RULE 31. FILING AND SERVICE OF BRIEFS
(a) Time to Serve and File a Brief; Where Filed. The appellant must serve and file a 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 must serve and file a brief
within 30 days after the appellant's brief is served. The appellant may serve and file a reply
brief within 14 days after service of the appellee's brief; however, if there is less than 14
days before oral argument the reply brief must be filed at least
3 5 days
before argument. All
briefs must be filed with the supreme court clerk.
(b) Number of Copies to Be Filed and Served.
(1) Each brief must be served and filed as follows:
(A) one copy of each brief must be served on each unrepresented party and on counsel for each party separately represented;
(B) seven bound copies and an unbound original of each brief must be filed with the supreme court clerk; and
(C) one electronic copy of each brief must be filed with, or electronically transmitted to, the supreme court clerk, unless the filing party certifies the brief was not prepared on a computer or word processor.
(2) All electronic copies of briefs must contain in a single file all information contained in the paper brief, including cover, table of contents, and certifications, in the same order as in the paper brief. The electronic copy of a brief must be formatted in WordPerfect; or, if WordPerfect is not available, Microsoft Word; or, if Microsoft Word is not available, ASCII; or other compatible electronic language authorized by the supreme court clerk.
(c) Consequence of Failure to File. If an appellant fails to file a brief within the time provided by this rule or within a time extended by the court, the court on its own motion may dismiss the appeal or an appellee may move to dismiss the appeal. An appellee who fails to file a brief will not be heard at oral argument.
Rule 31 was amended, effective January 1, 1988; March 1, 1997; March 1, 1999; March 1, 2001; technical amendments effective August 1, 2001; March 1, 2003; March 1, 2008; ____________________.
Rule 31 was amended, effective March 1, 2003, in response to the December 1, 1998, amendments to Fed.R.App.P. 31. The language and organization of subdivisions (a) and (c) were changed to make the rule more easily understood and to make terminology and style consistent throughout the rules.
Subdivision (a) was amended, effective ______________, to change the deadline for an appellant to serve and file a reply brief if there is less than 14 days before argument from 3 to 5 days before argument.
Subdivision (b) was amended, effective March 1, 2008, to require that a copy of each brief be served on each unrepresented party. The subdivision was also amended to update requirements for filing an electronic copy with paper briefs. Information on electronic transmission of documents to the supreme court clerk can be found in N.D. Sup. Ct. Admin. Order 14.
Subdivision (c) was amended, effective March 1, 2008, to clarify extension and dismissal procedure.
Sources: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of April 29-30, 2010, page 24; January 25, 2007, page 19; September 27-28, 2001, page 23; April 26-27, 2001, page 9; 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. Fed.R.App.P. 31.
Cross Reference: N.D.R.App.P. 26(b) (Extending Time) , N.D.R.App.P. 28 (Briefs), N.D.R.App.P. 30 (Appendix to the Briefs), N.D.R.App.P. 32 (Form of Briefs, Appendices, and Other Papers), N.D. Sup. Ct. Admin. Order 14 (Electronic Filing Pilot Project).