Search Tips


Effective Date: 3/1/2022

(a) Form of a Brief.

(1) Reproduction.
(A) A brief must be typewritten, printed, or reproduced by any process that yields a clear black image on white paper. Only one side of a paper may be used.
(B) Photographs, illustrations, and tables may be reproduced by any method that results in a good copy of the original. If filed electronically, documents must be submitted in the same form as if submitted by mail, by third-party commercial carrier, i.e. color. Notice to the clerk of the supreme court must be given of anything other than black and white printed documents.
(2) Cover. The cover of the appellant's brief must be blue; the appellee's red; an intervenor's or amicus curiae's green; a cross-appellee's and any reply brief gray. Covers of petitions for rehearing must be the same color as the petitioning party's principal brief. If the brief is filed electronically, the supreme court will affix the correct color cover. The front cover of a brief must contain:
(A) the number of the case;
(B) the name of the court;
(C) the title of the case (see Rule 3(d) ) ;
(D) the nature of the proceeding (e. g. , Appeal from Summary Judgment) and the name of the court, agency, or board below;
(E) the title of the brief, identifying the party or parties for whom the brief is filed;
(F) the name, bar identification number, office address, and telephone number of counsel representing the party for whom the brief is filed.
(3) Binding. The brief must be bound at the left in a secure manner that does not obscure the text and permits the brief to lie reasonably flat when open. If the brief is filed electronically, the supreme court will bind the brief.
(4) Paper Size, Line Spacing, and Margins. The brief must be on 8½ by 11 inch paper. Margins must be at least one and one-half inch at the left and at least one inch on all other sides. Pages must be numbered at the bottom, either centered or at the right side. Page numbering must begin on the cover page with the arabic number 1 and continue consecutively to the end of the document.
(5) Typeface. The typeface must be 12 point or larger with no more than 16 characters per inch. The text must be double-spaced, except quotations may be single-spaced and indented. Headings and footnotes may be single-spaced and must be in the same typeface as the text.
(6) Type Styles. A brief must be set in a plain, roman style, although italics or boldface may be used for emphasis. Case names must be italicized or underlined.
(7) Paragraph Numbers. Paragraphs must be numbered using arabic numerals in briefs. Reference to material in any document that contains paragraph numbers must be to the paragraph number.
(8) Page Limitations.
(A) Page Limit. A principal brief may not exceed 38 pages, and a reply brief may not exceed 12 pages, excluding any addendum. Footnotes or endnotes must be included in the page count.
(B) Page Limit for N.D.R.Civ.P. 54(b) Certification. An argument on the appropriateness of N.D.R.Civ.P. 54(b) certification may not exceed 5 pages. Page limits for Rule 54(b) certification are in addition to the limits set forth in (7)(A).

(b) Form of Other Documents.

(1) All paragraphs must be numbered in documents filed with the court except for exhibits, documents prepared before the action was commenced, or documents not prepared by the parties or court. Reference to material in any document that contains paragraph numbers must be to the paragraph number.
(2) Motion. Rule 27 governs motion content. The form of all motion documents must comply with the requirements of paragraph (c) (4) below.
(3) Petition for Rehearing. Rule 40 governs petition for rehearing content.
(4) Other Documents. Any other document must be reproduced in the manner prescribed by subdivision (a) , with the following exceptions:
(A) a cover is not necessary if the caption and signature page together contain the information required by subdivision (a); and
(B) Paragraph (a) (8) does not apply.

(c) Non-compliance. Documents not in compliance with this rule will not be filed.

(d) Certificate of Compliance. A brief must include a certificate by the attorney, or a self-represented party, that the document complies with the page limitation. The person preparing the certificate must rely on the page count of the filed electronic document. The certificate must state the number of pages in the document. An inaccurate certification may subject the filer to sanctions.

Rule 32 was amended, effective March 1, 1996; amended effective September 11, 1996, subject to comment; final adoption on October 23, 1996; amended effective August 1, 2001; March 1, 2003; March 1, 2007; March 1, 2008; March 1, 2010; March 1, 2013; October 1, 2014; March 1, 2017; March 1, 2018; March 1, 2019; March 1, 2022.

