Extensions, Deadline and Responsibilities

Filing Your Appeal - Pro Se - Extensions, Deadline and Responsibilities

Extensions of time

In this circuit, extensions of time to file briefs are disfavored.   Unless the court has expressly ordered otherwise, a party can generally get one 30-day extension of time beyond the initial due date without much question.  Obtaining extensions of time beyond an initial 30-day extension is more difficult.  The court is even stricter about extensions on reply briefs, and will generally only allow a single 14-day extension from the initial due date.  Litigants should plan on getting their briefs finished and filed promptly.

Missed deadlines

If an appellant is given a deadline within which to file something and does not file it and also does not timely request an extension of time, the appeal may be dismissed.  If an order states it is a final deadline or that no further extensions of time will be allowed, parties should plan accordingly.

Filing responsibilities

A brief is deemed filed on the date it is post-marked for delivery.  Other forms of filings are not deemed filed until they are received in the clerk’s office.  The only exception to those rules is the “prison mailbox rule,” applicable only to those who are incarcerated.

A pro se litigant need not serve copies of filings on any defendants the district court did not summon to appear.  A pro se litigant may submit a single copy of his or her filings to this court. The Clerk will then docket that filing electronically.  Pro se litigants need not: (1) send copies of their filings to attorneys for opposing parties or to other pro se participants who have consented to electronic service in the case; or (2) provide proof of service on those persons.  If, however, there are other pro se participants in the appeal that are not attorneys and who have not consented to electronic service, the pro se filer must send a copy of their filing to those persons and include a certificate of service that identifies who was served, when, and how.