OCCAOnline Rules of the Court of Criminal Appeals

(Updated 5/21/2003 in accordance with 2003 OK CR 9)
(Updated 1/31/2008 in accordance with 2008 OK CR 5)


Rule 3.4 Briefs; Service and Filing

A. Number of Copies. An original and ten (10) copies of each brief for each party shall be filed with the Clerk of this Court, and a copy must be served on the adverse party. The counsel of record shall be responsible for service on the adverse party, except that service on the Attorney General will be made by the Clerk of this Court.  See Rule 1.9(B).

B. Filing time. Unless otherwise ordered by this Court, the appellant's brief must be filed within sixty (60) days from the date the notice to transmit record on appeal is filed by the Clerk of this Court. See Section IX for capital cases.

C. Answer Brief. Unless otherwise ordered by this Court, the appellee shall file an answer brief within sixty (60) days from the date the appellant's brief is filed with the Clerk of this Court in both felony and misdemeanor appeals. See Section IX for capital cases.

D. Extensions of Time to File Brief.

(1) In all appeals an attorney of record or party applying for an extension of time to brief must file an application, supported by affidavit, with the Clerk of this Court. See Rule 1.9. An extension is not a matter of right, and will only be approved if the facts in the application and affidavit merit the extension. Extensions will not be granted for more than thirty (30) days upon each application.

(2) (a) Because extensions of time are not favored, a motion for extension of time must be filed by appellate counsel and shall include an affidavit containing a specific statement of facts showing the reasons why it is impossible to file the brief within the time prescribed. The affidavit shall also recite whether a prior extension of time has been granted to the applicant, and if so, the time granted and date of each. The Presiding Judge or Vice-Presiding Judge may grant requests for extensions not exceeding a total of sixty (60) days. If an attorney requests an extension beyond sixty (60) days from the original due date, the Presiding Judge may, subject to the approval of the Court at conference, grant additional time or may order the attorney to appear in person before the Court en banc to show cause as to why additional time is required.

(b) If an appellant is proceeding pro se and an extension of time beyond sixty (60) days is required, appellant must file an affidavit as set forth in Rule 3.4(D)(2)(a). A request for an extension beyond sixty (60) days for appellants proceeding pro se will be reviewed by this Court en banc and if granted, will be a final extension and will not be for more than an additional ninety (90) days.

(3) Applications must be accompanied by stamped, addressed envelopes for all attorneys of record and the appellant. The Clerk shall mail a copy of the order granting or denying an extension to the appellant and each attorney of record.

E. Briefs to Be Filed by Attorney of Record. When the records of this Court reflect that an appellant has either a retained attorney or court-appointed attorney, only briefs submitted by the attorney of record will be accepted for filing by the Clerk of this Court. Any "pro se" legal arguments to be contained in appellant's brief shall be submitted by the appellant to the attorney of record for submission to this Court. The attorney of record shall review any requested "pro se" legal arguments to ensure only viable, non-frivolous arguments are incorporated into the brief prepared and submitted by the attorney. Any motion to supplement or amend legal arguments must contain a certification by the attorney of record that the attorney has examined the pro se arguments, and that the arguments and authority submitted comply with the Rules of this Court. The attorney shall also list the reasons for the recommendation that the supplemental arguments be accepted. Any request to file a "pro se" brief must be filed within sixty (60) days of the appellant's initial brief. Such "pro se" supplemental briefs shall be limited to ten (10) pages. See Rule 3.4(F)(3). This Court will summarily deny "pro se" briefs which are merely forwarded by the appellant's attorney without compliance with the requirements of this Rule and/ or which do not comply with the time requirements set forth herein.

F. Reply Brief, Supplemental Brief, Amicus Curiae Brief.

(1) A reply brief may be filed in any direct appeal. The reply brief must be filed within twenty (20) days of the answer brief. The reply brief shall only respond to the appellee's brief in chief. Any propositions of error advanced for the first time in any reply brief shall be deemed waived and forfeited for consideration.

(2) A supplemental brief, if necessary to present new authority on issues previously raised, may be filed if granted leave of Court. Any party granted leave to file a supplemental brief shall file the brief within fifteen (15) days from the date the request to file is approved. A brief or document tendered for filing does not constitute acceptance for consideration as a proper part of the pending appeal unless the Court enters an order granting the filing of record. Except for issues of first impression, propositions of error advanced for the first time in any supplemental brief will be deemed forfeited for consideration. See Brown v. State, 871 P.2d 56, 68 (Okl.Cr. 1994); Castro v. State, 745 P.2d 394, 404 (Okl.Cr.1987). New propositions of error may be advanced in a supplemental brief only on an issue of first impression decided after an appellant's brief-in-chief is filed but before the appellant's case is decided by this Court; however, the application to file supplemental brief, with brief attached, containing the new proposition must be filed within thirty (30) days after the issue of first impression is published. Supplemental briefs containing new propositions filed after this thirty-day period will be deemed forfeited for consideration. If the application is granted, the Court may direct a response from the appellee, if required. For purposes of this Rule, an "issue of first impression" is defined as one where the result was not dictated by precedent existing at the time an appellant was convicted at trial, one which was susceptible to debate among reasonable minds, and is shown to be retroactively applicable to appellant's trial. Also for purposes of this Rule, "published" here refers to the date of the Oklahoma Bar Journal in which the opinion first appears; or the official slip opinions released by federal courts.

(3) A reply brief or supplemental brief shall be limited to ten (10) pages. A request to exceed the page limitation must be filed in writing setting forth a specific basis for need. See also Rule 9.3 in capital cases.

(4) An amicus curiae brief shall not be filed until leave of Court is granted. Any person or organization seeking to file an amicus curiae brief shall first submit a motion to the Court requesting authorization to file a brief which shall set out with specificity the basis in law or fact why an amicus curiae brief would be of assistance to the Court in deciding the issue presented. The Court shall rule on the motion and set a time for filing the brief if the motion is granted.


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