Objecting to a Ruling or Order
"When the ruling or order is requested or made, a party need only state the action that it wants the court to take or objects to, along with the grounds for the request or objection." Rule 60 Fed. R. Civ. P. | Relief from a Judgment or Order
“(a) CORRECTIONS BASED ON CLERICAL MISTAKES; OVERSIGHTS AND OMISSIONS. The court may correct a clerical mistake or a mistake arising from oversight or omission whenever one is found in a judgment, order, or other part of the record. The court may do so on motion or on its own, with or without notice.” Rule 72 Fed. R. Civ. P. | Magistrate Judges: Pretrial Order
“(2) Objections. Within 14 days after being served with a copy of the recommended disposition, a party may serve and file specific written objections to the proposed findings and recommendations.” Rule 3-1 11th Cir. R. | Failure to Object to a Magistrate Judge’s Findings or Recommendations.
"A party failing to object to a magistrate judge’s findings or recommendations contained in a report and recommendation in accordance with the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) waives the right to challenge on appeal the district court’s order based on unobjected-to factual and legal conclusions if the party was informed of the time period for objecting and the consequences on appeal for failing to object. In the absence of a proper objection, however, the court may review on appeal for plain error if necessary in the interests of justice."

II. Samples

# PDF Comments
1TBD case. USFLMD. Pro Se Filing. 2020. §1981 Case (+ §760 FS). Clear Error + Contrary to Law
2USNYWD. 2007. Attorney Filing. Criminal Case. Response. Standard of Review + Governing Law.
3USNYWD. 2007. Attorney Filing. Criminal Case. Clear Error + Contrary to Law.
4USNYWD. 2007. Attorney Filing. Forum Selection. "Alter Ego" Doctrine.
5USNYWD. 2007. Attorney Filing. Ipso Facto Third-Party. Standard of Review. 28 USC §1441.
6USNYWD. 2007. Attorney Filing. Standard of Review + Governing Law. Rule 56. Summary Judgment.
7USNYWD. 2007. Attorney Filing. Letter Format. 3 Pages.
8USNYWD. 2007. Attorney Filing. Criminal Case. Evidence Suppression.
9USNYWD. 2007. Attorney Filing. Criminal Case. Evidence Suppression. Government Filing.

III. Templates

# Word Comments
1Replace all of the placeholder tags with real information (eg "[plfName]" becomes "John Doe").

IV. Quick Commentary

  • Critical Note: File this document on time!
  • Standard of Review: Pursuant to Rule 72(a) Fed. R. Civ. P., a district court “[must] modify or set aside any part of the order that is clearly erroneous or is contrary to law”.
  • Expectation: Do not expect victory (even if you have a slam dunk objection).
    • Judges enjoy almost total immunity, and they'll do what they want.
  • Download as many sample documents as you'd like
    • Model your language after the language that lawyers use
  • Use the free-hand template (see Part III - above) to write your 'Objections'
  • Save the final version as a PDF file.
  • File the final version in court

V. Additional Notes

  • Estimated Time ≈ 4-16 hours
  • Tolling: Filing written objections to the lower court's order extends the time to appeal the same order (even if the District Judge entered it)

VII. Bibliography

VIII. Conclusion

With the use of the template (as well as the samples above), you can more easily draft your Written Objections (Federal).

Congratulations! You're now booked up on how to write your Objections in federal court.

Please get the justice you deserve.


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