RULES OF SUPREME COURT OF LOUISIANA

PART A. PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE

 

RULE X. WRIT APPLICATIONS

Section 1. Writ Grant Considerations.

(a) The grant or denial of an application for writs rests within the sound judicial discretion of this court. The following, while neither controlling nor fully measuring the court's discretion, indicate the character of the reasons that will be considered, one or more of which must ordinarily be present in order for an application to be granted:

1. Conflicting Decisions. The decision of a court of appeal conflicts with a decision of another court of appeal, this court, or the Supreme Court of the United States, on the same legal issue.

2. Significant Unresolved Issues of Law. A court of appeal has decided, or sanctioned a lower court's decision of, a significant issue of law which has not been, but should be, resolved by this court.

3. Overruling or Modification of Controlling Precedents. Although the decision of the court of appeal is in accord with the controlling precedents of this court, the controlling precedents should be overruled or substantially modified.

4. Erroneous Interpretation or Application of Constitution or Laws. A court of appeal has erroneously interpreted or applied the constitution or a law of this state or the United States and the decision will cause material injustice or significantly affect the public interest.

5. Gross Departure From Proper Judicial Proceedings. The court of appeal has so far departed from proper judicial proceedings or so abused its powers, or sanctioned such a departure or abuse by a lower court, as to call for an exercise of this court's supervisory authority.

(b) The application for writs shall address, in concise fashion, why the case is appropriate for review under the considerations stated in subsection (a) above, in accordance with Section 3 or 4 of this rule.

Section 2. Writ Applications; General Filing Requirements.

(a) An application for any writ, and all documents and exhibits in connection therewith, shall be filed in duplicate with the clerk of this court, and will not be considered by the court or by any member of the court unless it is so filed with and regularly allotted by the clerk. Seven additional copies of the application shall be filed, except that additional copies are not required for pro se writs in criminal matters. The additional copies shall include the trial court's judgment and reasons for judgment, if the reasons were written or transcribed, and the court of appeal opinion, if any, and may also include any other pleadings or exhibits attached to the original and duplicate.

(b) To the extent practicable, the original and duplicate applications and copies, either or all of which may be produced through a permanent duplicating process, shall be prepared on white, legal size paper and shall be double-spaced. With the exception of matters which are customarily indented, margins of at least 3/4 inch, but no more than 1 1/4 inches, shall be maintained on the left, right and bottom of all pages. Margins of no less than 1 1/2 inches, but no more than 2 inches, shall be maintained at the top of each page. Applications shall be bound in at least two places along the top margin (metal fasteners or staples are preferred). No part of the text of the application shall be obscured by the binding. No less than 11 point typeface, but no more than 12 point typeface, shall be used. The pages in the application shall be consecutively numbered, except that exhibits and attachments may be indexed and tabbed on the right side of the page.

(c) A copy of the application shall be mailed or delivered to all counsel and unrepresented parties. In cases where a remedial writ is sought, a copy of the application shall also be mailed or delivered to the respondent judge. Where a court of appeal has taken any action in a case, either by judgment on appeal or by granting or denying writs, a copy of the application to this court shall be simultaneously filed with the clerk of that court of appeal, which copy need include only the memorandum directed to this court.

(d) The application shall be signed by the applicant or applicant's attorney of record. The applicant or the applicant's attorney of record shall verify the allegations of the application and certify that a copy of the application has been mailed or delivered to the appropriate court of appeal (if required by Section 2(c) of this rule), to the respondent judge in the case of a remedial writ, and to all other counsel and unrepresented parties. The names, addresses and telephone numbers of all counsel and unrepresented parties involved in the case, together with the name of the party or parties each counsel represents, shall be listed in the verification or an attachment thereto.

All duplicate originals and copies of writ applications filed in this court shall include a completed writ application filing sheet. Satisfactory completion of the writ application filing sheet shall satisfy the verification requirements of this subsection. The completed writ application filing sheet should follow the cover sheet in writ applications. The writ application filing sheet is published in the Appendices to the Rules of the Supreme Court of Louisiana.

(e) In all applications requesting a stay order or other priority consideration, the applicant must certify that all counsel and unrepresented parties have been notified by telephone or other equally prompt means of communication that said writ application has been or is about to be filed in this Court and said application must be served forthwith on all parties at interest or their counsel, by a means equal to the means used to effect filing in this Court. (That is, if filing in this Court is by overnight mail, the same means shall be sufficient for service on all parties at interest. If filing is by hand to this Court, service must be made on all parties at interest by an equally prompt method.)


All duplicate originals and copies of priority writ applications shall include, in addition to a completed writ application filing sheet, a completed civil or criminal priority filing sheet. The civil or criminal priority filing sheet shall precede the writ application filing sheet in the writ application. The civil and criminal priority filing sheets are published in the Appendices to the Rules of the Supreme Court of Louisiana.


The applicant shall immediately notify the Court if the need for expedited consideration changes due to settlement, continuance or any other circumstance. Failure to notify the Court shall subject the applicant to punishment for contempt of the authority of the Court. [amended effective January 21, 2011]

Section 3. Writ Applications; Civil; Contents.

