SCOTUS Rescinds Previous COVID-19 Rule Changes
The United States Supreme Court has rescinded several rule changes that were ordered on March 19, 2020, and April 15, 2020. These orders were put in place in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, with the goal of making Court operations safer and more flexible.
As of July 19, 2021, the Court decided to rescind these previous orders, deeming them no longer necessary.
There are several changes that law professionals and those who are appealing court decisions should be aware of. Here is a breakdown of the most recent SCOTUS rule changes:
Deadline Extensions Revoked
Back in March, the deadline to file a writ of certiorari was extended to 150 days after the date of a lower court judgment, order denying discretionary review, or order denying a timely petition for rehearing.
For orders or judgments issued before July 19, 2021, the extension remains in place.
However, for orders or judgments issued on or after July 19, 2021, the deadline returns to 90 days, as set forth by Supreme Court Rule 13.
In addition, the Clerk will no longer entertain motions to delay distribution of a petition for writ of certiorari that are filed on or after July 19, 2021.
Document Filing Changes
Covered documents being filed on or after September 1, 2021, must adhere to regulations set by Rule 33.
Rule 33.1 states that the original documents, along with 40 copies, must be filed in booklet format. Certain expectations on word limit, cover color, and weight of the booklet are also laid out in this rule.
For submissions following Rule 33.2, the requirement of the original document and 10 copies also goes back into effect.
Documents that are filed before September 1, 2021, will still be under the rules of the April 2020 order. This means they are authorized to be submitted by a single copy on 8.5 x 11 inch paper.
Clarification of Electronic Filing System
Certain categories of documents, if filed through the Supreme Court’s Electronic Filing system, no longer need to be submitted in paper format.
- Motions for an extension of time under Rule 30.4
- Waivers of the right to respond to a petition under Rule 15.5
- Blanket consents to the filing of amicus briefs under rules 37.2(a) and 37.3(a)
These documents should be filed electronically in cases governed by Rule 34.6. However, other types of documents in those cases should still be submitted in paper format only.
Filing by Mail Is Still Recommended
One rule change that will remain in place is the changes to document delivery to the Clerk’s office.
Filings that need to be hand-delivered to the Supreme Court Building should continue to be directed to the North Drive on Second Street. This allows for these hand-delivered filings to be screened off-site before being delivered to the Clerk’s Office.
In addition, the Court’s policy of same-day delivery of documents that are dropped off prior to 2 p.m. has been suspended to allow for additional screening. Instead, it may take up to two days for documents arriving at North Drive to be delivered to the Clerk’s Office.
For this reason, parties are still being strongly encouraged to send filings by mail instead of hand-delivery. In extreme circumstances, where fast docketing of documents is required, you should contact the Clerk’s Office directly.
Up-To-Date Supreme Court Filing Services
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