(a) During Initial Consideration of a Case on the Merits.
(1) Applicability. This Rule 29(a) governs amicus filings during a court's initial consideration of a case on the merits.
(2) When Permitted. An amicus curiae brief may be filed only with leave of court or at the court's request. An amicus brief must be limited to issues raised on appeal by the parties.
(3) Motion for Leave to File. The motion may be accompanied by the proposed brief. The motion must state:(A) the moving party's interest; and(B) the reasons why an amicus brief is desirable and why the matters asserted are relevant to the disposition of the case.(4) Contents and Form. An amicus brief must comply with Rule 25 and Rule 32. In addition to the requirements of Rule 25 and Rule 32, the cover must identify the party or parties supported, if any, and indicate whether the brief supports affirmance or reversal. An amicus brief need not comply with Rule 28, but must include the following:(A) a table of contents, with paragraph references;(B) a table of authorities—cases (alphabetically arranged), statutes and other authorities—with references to the paragraphs in the brief where they are cited;(C) a concise statement of the identity of the amicus curiae, and its interest in the case;(D) a statement that indicates whether:(5) Length. Except by the court's permission, an amicus brief may be no more than one-half the maximum length authorized by these rules for a party's principal brief (see Rule 32(a) (7) ). If the court grants a party permission to file a longer brief, that extension does not affect the length of an amicus brief.(i) a party's counsel authored the brief in whole or in part;(ii) a party or a party's counsel contributed money that was intended to fund preparing or submitting the brief; and(iii) a person—other than the amicus curiae, its members, or its counsel—contributed money that was intended to fund preparing or submitting the brief and, if so, identifies each such person; and(iv) an argument, which may be preceded by a summary and which need not include a statement of the applicable standard of review.
(6) Time for Filing. An amicus curiae must file its brief within the time allowed for filing the principal brief of the party being supported. An amicus curiae that does not support either party must file its brief within the time allowed for filing the appellant's principal brief. The court may grant leave for later filing, specifying the time within which an opposing party may answer.
(7) Reply Brief. Except by the court's permission, an amicus curiae may not file a reply brief.
(8) Oral Argument. An amicus curiae may participate in oral argument only with the court's permission.
(b) During Consideration of Whether to Grant Rehearing.
(1) Applicability. This Rule 29(b) governs amicus filings during a court's consideration of whether to grant rehearing.
(2) When Permitted. An amicus curiae may file a brief only by leave of court.
(3) Motion for Leave to File. Rule 29(a)(3) applies to a motion for leave.
(4) Contents, Form, and Length. Rule 29(a)(4) applies to the amicus brief. The brief must not exceed 2,600 words.
(5) Time for Filing. An amicus curiae supporting the petition for rehearing or supporting neither party must file its brief, accompanied by a motion for filing when necessary, no later than 7 days after the petition is filed. An amicus curiae opposing the petition must file its brief, accompanied by a motion for filing when necessary, no later than the date set by the court for the response.
Rule 29 was revised, effective March 1, 2003, in response to the December 1, 1998, amendments to Fed.R.App.P. 29. The language and organization of the rule were changed to make the rule more easily understood and to make style and terminology consistent throughout the rules.
Paragraph (a)(2) was amended, effective March 21, 2007. New language was added to clarify that an amicus brief may deal only with issues raised on appeal by the parties.
Paragraph (a)(3) was amended, effective March 1, 2003. New language in subparagraph (a)(3)(B) was added to require that the motion state the relevance of the matters asserted to the disposition of the case.
Paragraph (a)(4) was adopted, effective March 1, 2003, to eliminate any confusion as to contents and form and to require compliance with Rule 32, and amended effective October 1, 2014, to conform the rule to electronic filing..
Paragraph (a)(4) was amended, March 1, 2012, to include a new subparagraph (a)(4)(D) establishing disclosure requirements concerning the authorship and funding of an amicus brief. The disclosure requirements are derived from Fed.R.App.P. 29.
Paragraph (a)(4) was amended, effective December 1, 2014, to require references to paragraph numbers in the table of contents and table of authorities.
Paragraph (a)(5) was adopted, effective March 1, 2003, to establish a shorter page limit for an amicus brief than for a party's principal brief. The rationale for this limitation is that an amicus brief is supplemental—it need not address all issues or facets of a case, but only matters not adequately addressed by a party.
Paragraph (a)(7) was adopted, effective March 1, 2003, to prohibit the filing of a reply brief by an amicus curiae without the permission of the court.
Subdivision (b) was adopted, effective March 1, 2018, to create a procedure for filing an amicus brief supporting or opposing rehearing.
SOURCES: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of April 27, 2017, pages 22-23; September 26, 2013, page 25; April 28-29, 2011, page 26; September 27-28, 2001, pages 19-22; September 29-30, 1994, page 16; May 25-26, 1978, pages 13-14. Fed.R.App.P. 29.
CROSS REFERENCE: N.D.R.App.P. 32 (Form of Briefs, Appendices, and Other Documents).