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FAQs: All

  • I am not shown as an attorney in the case, but I want to file on behalf of one of the parties in the appeal. How do I do that?

    The clerk's office relies on the notice of appeal and district court docket sheet when opening a new appeal and setting up the party and attorney information. In some instances that information is not complete or may change after the appeal is opened, and you may need to be added as an attorney in the case. Until you are added as an attorney in the case, you will not receive NDAs from the court nor will you be able to file any documents other than an entry of appearance. Once you have filed an entry of appearance in the appeal and the court has reviewed that pleading, you will be eligible to receive NDAs and to file further documents in the appeal. Remember, you must register with the PACER service center as an appellate filer and receive a CM/ECF login/password before you can use CM/ECF. In addition, please note that because court review of entries of appearance is required, you will not be able to file as a new attorney until that review is completed.

  • I am unable to view a pleading in a Social Security case or in an immigration petition for review. Is there a problem?

    There is no problem. Electronic access to pleadings filed in Social Security and immigration cases is restricted to the attorneys or parties in the case in order to protect the privacy of the individuals involved. You may review materials from these cases in person in the clerk=s office. If you are a party or attorney in the case, please note that you can access documents in these proceedings only through the use of your CM/ECF user ID and password.

  • I represent a party that wants to be added to an appeal, such as an amicus. How do I do that?

    After logging into CM/ECF and entering your appeal number, you must select the "Amicus & Intervenor's Motions/Briefs" category. You must select either the "Amicus Curiae Motion" or "Amicus Curiae Brief". If you are moving to intervene in an appeal, you must choose "File a Notice of Intervention" or “Intervenor Motion.” You must enter the name of the party(s) filing the pleading when you are docketing the selected event.

  • Am I required to serve a copy of my document on the other side, or does my filing through CM/ECF fulfill that requirement?

    You may effect service using ECF for all parties who are registered ECF participants. Parties and counsel should note, however, that the duty for confirming service remains with the party serving the pleading. When the opposing party is not an ECF participant, service must be effected through traditional means.

  • Can I receive a daily summary of all my notices, or am I required to receive a Notice of Docket Activity for every action or activity in my case(s)?

    PACER gives you the option of receiving a daily summary or individual event noticing. The default is individual event noticing, but you can change that by updating your account information at the Pacer Service Center under “Manage Your Account.” If you prefer a daily summary, select "Daily Summary" instead of "Each Transaction" on the "Notice of Docket Activity Frequency" option

  • Can I view pro se filings through CM/ECF and PACER?

    Yes. The clerk's office will scan all pro se filings and will attach them to the relevant docket entries as PDFs.

  • Do I need to provide the court with documents/evidence supporting my appeal?

    When the appellant is pro se, the district court will assemble a record of documents filed in that court and transmit them to this court as the record on appeal.  The pro se appellant need not provide an appendix or copies of district court documents.  This court will not consider additional evidence nor will this court consider arguments that were not raised in the district court proceedings.

  • Do I need to send the clerk a paper copy of a document filed through CM/ECF?

    No, with the exception of briefs, appendices, and petitions for rehearing en banc. You must provide the court with seven hard copies of any merits brief filed, one hard copy of any appendix, and six hard copies of any petition for rehearing en banc filed. The hard copies of any merits brief and appendix must be received within five business days of the court issuing notice that the electronic versions have been accepted for filing. The hard copies of any petition for rehearing en banc must be received within two business days of filing via ECF (please note any party who receives an exemption from the electronic appendix rule must submit two hard copies of the appendix).

  • Does my document need a certificate of service?

    Yes. A certificate of service is required for all filings. The certificate should be the last page of the document.

  • How do I best prepare for the mediation?

    The Circuit Mediation Office attempts to identify lead counsel (the attorneys on whose judgment the clients rely when making decisions) for all parties when scheduling conferences. This is not always possible, so addressees are asked to advise the Circuit Mediation Office in advance of the conference when other counsel, or parties, should be involved.

