RULE 31. FILING AND SERVICE OF BRIEFS
(a) Time for Serving and Filing Briefs; Where Filed. The appellant shall serve and file appellant's brief within 40 days after the date on which the transcript is filed but, if no transcript is ordered, within 40 days after the notice of appeal is filed. The appellee shall serve and file appellee's brief within 30 days after service of the brief of the appellant. The appellant may serve and file a reply brief within 14 days after service of the brief of the appellee; however, if there is less than 14 days before oral argument
Except for good cause shown, a the reply brief must be filed at least 3 days before argument. All briefs must be filed with the clerk of the supreme court.
(b) Number of Copies to Be Filed and Served. Seven copies and an original of each brief shall be filed with the clerk of the supreme court unless the court by order in a particular case shall permit a lesser number, and one copy shall be served on counsel for each party separately represented.
(c) Consequence of Failure to File Briefs. If an appellant fails to file a brief within the time provided by this rule, or within the time as extended, an appellee may move for dismissal of the appeal. If an appellee fails to file an appropriate brief, sanctions may be imposed
pursuant tounder Rule 13 which may include refusal to be heard at oral argument.
Rule 31 was amended, effective January 1, 1988; March 1, 1997.
Although based upon Rule 31, FRAppP, this rule differs from the Federal Rule in that the time for filing the appellant's brief commences after the transcript, not the record, is filed. If no transcript is ordered, the appellant's brief is due 40 days after the notice of appeal is filed. All briefs are filed directly with the Clerk of the Supreme Court. Failure to file a brief within the time required may result in dismissal of the appeal under subdivision (c) and Rule 3(a). An application for extension of time is permitted by Rule 26(b) and should follow the requirements of Rule 27. Subdivisions (a) and (c) were amended, effective January 1, 1988, to track the Federal Rule amendments which are technical in nature without substantive change. However, subdivision (c) was further amended to give notice to practitioners that if an appellee's brief is not filed with the Supreme Court then sanctions may be imposed. Additional sanctions were needed to protect the appellate process from abuse.
SOURCES: Procedure Committee Minutes of September 28-29, 1995, page 12; May 21-22, 1987, page 17; February 19-20, 1987, page 8; September 18-19, 1986, pages 2, 20; May 25-26, 1978, page 17; October 27-28, 1977, pages 6-7; September 15-16, 1977, pages 13-14. Rule 31, FRAppP.
CROSS REFERENCE: Rule 26(b) (Enlargement of Time), Rule 28 (Contents of Briefs; Briefs Involving Cross-Appeals), Rule 30 (Appendix), and Rule 32 (Form of Briefs), NDRAppP.