RULE XXXIV. SPECIAL SUPREME COURT APPEAL AND WRIT PROCEDURES

PART I. General Provisions

Section 1. Purpose

This rule provides expeditious Supreme Court review procedures to minimize appellate delays that adversely effect children.


Section 2. Applicability

The special provisions of this rule shall be applicable to all writs and appeals arising from Child in Need of Care (CINC) cases brought pursuant to Title VI of the Louisiana Children's Code, Judicial Certification for Adoption (termination) cases brought pursuant to Title X of the Louisiana Children's Code, Surrender of Parental Rights (surrender) cases brought pursuant to Title XI of the Louisiana Children's Code, Adoption of Children (adoption) cases brought pursuant to Title XII of the Louisiana Children's Code, and child custody cases.

Except as specifically provided in this Rule, all provisions of the Supreme Court Rules are applicable.


PART II. Expedited Appeals

Section 1. Preparation of records

The clerk of the trial court shall ensure the timely preparation and filing of the record and transcripts, giving priority to CINC, termination, surrender, adoption, and child custody cases.


Section 2. Return date extension

Once set by the trial court, the return date shall not be extended by this court, except for extraordinary circumstances.


Section 3. Assignment

A special assignment for oral argument shall be given by the court in any case identified as a CINC, termination, surrender, adoption, or child custody case. Such cases shall be heard on the next available court docket.


Section 4. Briefing schedule

The brief of the appellant shall be filed not later than 20 days after the lodging of the record. The brief of the appellee shall be filed not later than 40 days after the lodging of the record. All briefs shall be accompanied by a certificate showing that a copy was delivered or mailed to the opposing counsel prior to or at the same time it is filed with the court. No extensions of time within which to file a brief shall be granted, except upon a showing of extraordinary circumstances.


Section 5. Rehearings

An application for rehearing must be filed with the clerk on or before the 14th calendar day after the mailing of the notice of judgment, and no extensions of time therefor will be granted. Any brief in support of the application shall be submitted with the application and any additional or supplemental briefs shall be filed within 7 days thereafter. Any rehearing granted shall be submitted on the briefs filed.


Section 6. Rendition of opinions

The court shall accord priority to opinions in CINC, termination, surrender, adoption, and child custody cases and shall render such opinions expeditiously. Release of opinions shall be on or before the next regularly scheduled opinion release date following the argument cycle in which the case is argued.

PART III. Expedited Writ Applications

Section 1. Filing; Oppositions.
Writ applications should be filed within 14 days of the mailing of the notice of judgment or denial of rehearing, unless a shorter period is specified by law. The applicant shall identify the application as a CINC, termination, surrender, adoption, or child custody case on the writ application filing sheet and on the civil priority filing sheet indicated in Rule X of these rules. Any opposition must be filed within 7 days of the filing of the application. No extensions of time therefor will be granted.


Commentary to Part III, Section 1
In keeping with the goal of minimizing delays that adversely affect children, counsel are encouraged to file their written applications in accordance with the 14-day aspirational time period outlined in this section. Nonetheless, unless a shorter period of time is specified by law, the timeliness of writ applications shall be governed by Article 2166 of the Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure and La. S. Ct. Rule X, Section 5. One such “shorter period” involves surrender cases. In surrender cases, writ applications must be filed within 10 days from the mailing of the judgment and opinion of the court of appeal, or the notice of a denial of rehearing. See, Ch. C. Art. 1143.

[Amended and Commentary added effective November 9, 2006]

Section 2. Expedited consideration of application

The court shall consider the writ application within 21 days of the filing. If the application is granted, the case shall be promptly heard and decided.


Section 3. Assignment

A special assignment for oral argument shall be given by the court in any case identified as a CINC, termination, surrender, adoption, or child custody case. Such cases shall be heard on the next available court docket.


Section 4. Briefing schedule

The brief of the applicant or relator shall be filed not later than 14 days after the date the writ is granted. The brief of the respondent shall be filed not later than 28 days after the date the writ is granted. All briefs shall be accompanied by a certificate showing that a copy was delivered or mailed to the opposing counsel prior to or at the same time it is filed with the court. No extensions of time within which to file a brief shall be granted, except upon a showing of extraordinary circumstances.