(1) Filing with the Clerk.
A paper required or permitted to be filed in a court of
appeals must be filed with the clerk.
(2) Filing: Method and Timeliness.
(A) In general.
Filing may be accomplished by mail addressed to the clerk,
but filing is not timely unless the clerk receives the
papers within the time fixed for filing.
(B) A brief or appendix.
A brief or appendix is timely filed, however, if on or
before the last day for filing, it is:
(i) mailed to the clerk by First-Class Mail, or other
class of mail that is at least as expeditious, postage
(ii) dispatched to a third-party commercial carrier for
delivery to the clerk within 3 days.
(C) Inmate filing.
A paper filed by an inmate confined in an institution is
timely if deposited in the institution’s internal mailing
system on or before the last day for filing. If an
institution has a system designed for legal mail, the
inmate must use that system to receive the benefit of this
rule. Timely filing may be shown by a declaration in
compliance with 28 U.S.C. § 1746 or by a notarized
statement, either of which must set forth the date of
deposit and state that first-class postage has been
(D) Electronic filing.
A court of appeals may by local rule permit or require
papers to be filed, signed, or verified by electronic
means that are consistent with technical standards, if
any, that the Judicial Conference of the United States
establishes. A local rule may require filing by electronic
means only if reasonable exceptions are allowed. A paper
filed by electronic means in compliance with a local rule
constitutes a written paper for the purpose of applying
(3) Filing a Motion with a Judge.
If a motion requests relief that may be granted by a single
judge, the judge may permit the motion to be filed with the
judge; the judge must note the filing date on the motion and
give it to the clerk.
(4) Clerk’s Refusal of Documents.
The clerk must not refuse to accept for filing any paper
presented for that purpose solely because it is not
presented in proper form as required by these rules or by
any local rule or practice.
(5) Privacy Protection.
An appeal in a case whose privacy protection was governed by
Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 9037, Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 5.2, or Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure
49.1 is governed by the same rule on appeal. In all other
proceedings, privacy protection is governed by Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 5.2, except that Federal Rule of Criminal
Procedure 49.1 governs when an extraordinary writ is sought
in a criminal case.
(b) Service of All Papers Required.
Unless a rule requires service by the clerk, a party must, at
or before the time of filing a paper, serve a copy on the
other parties to the appeal or review. Service on a party
represented by counsel must be made on the party’s counsel.
(c) Manner of Service.
(1) Service may be any of the following:
(A) personal, including delivery to a responsible person
at the office of counsel;
(B) by mail;
(C) by third-party commercial carrier for delivery within
3 days; or
(D) by electronic means, if the party being served
consents in writing.
(2) If authorized by local rule, a party may use the court’s
transmission equipment to make electronic service under Rule
(3) When reasonable considering such factors as the
immediacy of the relief sought, distance, and cost, service
on a party must be by a manner at least as expeditious as
the manner used to file the paper with the court.
(4) Service by mail or by commercial carrier is complete on
mailing or delivery to the carrier. Service by electronic
means is complete on transmission, unless the party making
service is notified that the paper was not received by the
(d) Proof of Service.
(1) A paper presented for filing must contain either of the
(A) an acknowledgment of service by the person served; or
(B) proof of service consisting of a statement by the
person who made service certifying:
(i) the date and manner of service;
(ii) the names of the persons served; and
(iii) their mail or electronic addresses, facsimile
numbers, or the addresses of the places of delivery, as
appropriate for the manner of service.
(2) When a brief or appendix is filed by mailing or dispatch
in accordance with Rule 25(a)(2)(B), the proof of service
must also state the date and manner by which the document
was mailed or dispatched to the clerk.
(3) Proof of service may appear on or be affixed to the
(e) Number of Copies.
When these rules require the filing or furnishing of a number
of copies, a court may require a different number by local
rule or by order in a particular case.
<< Return to Rules | Title VI. General provisions | Rule 25
Last modified at 12/16/2009