Cite as 2019 Ark. 79
SUPREME COURT OF ARKANSAS
In re Electronic Filing of Petitions for Rehearing and Petitions for Review
Opinion Delivered March 14, 2019
On June 18, 2015, we announced the implementation of an electronic-filing system in this court and in the court of appeals, and we authorized the establishment of an appellate-motion electronic-filing pilot project “as a first step toward mandatory electronic filing in the appellate courts.” In re Appellate Motion Electronic-Filing Pilot Project, 2015 Ark. 282, at 1 (per curiam). That pilot program ended on September 21, 2016, and, as of that date, the electronic filing of motions, petitions, and responses has been “mandatory for such filings that do not require the payment of any fee and that are not case initiating.” In re Appellate-Motion Electronic-Filing Pilot Project and Appellate-Brief Electronic-Filing Pilot Project, 2016 Ark. 314, at 1 (per curiam). Petitions for review and petitions for rehearing often require the payment of a filing fee, but the court’s electronic-filing software was not configured to process filing-fee payments; consequently, parties have been unable to electronically file those petitions. Today, we announce that the electronic filing of petitions for rehearing and petitions for review is now available and will become mandatory on July 1, 2019.
We also take this opportunity to announce some new procedures for petitions for review. The deadline for filing petitions for review will no longer be the same as the deadline for filing petitions for rehearing. Instead, upon the effective date of the amendments below, petitions for review must be filed within ten calendar days of the end of the rehearing period. In addition, petitions for review will no longer be assigned a new case number, and parties are instructed to file petitions for review using the same case number that was assigned to the case when the court of appeals issued the decision that is the subject of the petition for review. And because the case number will remain the same, there will no longer be any need to electronically refile the same briefs previously considered by the court of appeals. However, parties will be required to provide the clerk with six paper copies of the briefs previously submitted to the court of appeals for this court to use in its review.
To implement the changes discussed above, we amend Rules 2-1(a) and 2-4 of the Rules of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals as set forth below. The changes are set out in “line-in, line out” fashion (new material is underlined; deleted material is lined through), and the amendments are effective for all cases in which a decision is issued on or after July 1, 2019.
Rule 2-1. Motions, petitions, and responses, general rules.
(a) Writing required.
All motions, petitions, and responses filed in the appellate courts must be in
writing and comply with the requirements of Rule 4-1(a) in regard to the style
of briefs. All motions, petitions, and responses, except for those
the payment of any fee or that are case initiating, shall be filed using
the electronic filing system provided by the Administrative Office of the
Courts. However, persons proceeding pro se and persons with disabilities or
special needs that prevent electronic filing shall be entitled to submit
conventional paper filings.
. . .
Rule 2-4. Petitions for Review
(a) Time for Filing Petition for Review. A petition to the Supreme Court for review of a decision of the Court of Appeals must be electronically filed within 10 calendar days after the end of the Court of Appeals rehearing period. The rehearing period ends upon the expiration of time for filing a petition for rehearing under Rule 2-3(a) or upon the disposition of the last pending petition for rehearing, whichever is later. A petition for review received prior to the end of the Court of Appeals rehearing period will be noted as “tendered,” and the petition will be deemed filed on the day after the end of the rehearing period.
Contents of petition. A petition to the Supreme Court for review of a decision
of the Court of Appeals must be in writing and must be filed within 18
calendar days from the date of the decision, regardless of whether a petition
for rehearing is filed with the Court of Appeals. The petition may be
typewritten and shall not exceed three 8 1/2” x 11”, double-spaced pages in
length. The petition must briefly and distinctly state the basis upon which the
case should be reviewed and may include citations of authority or references to
statutes or constitutional provisions. The petition can only be filed by a
party to the appeal and is otherwise subject to Rule 1-2(e).
Briefs and oral argument prohibited. Briefs will not be accepted and oral
arguments will not be heard in support of petitions for review. However, the
petitioner may attach a copy of the petition for rehearing to the petition for
Grounds for review. A petition for review must allege one of the following: (i)
the case was decided in the Court of Appeals by a tie vote, (ii) the Court of
Appeals rendered a decision which is in conflict with a prior holding of a
published opinion of either the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeals, or (iii)
the Court of Appeals otherwise erred with respect to one of the grounds listed
in Rule 1-2(b).
Response. A response to a petition for review must be filed within 10 calendar
days of the date the petition was filed or deemed filed. Responses are
subject to the same limitations as petitions. The respondent may attach a copy
of the response to the petition for rehearing to the response to the petition
Clerk’s notification; request for oral argument. When the Supreme Court grants
a petition for review, the Clerk shall promptly notify all counsel and parties
appearing pro se. Within two weeks 10 calendar days of the
notification, the briefs previously submitted to the Court of Appeals shall
be electronically filed with the Clerk along with six paper copies within five
days of the electronic-filing date the parties shall provide to the
Clerk six paper copies of their respective briefs that were previously
submitted to the Court of Appeals. Any party may request oral argument during
the 10-day period by filing contemporaneously with that party’s filing
of the brief, a letter , separate from the brief, stating the request
with a copy to all parties. The decision to grant the request for oral argument
and other aspects of oral argument are governed by Rule 5-1.
Supplemental and reply briefs. Leave of court shall not be required
to file supplemental briefs, and any party may, request
permission to submit a supplemental brief by motion, filed with the Clerk and
served upon all other parties, within two weeks after the granting of review
within 10 calendar days after the granting of review, initiate supplemental
briefing by filing a letter with the Clerk requesting the issuance of a
supplemental briefing schedule. The moving first requesting
party’s supplemental brief shall be due 20 calendar days from the granting
of the motion filing of the letter requesting the issuance of the
supplemental briefing schedule. Other parties may file responsive
supplemental briefs within 10 calendar days of the date the moving first
requesting party’s supplemental brief is filed. A supplemental reply
brief may be filed within five 5 calendar days after the filing of a
responsive supplemental brief. No supplemental brief , responsive brief, or
reply brief submitted pursuant to this Rule shall exceed 10 pages in
length. These briefs shall otherwise conform to the requirements of Rule 4-1. Supplemental
briefing is not permitted in dependency-neglect cases pursuant to Rule
Compliance with Administrative Order 19 required. Every petition for review,
response, and supplemental brief of any kind on review must comply with the
protective requirements for confidential information established by
Administrative Order 19. Counsel and unrepresented parties shall follow the
redaction and filing procedure established by Rule of Civil Procedure
5(c)(2)(A) & (B). That procedure includes: (1) eliminating all unnecessary
or irrelevant confidential information; (2) redacting all necessary and
relevant confidential information; and (3) filing an unredacted version under