In civil cases, a writ application shall be accompanied by the filing fee set forth in R.S. 13:126 and shall contain:

1. An index of all items contained therein;

2. A statement of which of the considerations set forth in Section 1(a) of this rule is present in the case;

3. A memorandum, not exceeding 25 pages in length, containing:

(a) A concise statement of the case summarizing the nature of the case and prior proceedings;

(b) An assignment of errors in the opinion, judgment, ruling or order complained of;

(c) A summary of the argument which should be a succinct but accurate and clear condensation of the argument actually made within the body of the memorandum; it should not be a mere repetition of the headings under which the argument is arranged.

(d) An argument of each assignment of error on the facts and law, addressing particularly why the case is appropriate for review under the considerations stated in Section 1(a) of this rule.

4. A verification, as required by Section 2(d) of this rule;

5. An appendix containing a copy of the trial court’s judgment, order or ruling and reasons for judgment, if reasons were written or transcribed, and the court of appeal’s order and opinion, if any, including rulings and opinions on rehearing or applications therefor. [amended effective June 1, 2007]


6. Other pleadings or documents shall not be filed, unless their inclusion is essential to demonstrate why the application should be granted. Other pleadings or documents shall be bound separately from the writ application and shall not exceed twenty-five pages. [added effective June 1, 2007]

7. The Clerk will not accept for filing any other pleadings or documents if the twenty-five page limit is exceeded. The applicant shall have seven days from the date the filing is rejected to file other pleadings or documents that conform to this rule, along with the filing fee set forth in Rule IV.  [added effective June 1, 2007; amended effective July 1, 2013]


8. Briefs filed in the court of appeal shall not be attached. The court may require the submission of any additional documents or information that it deems useful to its consideration of the application.  [added effective June 1, 2007]


9. Applications in cases where an application has been previously filed and is pending may refer to the documents or exhibits attached to the previous application without the necessity of filing additional copies.  [added effective June 1, 2007]


Official Comments
Excessive and irrelevant pleadings and documents included with writ applications are burdensome to the court and are strongly discouraged. In cases where the applicant believes the inclusion of exhibits are absolutely necessary to his or her argument, the applicant should limit the scope of those materials to ensure they relate to the subject matter of the application. For example, if an applicant attaches a deposition, it should be limited to those pages which clearly relate to the subject matter of the application. Ordinarily, there is no need to attach pleadings filed in the lower courts, such as petitions, answers, exceptions, appellate briefs, etc. In no event shall the applicant file more than twenty-five pages of other pleadings or documents. The filing of condensed deposition or trial transcripts, reducing multi-page exhibits to one page, and other artifices designed to circumvent the twenty-five page limit are prohibited and will be grounds for rejecting the other pleadings and documents. If the court determines additional materials are necessary for its review, the court may request supplementation.  [added effective June 1, 2007]

[Amended effective July 1, 2013]

 

Section 4. Writ Applications; Criminal; Content.

In criminal cases, a writ application shall contain:

1. An index of all items contained therein;

2. A statement of which of the considerations set forth in Section 1(a) of this rule is present in the case;

3. A memorandum, not exceeding 25 pages, or in a capital post-conviction case, not exceeding 50 pages, with typeface and margins as described in La. S.Ct. Rule VII, §2, containing:

(a) A concise statement of the case summarizing the nature of the case and prior proceedings;

(b) An assignment of errors in the opinion, judgment, ruling or order complained of;

(c) A summary of the argument which should be a succinct but accurate and clear condensation of the argument actually made within the body of the memorandum; it should not be a mere repetition of the headings under which the argument is arranged.

(d) An argument of each assignment of error on the facts and law, addressing particularly why the case is appropriate for review under the considerations stated in Section 1(a) of this rule.

[Amended effective October 15, 1999.]

4. A verification, as required by Section 2(d) of this rule;

5. A copy of the judgment, order or ruling and opinion or reasons for judgment, if any, of the court of appeal, including rulings and opinions on rehearing or applications therefor; [amended effective June 1, 2007]


6. An appendix, separately bound from the writ application, containing:


(a) A copy of the charging document filed in the court of original jurisdiction, if specifically relevant to the writ application;


(b) A copy of the minutes of the proceedings in the trial court, if specifically relevant to the judgment or order under review;


(c) Copies of briefs of all parties filed in the court of appeal relevant to the issues raised by the application;


(d) Where relevant to the writ application, a copy of the judgment, order or ruling of the trial court, and the reasons for same, if written or transcribed, and a copy of the pleadings on which the order or ruling is founded;


(e) A copy of the order of the trial judge fixing the time for filing the application in this court, if such be required by Section 5(b) of this rule, and of any extension thereof, or if a copy is not readily available, an affidavit of the applicant or counsel indicating the contents of the order and explaining why the order is not available;


(f) The inclusion of other documents is discouraged, with the exception of transcripts of relevant judicial proceedings. The court may require the submission of any additional documents or information that it deems useful to its consideration of the application;


(g) Applications in cases where an application has been previously filed and is pending may refer to the documents or exhibits attached to the previous application without the necessity of filing additional copies.


