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ITEM 9 | FILING A BRIEF AND AN APPENDIX IN THIS COURT

Your brief is the written argument of your case. As the appellant, you will file the first brief, or opening brief. The other side, the appellee, is given a chance to file a brief answering your arguments – the response brief. You will then have an opportunity to respond to the appellee’s arguments in a reply brief.

The appendix contains copies of portions of the district court, bankruptcy court, Tax Court, or agency record that support your appeal, and it must be bound separately from the brief.

The Clerk’s Office issues a notice telling you when your opening brief and appendix are due. Do not file an opening brief or appendix until you receive a due date from the Clerk’s Office. Your appeal will be dismissed if you do not file your brief when it is due.

Filers using the ECF system are required to file briefs and appendices electronically and to provide the required number of paper copies of briefs and appendices.

BRIEF
FRAP 28 and 32, along with 11th Cir. Rules 28-1, 28-3, and 28-5, contain the requirements for the content and form of a brief.

In general, paper copies of briefs should include:

• A durable cover, front and back, with the 11th Circuit’s case number on the front
■ The color of the covers of briefs are:
o Brief of appellant – blue
o Brief of appellee – red
o Reply brief of appellant – gray
o Amicus brief – green
o Appellate intervenor – green
o Supplemental brief -- white

■ The color of the covers of briefs in a cross-appeal are:
o Brief of appellant – blue
o Brief of appellee-cross-appellant – red
o Brief of cross-appellee and reply brief of appellant – yellow
o Reply brief of cross-appellant – gray
o Amicus brief – green
o Appellate intervenor – green
o Supplemental brief -- white


• A Certificate of Interested Persons
• A Statement Regarding Oral Argument
• A Statement of the Facts of your case
• What the originating court decided
• The issues in your appeal
• The arguments you wish to present
• A statement of what relief you want from this Court – what you want this Court to do – and why
• Your signature. Briefs must be signed by each pro se appellant – you cannot sign on behalf of or for another appellant
• A Certificate of Service providing the name and address of the person(s) on whom you served the brief, if required by FRAP 25(d)

Your brief must meet the requirements of the FRAP and Circuit Rules. If it does not, the Clerk’s Office will issue a notice of deficiency indicating which item(s) are missing and providing a specific amount of time in which to remedy the deficiency. Failure to timely file the corrections may result in the dismissal of your appeal. 11th Cir. R. 42-3.

File the original and 6 copies of your briefs with the Court. However, if you are proceeding in forma pauperis, you may file the original and 3 copies. 11th Cir. R. 31-3. Filers using the ECF system still must provide the required number of paper copies of the brief. All filers must serve the brief on opposing counsel.

11th Cir. R. 31-1 provides the time for filing and serving a brief:

► Appellant’s opening brief is due 40 days after the record is deemed filed as provided in 11th Cir. R. 12-1.
► Appellee’s response brief is due 30 days after service of the brief of the last appellant.
► Appellant’s reply brief may be served and filed within 21 days after service of the last appellee’s brief.

APPENDIX

11th Cir. Rules 30-1 and 30-2 contain the requirements for the contents of the appendix. Also see the Instructions for Preparing an Appendix at the end of this document.

Your appendix must meet the requirements of the federal rules. If it does not, the Clerk’s Office will issue a notice of deficiency indicating which item(s) are missing and providing a specific amount of time in which to remedy the deficiency. Failure to timely file the corrections may result in the dismissal of your appeal. 11th Cir. R. 42-3.

The appendix is filed within 7 days of the filing of your opening brief.

If you are incarcerated, you are not required to file an appendix. If you are proceeding in forma pauperis, you may file only 1 copy of the appendix. All other pro se parties must file 2 copies of the appendix. ECF filers still must provide the required number of paper copies of the appendix. If the appeal is classed for oral argument, the filer (except for pro se parties proceeding in forma pauperis) must file an additional three identical paper copies of the appendix within 7 days after the date on the notice from the Clerk that the appeal has been classed for oral argument. All filers must also serve the appendix on opposing counsel.

In appeals from the district court and the Tax Court, the appendix should include the items required by FRAP 30(a)(1), which are:

• the relevant docket entries in the proceeding below;
• the relevant portions of the pleadings, charge, findings, or opinion;
• the judgment, order, or decision in question; and
• other parts of the record to which the parties wish to direct the court’s attention.

Other than FRAP 30(a)(1), the requirements in FRAP 30 do not apply in this circuit.

Consistent with the requirements of FRAP 30(a)(1), the appendix must include:

• A durable white cover, front and back, with the 11th Circuit’s case number on the front cover
• The lower court’s docket sheet (District Court, Tax Court, or Bankruptcy Court)
• Indictment, information, or petition as amended
• Complaint, answer, response, counterclaim, cross-claim, and any amendments to those items
• Parts of any pretrial order relevant to the issues on appeal
• Judgment or order that is being appealed
• Any other orders of the lower court to be reviewed
• In an appeal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254, a copy of any state court rulings sought to be reviewed
• Findings of facts and conclusions of law
• Instructions to the jury if that is an issue on appeal
• Magistrate judge’s report and recommendation when appealing the order of the district judge adopting the same
• Findings and conclusions of an administrative law judge if appealing an administrative agency determination
• Relevant parts of any document, such as an insurance policy, contract, agreement, or ERISA plan
• When an issue is raised concerning the guilty plea, the transcript of the guilty plea colloquy and any written plea agreement
• When an issue is raised concerning the sentence, the transcript of the sentencing proceeding, and the presentence investigation report and addenda (under seal in a separate envelope)
• Any other pleadings, affidavits, transcripts, filings, documents, or exhibits that you believe will be helpful to this Court in deciding the appeal

In agency cases, the appendix must include the items required by FRAP 30(a)(1), which are:

• the relevant docket entries in the proceeding below;
• the relevant portions of the pleadings, charge, findings, or opinion;
• the judgment, order, or decision in question; and
• other parts of the record to which the parties wish to direct the court’s attention.

Other than FRAP 30(a)(1), the requirements in FRAP 30 do not apply in this circuit.

Congratulations! You're now booked up on Item 9 from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals' Pro Se Handbook!

Please get the justice you deserve.

Sincerely,



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