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UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT
Office of the Clerk
December 2012 (Last Revised: December 2019)
Preparing an Appeal – Pro Se Appellants
Office of the Clerk
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
56 Forsyth St., NW
Atlanta, GA 30303
Before preparing your appeal, please read all of the following information carefully.
• In general, only cases which have been first filed, and finally decided, in a United States District Court or Bankruptcy Court within this Circuit (Alabama, Florida, and Georgia), the United States Tax Court, and certain federal agencies may be appealed to this Court. This Court does not have authority to act in appeals from state and county courts.
• Once your appeal has been assigned a Court of Appeals case number, (example: 20-00000-AA) include this number and the alpha character(s) on all correspondence and filings you send to this Court and to opposing counsel/party.
• Keep a copy of all documents you send to this Court for your personal files.
• Your documents can be typed or written, but must be legible. If the Clerk cannot read the documents you’ve sent, they will not be processed.
• Notify the Clerk’s Office in writing if you move or your mailing address changes. If you do not, you could miss important notices and papers providing deadlines or decisions in your case. Missing a filing deadline may cause your case to be dismissed.
Non-incarcerated pro se parties are permitted to use the Court’s Electronic Case Files (ECF) system; however, the Court may revoke such permission upon a finding that the party has abused the privilege of using the ECF system.
Incarcerated pro se parties must file submit all filings to the Court in paper.
When your notice of appeal is received from the U.S. District Court or U.S. Tax Court, or your petition for review or original proceeding is received in the Clerk’s Office and is deemed compliant with the rules of the Court, a case number is assigned that consists of numbers and letters (alpha characters).
When your case is docketed, you will receive:
• Certificate of Service form, if necessary
• Certificate of Interested Persons form
• In Forma Pauperis application form, if necessary
• If there were no hearings in the lower court from which a transcript could be made, you will receive:
Notice of the deadline for filing your opening brief on appeal
Briefing checklist. A checklist of the requirements of the contents of a brief in the Eleventh Circuit
Instructions for Preparing an Appendix, unless you are incarcerated, in which case you do not need to file an appendix.
Other Initiating Matters: (if applicable)
• A Transcript Information Form can be obtained from the district court or from this Court’s website at www.ca11.uscourts.gov
• Certificate of Appealability (COA) – see Section 4 of “General Information”
Change of address. It is your responsibility to immediately advise the Clerk’s Office of any change in your address.
Filing and Docketing fees. You must pay the fees set out as follows, unless you ask that the fees be waived (proceeding in forma pauperis):
• For appeals from a U.S. District Court, you must pay the $505.00 filing and docketing fees to the District Court.
• For petitions for review of agency orders and certain original proceedings filed in this Court, you must pay the $500 docketing fee to this Court.
• For appeals from the U.S. Tax Court, you must pay the $500 docketing fee to the Tax Court.
Instructions for filing a motion to proceed in forma pauperis are included in the “General Information” section of this document. If your motion to proceed in forma pauperis is denied, and you do not pay the fee, your case will be dismissed for want of prosecution.
Please see www.ca11.uscourts.gov/fee-schedules for additional fee information.
You must file your opening brief by the date stated on the notice from the Clerk. A brief received before the due date that is not in compliance, will be returned with the suggestion to correct the brief and file at the designated time.
While not required, if you wish to file a reply to the opposing party’s brief, you must do so within 21 days of the service date of that brief.
If you are appealing from an action filed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2254 or § 2255, or are a state prisoner appealing the denial of a 28 U.S.C. § 2241 habeas petition, you must first obtain a certificate of appealability (COA) regarding any issues you wish to raise in your brief. If the District Court has denied a COA, you may request a COA from this Court, although you are not required to do so. 11th Cir. R. 22-1. See the “General Information” section for more information.
Completion of briefing.
Once all the briefs are filed, the case will be submitted to a panel of three judges. Unless the case is classed for oral argument, your case will be decided on the information included in the briefs and the record. FRAP 34(a). If the judges decide oral argument would be beneficial to the Court, you will receive notice from the Clerk’s Office regarding the placement of the case on a hearing calendar.
When the judges have decided your case, you will receive a notice from the Clerk’s Office along with a copy of the Court’s ruling.