    Mediation discussions are most effective when counsel are thoroughly familiar with the issues of the case and have considered how the lower court’s decision may have affected litigation strategy. Prior to the conference, counsel should discuss with their client: 1) realistic goals and expectations for the mediation; 2) a cost-benefit analysis of the risks and costs of further litigation versus settlement, including attorney fee issues; 3) the client’s interests and goals underlying the litigation; 4) ways, both through and apart from continued litigation, those goals and interests might be addressed; and 5) to the extent that the goals and interests of the other parties are known, possible ways that those might be accommodated. Counsel should encourage their client to be prepared to participate fully in the settlement process with a flexible and open-minded attitude. Counsel are encouraged to be creative in generating new settlement options.

    A confidential settlement position paper is not required.

  • How do I obtain copies of my pleadings?

    Filers should always retain copies of pleadings they file in this court for their records. To receive a file-stamped copy of a document returned to you, you should include an additional copy of the pleading as well as a self-addressed stamped envelope. Any other requests for pleadings (including copies of the court’s docket) should be in writing, and include prepayment for copies at the rate of $.50 per page. For questions regarding copy requests, you can contact the court at (303) 844-3157. Alternatively, you can register for a PACER account (the court’s electronic public access service) through www.pacer.uscourts.gov, and obtain copies that way. Copies obtained through PACER are charged at $.10 per page retrieved.

  • How many copies of my documents do I need to send to the court?

    The court will accept a single copy of filings from pro se litigants.  A copy of all filings must be sent to all counsel for the parties involved in the appeal, and all documents must include a certificate of service which states when, what, and who was served.

  • How will I know if my case has been set for mediation?

    Within fourteen days of filing a notice of appeal, appellants are required by Tenth Circuit Rule 3.4 to file a docketing statement in which they state the issues being raised on appeal and the background of the case. The Circuit Mediation Office schedules a case for a mediation conference from the docketing statement, usually before briefing and sometimes before the transcript is completed. Counsel will receive a Mediation Conference Notice, which is an order of the Court. The Notice sets the date and time of the mediation conference, the purpose of the conference, and the expectations regarding settlement authority.

  • How will the mediation session be conducted?

    The mediation may vary depending on the case and the mediator, but generally the discussion is informal and conversational. The primary purpose of the mediation is to explore the possibilities of settlement. Tangentially, it is also used to clarify issues and resolve procedural problems that may interfere with the smooth handling or disposition of the case. The mediation is ordinarily conducted early in the appeal, before briefing. Typically mediation conferences are conducted by telephone, although in some cases counsel and clients are required to attend in person.

    The mediator conducts the mediation conference in a series of joint and separate sessions, talking with both sides together and with each side separately. While talking together, typically at the beginning, the mediator usually asks counsel about any procedural questions or problems that could be resolved by agreement. These might include questions about the appendix or the need for a specially tailored briefing schedule. At some point the mediator will shift the discussion to settlement and may explore the issues in the appeal with counsel and the parties in order to help them evaluate the risks on appeal. In many cases a candid examination of these risks is helpful in reaching consensus on the settlement value of the case. The discussions may also turn to matters outside the litigation that are nonetheless important to understanding the nature of the parties’ dispute and to uncover the obstacles to and the avenues toward resolution. The discussions may be with all parties present or with each side privately.

    Counsel should set aside at least two hours for the initial mediation conference. In some cases, discussions may go no further. In other cases, follow-up discussions may continue for days or weeks, and sometimes longer. If a settlement is reached, the mediator often sends counsel a stipulation to dismiss or motion for voluntary dismissal. See link to Stipulation to Dismiss and Order of Dismissal. In instances where settlement is not reached but there is agreement about procedural matters (for example, modification of the briefing schedule, consolidation of appeals, abatement, etc.), the mediator will have an appropriate order issued to effect that agreement.

    Will the mediation be conducted by telephone or in person?

    Typically the mediation conferences are conducted by telephone. However, if the mediator believes it would be useful, parties and counsel may be required to attend an in-person mediation.

  • I am a pro se party in an appeal. Am I required/expected to file my documents through CM/ECF?

    Pro se parties are not required to file documents with the court using CM/ECF. Should a pro se party wish to do so, however, he/she must file a motion with the court requesting permission to file electronically in a specific case. See Fed. R. App. P. 25(a)(2)(B)(ii). A motion is required. An order granting the motion will be a prerequisite to filing via the court's ECF system. If an order granting the request issues, the pro se party may register to use CM/ECF.

