Supreme Court Rules Related to Document Formatting

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tiny lion What are the Word Count Limits for Supreme Court Documents?

Supreme Court Brief Max Word Count
Petition for a Writ of Certiorari ......................................................................................................... 9,000 words
Brief in Opposition to a Writ of Certiorari ....................................................................................... 9,000 words
Reply Brief in Support of a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari ........................................................ 3,000 words
Merits Brief of Petitioner or Appellant ............................................................................................ 15,000 words
Merits Brief of Respondent or Appellee ......................................................................................... 15,000 words
Brief of Amicus Curiae at Petition Stage......................................................................................... 6,000 words
Brief of Amicus Curiae at Merits Stage............................................................................................ 9,000 words
Petition for Rehearing.......................................................................................................................... 3,000 words

tiny lion How Must the Attorney or Preparer Certify the Word Count?

Each document must be accompanied by a certificate signed by the attorney, the unrepresented party, or the preparer of the document stating that the brief complies with the word limitations. The person preparing the certificate may rely on the word count of the word-processing system used to prepare the document. The certificate must state the number of words in the document. The certificate shall accompany the document when it is presented to the Clerk for filing and shall be separate from it. If the certificate is signed by a person other than a member of the Bar of this Court, the counsel of record, or the unrepresented party, it must contain a notarized affidavit or declaration in compliance with 28 U. S. C. ยง 1746.

tiny lion What Sections Does the Word Count Include, and Which Sections does it Exclude?

The word-count includes the text of the document along with footnotes, but does not include the questions presented, the list of parties, the corporate disclosure statement, the table of contents, the table of cited authorities, the listing of counsel at the end of the document, or any appendix. Block quotations which detail constitutional provisions, treaties, statutes, ordinances, and regulations involved in the case are not included.

tiny lion What is the Supreme Court Font?

Century Schoolbook, 12 point

tiny lion What are the Binding Requirements for Supreme Court Documents?

Every document must be prepared in a bound booklet-format on paper that is cut to 6 1/8" x 9 1/4". The paper must be opaque, unglazed, and not less than 60 pounds in weight, and shall have margins of at least three-fourths of an inch on all sides. The text field, including footnotes, may not exceed 41/8 by 71/8 inches. The document should be saddle-stitched (a neat center-spine stapling found in pamphlets) or perfect-bound (book-quality binding). Spiral, plastic, metal, or string bindings may not be used.

tiny lion Does it Matter What the Color Cover is for Supreme Court Documents?

Each Supreme Court document has a unique color to its cover. This allows the justices and clerks to visually organize which documents have been submitted by which parties. A document with the incorrect cover color will be rejected by the clerk of the court.

Supreme Court Brief Color of Cover
Petition for a Writ of Certiorari ......................................................................................................... White
Brief in Opposition to a Writ of Certiorari ....................................................................................... Orange
Reply Brief in Support of a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari ........................................................ Tan
Merits Brief of Petitioner or Appellant ............................................................................................ Light Blue
Merits Brief of Respondent or Appellee ......................................................................................... Light Red
Brief of Amicus Curiae at Petition Stage......................................................................................... Cream
Brief of Amicus Curiae at Merits Stage in Support of Petitioner or Appellant ....................... Light Green
Brief of Amicus Curiae at Merits Stage in Support of Respondent or Appellant ................... Dark Green
Petition for Rehearing ......................................................................................................................... Tan

 

tiny lion What is the Deadline for Filing a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari?

The petition for a Writ of Certiorari must be filed within 90 days of the entry of judgment in the Circuit Court.

tiny lion What is the Deadline for Filing a Brief in Opposition to a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari?

The Brief in Opposition to the Petition for a Writ of Certiorari must be filed within 30 days of the case being placed on the docket.