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Making Requests of the Court - Filing Motions

Sometimes parties need to ask the Supreme Court for permission to do something during an appeal. You need to file a motion if you need to request an order from the Supreme Court. Motions are not used very much in the Supreme Court so you should file a motion only if it is necessary.

How does the motion process work?

The person who wants the motion files a Motion, Affidavit & Memorandum and a proposed Order. The person who does not want the motion files an Opposition.

Summary of Motion Practice

Who files? What papers? When due? How many copies? How serve the other side?
Moving party (party who wants the motion)
  • motion
  • affidavit
  • proposed order
When need to make request of the court unless the Appellate Rules require a specific timeline for special types of motions Usually, file the original motion papers + 1 copy. Some motions (e.g., to dismiss, for reconsideration) file original + 5 copies. Hand deliver or 1st class U.S. mail.
Opposing party
  • opposition
10 days after the motion was mailed, or 7 days if it was hand delivered Usually, file the original motion papers + 1 copy. Some motions (e.g., to dismiss, for reconsideration) file original + 5 copies. Hand deliver or 1st class mail

How do you fill out the motion, affidavit & memorandum and order?

1. Motion, SHS - AP 400

This form is like a cover page. Tell the Supreme Court:

If the motion is for an extension of time, include a statement of each extension of time previously granted to you and how long each extension was.

2. Affidavit & Memorandum, SHS - AP 410

This form is where you support your request with the details of why you should get what you say you want. Be sure to:

Since this is a sworn statement, you must sign it in front of a notary, which includes court clerks and postal officials. You will need picture I.D. when you sign.

3. Order on Motion, SHS - AP 420

The order is the document you are asking the Supreme Court to sign. It tells anyone who reads it exactly what the Court has ordered in very simple, clear terms. Leave the signature line and date next to it blank. The Supreme Court may change your order or sign a different order.

How do you serve the other side?

On the bottom of the motion form, you must fill in the certificate of service information which tells the court how and when you served the opposing party with copies of the documents. Send by first class U.S. mail or hand-deliver a copy of all these documents to the other person, or lawyer if they have one.

How many copies of the motion papers do you file at the Appellate Clerk's Office?

For most motions, file the original motion papers + 1 copy of them in the Appellate Clerk's Office. However, in some circumstances (e.g., motion to dismiss and motion for reconsideration) you need to file the original motion papers + 5 copies. Read Appellate Rule 503 to decide if you need to file extra copies.

What comes next?

You wait. The other person has 7 days from the date you served the motion to file an opposition to your motion if you hand delivered it, or 10 days if you mailed it. The other side will file their response by filing an opposition.

How do you oppose a motion?

If you were served with a motion, you can tell the Supreme Court whether you agree or disagree with the other side's request by filing an opposition.

How do you fill out the opposition form?

Opposition, SHC - AP 440

This form tells the Supreme Court that you disagree with what the opposing party is asking for in the motion. Be sure to:

The Opposition form also tells:

How do you serve the other side with the opposition?

On the bottom of the opposition form, fill in the certificate of service information which tells the court how and when you served the opposing party with copies of the documents. Send by 1st class U.S. mail or hand-deliver a copy of all these documents to the other person, or their lawyer if they have one.

How many copies of the opposition do you file with at the Appellate Clerk's Office?

For most motions and oppositions, file the original motion papers + 1 copy of them in the Appellate Clerk’s Office. However, in some circumstances (e.g., motion to dismiss and motion for reconsideration) you need to file the original motion papers + 5 copies. Read Appellate Rule 503 to decide if you need to file extra copies. Always make a copy for your own records of anything you file in court.

Do you get to file a reply after the opposition?

No, not unless the Court orders it.

Will there be a hearing or oral argument on the motion?

No. The Court will decide the issue based on just the papers filed.

How do you calculate the filing deadlines?

For motions and opposition, count every day except the first day. If the last day is a Saturday, Sunday or a legal holiday, go to the next business day and that is when your papers are due. See Appellate Rule 502.

When will the Supreme Court decide your motion?

The Supreme Court will decide the motion as soon as possible after the 7 days to file an opposition has passed.

What if there is an emergency?

If you feel that you have an emergency that justifies speeding up the motion process, you may consider filing an "emergency" motion. Appellate Rule 504 is the special court rule that controls these requests. The Court rarely grants emergency motions. You should only file one in a real emergency when permanent harm will happen if the motion is decided using the normal timeline.

What if you don't like the Court's order on the motion?

You can file a motion for reconsideration within 10 days after the date of notice of the order. Motions for reconsideration are rarely granted. Read Appellate Rule 503(h) for more information.

Are there examples of what motion papers look like?

The following examples may be helpful:
Sample Motion for Extension of Time Adobe Acrobat PDF logo
Sample Affidavit & Memorandum for Extension of Time Adobe Acrobat PDF logo
Sample Order for Extension of Time Adobe Acrobat PDF logo


Rev. 27 September 2007
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