  • I have filed a notice of appeal but I can’t afford to pay the filing fee. What should I do?

    An indigent pro se appellant may be excused from paying the filing fee by filing a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis in the district court. Contact the district court to obtain the proper form for this type of motion. If the district court denies or does not act in a timely manner on the motion, the pro se appellant will be required to file a renewed motion with this court.

  • I have questions that aren’t answered here. How can I contact the court?

    Visit our website at www.ca10.uscourts.gov for: the Federal and 10th Circuit appellate rules, copies of all necessary forms, general information regarding proceeding pro se in this court and many other resources. 

    Contact the Clerk’s office by phone at (303) 844-3157. The Clerk’s office is open from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Mountain Time, Monday through Friday except for legal holidays.

    All written correspondence should be mailed to:  United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, The Byron White U.S. Courthouse, 1823 Stout Street, Denver, CO, 80257.

  • I made a mistake, such as filing in the wrong case or submitting an incorrect document. What should I do?

    You cannot delete events or documents, nor can you make changes to completed docketing events. If you have made an error, contact the clerk=s office. Our office will delete the document and modify the docket text to reflect what has been done. You may then re-file the document using the regular CM/ECF filing procedures. Parties and 4 counsel should be aware the court will not automatically extend the deadline for filing in the event of user error.

  • I need more time to file my brief. How can I get an extension of time?

    A party can generally get one 30-day extension of time beyond the initial due date without much question, but must file a motion in writing to do so.  Obtaining extensions of time beyond an initial 30 days is more difficult.  Litigants should plan on getting their briefs finished and filed promptly, as extensions of time to file briefs are disfavored.

  • I need to file something but I cannot log in. What's going on?

    Make sure you have an upgraded PACER account (that is, that you have followed the instructions in this Manual for filing in NextGen) and have applied for filing privileges with the 10th Circuit. Also, make sure you are using the correct login and password. The 10th Circuit became a NextGen court in May 2017. Please note ECF users must register for each circuit separately; registration in another circuit will not allow you to file in this circuit. Similarly, if you have an ECF login/password for a district court, you will also need to register to file in this circuit. Your district court log in will not allow you to file in this court. If you have forgotten your username and/or password, you must contact PACER. The court does not have access to that information.

  • I want to enter my appearance in an appeal. How do I do that?

    You must be an authorized appellate filer with a valid CM/ECF login and password in order to file an entry of appearance or any other pleading. Authorized users may complete the entry of appearance form found in the Forms section of the court's website. Save the form to your computer, complete it, and attach it in PDF format to the Entry of Appearance docketing event/option in the court's CM/ECF system. Information on how to docket pleadings is available via the 'Help' and ‘Getting Started’ drop-down menus accessible in the top menu bar, as well as in the court's CM/ECF User's Manual.

  • I want to file a document under seal. How do I do that?

    First, please review 10th Circuit Rule 25.6, which is new effective January 1, 2019 and governs the filing of sealed materials and motion to file documents under seal. Then, after logging into CM/ECF and entering your appeal number, you must select the "Sealed Pleadings" category. These events were specifically designed to seal all pleadings filed in this category. You may file selected pleadings via this manner. Failure to select the "Sealed Pleadings" category will result in your pleading being filed as a public document. Please contact the clerk's office if you have any questions.

  • Is mediation required?

    Although mediation conferences are relatively informal, the Court considers them official proceedings and requires the participation of all parties, usually through their counsel. See Pueblo of San Ildefonso v. Ridlon, 90 F.3d 423 (10th Cir. 1996). Participation in the process is mandatory; decisions regarding settlement are, of course, voluntary. Sometimes the mediation will involve discussion and resolution of issues outside the appeal or extend to individuals or groups who are not parties to the appeal. In the latter event, nonparties may be invited to participate, though obviously they are not required to do so.

  • Is the appellate process stayed during the mediation process?

    The appellate process is not automatically stayed during the mediation process. However, the mediator may abate the preparation of the transcript or extend or abate the briefing schedule in order to accommodate the mediation process.

