Illinois Supreme Court Rules: Appellate Rule Changes Effective January 1, 2016 – Changes Include Updates to Rules Regarding Service by E-mail and Lengths of Briefs

Gary comes to Counsel Press with experience in filing numerous criminal and civil appeals in multiple federal courts after eight years in private practice and two years clerking for the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. Author's Bio

Gary Chyi, Esq. Changes to Illinois Supreme Court Rules 11, 12, 306, 307, 308, 324, 335, 341, 367, 381, and 383 have been adopted and are effective January 1, 2016. The announcements and final rules can be found on the Illinois Courts’ website. These rule changes set out the procedure for service by e-mail in Illinois state courts, and provide for new length limits in appellate briefs, along with other procedural changes.

Amended Rule 11 sets out the requirements for e-mail service, and requires all attorneys to provide an e-mail address where they may be served in all appearances and court filings. The Committee note to Rule 11 explains the file format and size restrictions for e-mail service were considered and rejected. Instead, counsel are expected to comply in good faith and provide alternative file formats and sizes if opposing counsel is unable to access the files initially sent. Amended Rule 12 provides that service by e-mail or electronic inbox is effective on the first Court day after transmission.

In addition, the Illinois Supreme Court’s Illinois Courts’ January 22, 2016 order mandates e-filing for the Illinois Supreme Court and all Illinois Appellate Court districts by July 1, 2017. That e-filing will take place using a single electronic filing manager (EFM) yet to be chosen, and will include all trial court records on appeal being standardized and transmitted using the centralized EFM.

Amended Rule 341 provides for two changes. First, it introduces an alternative word count limit to the existing page count limit for briefs, familiar to practitioners in the Federal Courts of Appeal. Principal briefs may now be up to 50 pages or 15,000 words long, while reply briefs may be up to 20 pages or 7,000 words long.

Cross-appellants and cross-appellees may add 30 pages or 8,400 words to their briefs for a total of 80 pages or 23,400 words for an appellee/cross-appellant’s response/opening brief and 50 pages or 15,400 words for an appellant/cross-appellee’s response/reply brief. Rule 341(c)’s certification requirement must now state that the brief complies with Rule 341(b)(1)’s page or word count limit. Amended Rule 341 also provides that only one copy must be served via e-mail, as opposed to three copies by paper service.

Amended Rule 367 provides for an alternative word count limit for petitions for rehearing and answers to petitions for rehearing of 27 pages or 8,000 words. Replies in support of petitions for rehearing are limited to 10 pages or 3,500 words. As with amended Rule 341, only one copy of a petition, answer, or reply must be served via e-mail, as opposed to three copies by paper service.

Amended Rules 306, 307, 381, and 383 were changed to explicitly allow for e-mail service, in addition to personal and fax service.

Amended Rule 308 expands the time to seek certified question appeals from interlocutory orders of the trial court from 14 days after the entry of the trial court’s order or statement that an appeal would materially advance the litigation to 30 days.

Amended Rule 324 provides that an original or any copy of a filing carrying the filing stamp of the circuit court clerk shall be included in the record without any further authentication, and that notice of filing must be given to all parties.

Amended Rule 335 provides that the default deadline for direct review of orders of an administrative agency is within 35 days from service of that order unless another time period is specified in the law authorizing review.

Please contact me with any questions regarding preparing and filing any appeal. Counsel Press provides a full spectrum of appellate services. Our Chicago, IL office focuses on rule-compliant appellate filings in the Illinois and Wisconsin Appellate and Supreme Courts, as well as the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit Court of Appeals and 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. We offer unparalleled in-depth expertise nationwide in all State and Federal Courts through our local offices.

Tagged: Appellate Practice, Appellate Services, Supreme Court of Illinois