Rule 32 was amended, effective September 11, 1996, with respect to the allowable characters per inch with proportionally spaced typeface in subparagraph (a) (5) (A).

Rule 32 was revised, effective March 1, 2003, in response to the December 1, 1998, amendments to Fed.R.App.P. 32. 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 1, 2007, to specify the cover color for a petition for rehearing.

Paragraph (a)(3) , effective March 1, 2003, requires a brief to be bound in a secure manner, however, this is not intended to allow staples or slide-lock or slide-grip bindings.

Paragraphs (a)(6) and (a) (7) , which include type style requirements and page and type-volume limitations, were adopted, effective March 1, 2003. These limitations were moved to this rule from Rule 28 and generally do not follow the federal format requirements. As used in paragraph (a) (6) , "plain, roman style" does not includeitalicized, bold, or cursive type-styles.

Paragraph (a)(7) was amended, effective March 1, 2018, to specify that paragraphs must be numbered using arabic numerals.

Paragraph (a)(8) was amended, effective March 1, 2013, to decrease the page and type volume allowed in a primary brief and a response brief.

Paragraph (a)(8) was amended, effective March 1, 2019, to use only page counts for filings.

Paragraph (a)(8), effective March 1, 2003, limits the length of a brief. A person may rely on the word or line count of the word-processing system used to prepare the brief.

Subparagraph (a)(8)(C) was adopted, effective March 1, 2010, to limit the length of an argument on the appropriateness of N.D.R.Civ.P. 54(b) certification.

Subdivision (a) was amended, effective October 1, 2014, to conform the rule to electronic filing.

Paragraph (b)(2), was amended, effective March 1, 2008, to transfer length requirements for petitions for rehearing to Rule 40.

Subdivision (b) was amended, effective October 1, 2014, to clarify that paragraph numbers are required in all documents submitted to the court unless a specified exception applies.

Subdivision (d) was amended, effective March 1, 2019, to require certification of the page count by filers.

Rule 32 was amended, effective October 1, 2014, to replace "supreme court clerk" with "clerk of the supreme court" and "paper" with "document."

Rule 32 was amended, effective March 1, 2022, to remove references to the appendix and retitle the rule.

SOURCES: Joint Procedure Committee Minutes of September 30, 2021, pages 2-9; January 26-27, 2017, page 30; January 28-29, 2016, page 8; September 26, 2013, pages 27-28; January 26-27, 2012, pages 8-9; September 30, 2011, pages 11-12; April 28-29, 2011, page 18-20; September 24-25, 2009, pages 15-16; April 26-27, 2007, page 18; January 25, 2007, page 19; September 22-23, 2005, page 27; January 24-25, 2002, pages 7-9; September 27-28, 2001, pages 23-25; April 26-27, 2001, page 9; April 27-28, 1995, pages 15-17; May 25-26, 1978, pages 17-18; January 12-13, 1978, pages 20-22. Fed.R.App.P. 32,3. 13(e) and 3. 31, ABA Standards Relating to Appellate Courts (Approved Draft, 1977).


SUPERSEDED: N.D.C.C. § 29-28-19.

CROSS REFERENCE: N.D.R.App.P. 27 (Motions) ; N.D.R.App.P. 28 (Briefs) ; N.D.R.App.P. 29 (Brief of an Amicus Curiae) ; N.D.R.App.P. 30 (References to the Record) ; N.D.R.App.P. 40 (Petition for Rehearing).

Effective Date Obsolete Date
03/01/2022 View
03/01/2019 03/01/2022 View
03/01/2018 03/01/2019 View
03/01/2017 03/01/2018 View
10/01/2014 03/01/2017 View
03/01/2013 10/01/2014 View
03/01/2010 03/01/2013 View
03/01/2008 03/01/2010 View
03/01/2007 03/01/2008 View
03/01/2003 03/01/2007 View
08/01/2001 03/01/2003 View
09/11/1996 08/01/2001 View
03/01/1996 09/11/1996 View