  • Is the mediation confidential?

    All communications in the course of a mediation conference or in any subsequent discussions are kept confidential. Nothing said during the discussions is placed in the record or disclosed by anyone to anyone not participating in the mediation process. Counsel and parties may not refer to or quote any statement made during the course of these discussions in their briefs or at oral argument or in any proceeding in any other court. Furthermore, they may not share the content of these discussions with anyone outside the mediation process, such as reporters or other members of the media. 10th Cir. R. 33.1(D). See Clark v. Stapleton Corp., 957 F.2d 745 (10th Cir. 1992). Discussions under 10th Circuit Rule 33.1 may not be recorded by counsel or the parties.

  • I’ve filed all my documents. What happens next? When will my appeal be decided?

    After all the briefs have been filed, a panel of judges will be assigned to decide the appeal.  The court’s decision will be inwriting and will be transmitted to the parties.  There is no requirement that the court issue its decision within any particular time frame.

  • May I request mediation?

    A request for mediation may be made by calling or writing the Circuit Mediation Office at any time during the pendency of the appeal. If a party prefers that a request for mediation be confidential, the Mediation Office will not disclose that the conference was requested. Requested conferences are scheduled and approached in the same manner as those initiated by the Circuit Mediation Office.

  • What are the size limitations for my brief?

    An opening brief and any response brief may not exceed 30 pages unless there is a certification of the number of words and that the brief contains less than 13,000 words.  A reply brief cannot exceed 15 pages unless the certification states that the word court is less than 6,500 words.

  • What cases are eligible for mediation?

    All civil cases filed in the 10th Circuit except pro se, social security, prisoner rights, and habeas corpus appeals are eligible for mediation.

  • What documents may be filed using CM/ECF? What documents may not be filed?

    Counsel must file all documents with the court using CM/ECF with the exception of ex parte pleadings. See Fed. R. App. P. 25(a)(2)(B)(i). In addition, please note that while you may not open a new appeal via ECF you have the option to submit petitions for agency review, petitions for permission to appeal, and original writs using CM/ECF. Notices of appeal will continue to be forwarded by the trial courts. Original and agency matters may be submitted via ECF, in paper form, or via email to clerk@ca10.uscourts.gov.

  • What help is available for CM/ECF?

    The court has created a User Manual to aid attorneys using ECF. The manual is available on the court=s website at http://www.ca10.uscourts.gov. Additional resources are available via the “Help” and “Getting Started” top menu tabs in CM/ECF. You may also contact the clerk=s office for assistance with filing. If you are having difficulty registering for CM/ECF or have questions about your PACER or CM/ECF accounts, you should contact the PACER Service Center at 800-676-6856. If you need to modify or update either your PACER or CM/ECF accounts, you may do so at the PACER website: https://www.pacer.uscourts.gov. The PACER Service Center maintains extensive lists of FAQs for both PACER and CM/ECF. You may access them at the PACER website. Please note the court does not provide technical assistance.

  • What is a Notice of Docket Activity?

    A Notice of Docket Activity (NDA) is a notice sent via email that is generated when a docket transaction requires that notice be sent to attorneys, case participants, and/or court personnel. NDAs can be generated when a party or attorney files a document with the clerk's office or when the court enters an order or takes other public action in a case. If you are a CM/ECF participant, your receipt of the NDA is service of that document or order, and registration in the CM/ECF system constitutes consent to receive service through the NDA. Generally, an NDA contains a hyperlink back to the court's docket sheet and the document in question. When parties receive an NDA they can click on the document and obtain a "free look" at the document. Because there is only one free look, parties should be sure to save the document upon that initial review. In the district court and bankruptcy court systems the NDA is called the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF).

  • When is CM/ECF available?

    The system is always available (except for routine or emergency maintenance), and you should be able to file anytime. Notices regarding maintenance or other down times for CM/ECF will be posted on our website. Filings completed before midnight Mountain Standard Time will be docketed as of that day. Please note filings received on Saturday, Sunday or a federal holiday will be considered filed on the next business day.

  • Why did I receive a second Notice of Docket Activity for my filing?