Only an original and duplicate copy of the separately bound appendix shall be filed with the writ application.
[amended effective June 1, 2007]

 

Section 5. Writ Applications; Time for Filing.

[Ed. Note: See Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure Article 2166 , as amended by Act 587 of 2001, effective August 15, 2001]

(a) An application seeking to review a judgment of the court of appeal either after an appeal to that court, or after that court has granted relief on an application for supervisory writs (but not when the court has merely granted an application for purposes of further consideration), or after a denial of an application, shall be made within thirty days of the mailing of the notice of the original judgment of the court of appeal; however, if a timely application for rehearing has been filed in the court of appeal in those instances where a rehearing is allowed, the application shall be made within thirty days of the mailing of the notice of denial of rehearing or the judgment on rehearing. No extension of time therefor will be granted.

(b) When an application is sought to review the action or inaction of a trial court in (a) a case in which the court of appeal does not have supervisory jurisdiction, i.e., a criminal case in which a death sentence has been imposed or in which a conviction and sentence were imposed before July 1, 1982, or (b) a case in which the court of appeal has supervisory jurisdiction but the applicant seeks to file an application directly or simultaneously in this court (which application will not ordinarily be considered by this court absent extraordinary circumstances), the trial court shall fix a reasonable time within which the application shall be filed in this court, and the trial court may in the court's discretion stay further proceedings. Upon proper showing, the trial court or this court may by order extend the time for such filing. Any application not filed in this court within the time so fixed or extended may not be considered, in the absence of showing that the delay in filing was not due to the applicant's fault.

(c) An application for a writ to review a decision of the court of appeal on an objection to a candidacy or on an election contest, shall be made, as provided by R.S. 18:1409 and 1413, within forty-eight hours, including Sundays and other legal holidays, after judgment is rendered by the court of appeal; however, if the forty-eighth hour falls on a Sunday or other legal holiday, then the next legal day shall be deemed to be the expiration of the time interval.

If the application is granted, the case shall be promptly heard and decided. No application for a rehearing of the case shall be entertained.

(d) An application properly mailed shall be deemed timely filed if mailed on or before the last day of the delay for filing. If the application is received by mail on the first legal day following the expiration of the delay, there shall be a rebuttable presumption that it was timely filed. In all cases where the presumption does not apply, the timeliness of the mailing shall be shown only by an official United States postmark or by official receipt or certificate from the United States Postal Service made at the time of mailing which indicates the date thereof. For the purpose of this rule, the term "by mail" applies only to the United States Postal Service.

Applications forwarded by private delivery or courier service shall be deemed timely filed only if received by the clerk on or before the last day of the delay for filing.

Section 6. Writ Applications; Oppositions.


Any party may file and serve an opposition memorandum, setting forth reasons why the application should not be granted. The opposition must be filed within fifteen days of the filing of the application unless the time for filing is extended by order of the court. The opposition memorandum should be as brief as possible, and must not exceed twenty-five pages in length.


Other pleadings or documents shall not be filed with the opposition memorandum, unless their inclusion is essential to demonstrate why the application should not be granted. In the event any other pleadings or documents are filed, they shall be bound separately from the opposition memorandum and shall not exceed twenty-five pages.


The Clerk will not accept for filing any other pleadings or documents if the twenty-five page limit is exceeded. The applicant shall have seven days from the date the filing is rejected to file other pleadings or documents that conform to this rule.


When the application requests emergency action or a stay order, any party desiring to oppose such action should file the opposition to such action immediately upon receipt of a copy of the application.


Oppositions serve an important purpose in assisting the court in the exercise of its discretionary jurisdiction. As such, the court encourages the filing of oppositions.
[amended effective June 1, 2007]

 

Section 7. Reply to Opposition.

The court does not encourage the filing of reply memoranda. Nonetheless, any party who feels the filing of a reply is essential to the court’s consideration of the writ application may file and serve a reply memorandum in response to an opposition. The reply memorandum must be filed within ten days of the filing of the opposition and shall be accompanied by the filing fee set forth in Rule IV. The reply memorandum shall not exceed seven pages in length, inclusive of exhibits and other documents. No response to a reply memorandum shall be allowed. [enacted effective June 1, 2007; amended effective July 1, 2013]

 

Section 8. Oral Argument; Briefs; Record; Peremptory Relief.

(a) When a writ has been granted, the record shall be lodged with the clerk of court forthwith. The case shall be placed on the calendar for oral argument and briefs shall be required in accordance with Rule VII, Section 8(a), unless at or after the time the writ is granted the court provides otherwise. In lieu of filing a brief, the applicant may, within the time prescribed by Rule VII, Section 8(a), file fifteen additional copies of the application (with or without the supporting exhibits) and any memorandum or brief filed in support of the application.

(b) At the time the writ is granted, the court may order peremptory relief. A party affected may apply for rehearing within the delay provided by Rule IX and the court may, with or without application, stay the relief granted to permit consideration of any such application. [redesignated as Section 8 effective June 1, 2007]