    The clerk's office reviews all attorney filings as part of its quality control procedures. In the event a case manager finds an error or needs to modify the docket text for the event and filing, he/she will make the necessary changes and send a new Notice of Docket Activity to the case participants. If you receive a second Notice of Docket Activity and cannot determine the reason for the second Notice, please contact the clerk's office.

  • Will the mediation be conducted by telephone or in person?

    Typically the mediation conferences are conducted by telephone. However, if the mediator believes it would be useful, parties and counsel may be required to attend an in-person mediation.

  • When does my motion need to be filed?

    The motion to continue or to withdraw must be filed within 14 days of case opening. Where the appellant has CJA counsel who filed the notice of appeal that will be when all other preliminary documents are due. The deadline for filing the motion is the same in all appeals, including those where the defendant filed a pro se notice of appeal and in appeals brought by the government.

  • If I plan to file a motion to withdraw, must I file the designation of record, transcript order form (or notice of no transcript), entry of appearance and docketing statement?

    The deadline for filing preliminary documents will not change. At a minimum, counsel must still file an entry of appearance and docketing statement before, or at the same time as, the motion to withdraw. If counsel plans to file a motion to withdraw, it may be appropriate to file a motion to extend the time for filing the designation of record and transcript order form. Those motions will be viewed favorably if a compliant motion to withdraw is on file.

  • Will the court provide form motions?

    No. At this time, there is no plan to provide form motions. Any motion to withdraw must comply with 10th Cir. R. 46.4. By way of general guidance, all motions to continue should include the following information: whether the attorney is on the 10th Circuit Appellate Panel, or was previously on the panel, the reasons why continuation is sought, and the benefit to the appeal if trial counsel remains on the case.

  • If I file a motion to continue, what information should be included?

    As noted in the prior question, all motions to continue should include the following information: whether the attorney is on the 10th Circuit Appellate Panel, or was previously on the panel, the reasons why continuation is sought, and the benefit to the appeal if trial counsel remains on the case. These requirements will be codified in the court’s local rules that take effect in January of 2016.

  • May I file my motion to continue ex parte?

    Yes. If, in counsel’s view, the motion to continue requires the inclusion of privileged information, it may be filed ex parte and under seal. To file an ex parte motion, counsel must send an email with the motion attached to clerk@ca10.uscourts.gov. The email should include the case number, case caption, 2 and a short explanation regarding the need to file ex parte. Counsel may also call the clerk’s office main line at 303-844-3157 to coordinate the submission.

  • What if the notice of appeal is filed by the defendant pro se?

    Consistent with 10th Cir. R. 46.3(A), trial counsel must continue to represent the defendant until relieved of that duty by the court. If a notice of appeal is filed pro se, counsel will be required to prosecute the appeal and will be subject to the motion requirement. The court will notify counsel if an appeal is opened following the filing of a pro se notice.

  • What if I am CJA counsel and I think there is a possibility an Anders brief may be filed?

    The 14-day motion requirement does not alter the court’s practice or procedure for filing Anders briefs and motions to withdraw with those briefs. See Anders v. State of California, 386 U.S. 738, 744 (1967). If counsel believes Anders may apply, a motion to continue should be filed at the initiation of the appeal (that is, at the 14-day stage), to be followed, as appropriate, with a motion to withdraw submitted at the briefing stage. Because the initial motion is one to confirm whether trial counsel will participate on appeal, and does not involve the merit of the case, Anders motions should not be filed at the initial 14-day stage.

  • What if I am CJA counsel in an appeal brought by the United States?

    The same 14-day motion requirement applies in appeals brought by the government.

  • What if I am continuing CJA counsel in a proceeding filed originally per 28 U.S.C. §2255 or 28 U.S.C. §2254?

    The same 14-day motion requirement applies if counsel was appointed in the trial court in cases filed per §2255 or §2254.

  • Will the court add this requirement to the 10th Circuit local rules?

    Yes. A General Order adopting amendments to the court’s CJA Plan issued on June 22, 2015. A copy of the Plan, which includes this new requirement, may be found on the court’s website in the CJA section. The changes will also be incorporated into the court’s local rules that will become effective January 1, 2016. A draft of the new local rules will be posted for public comment in late summer 2015.