Amended Illinois Supreme Court Rules Concerning Word Limits of Appellate Documents To Be Effective November 1

September 26, 2017 12:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

By Josh Wolff
Law Clerk to Hon. Eileen O'Neill Burke, Illinois Appellate Court, First District

On September 15, 2017, the Illinois Supreme Court entered an order, amending several Supreme Court rules, all to be effective on November 1, 2017. The amendments, in large part, concerned word limits of several appellate documents. Here is a brief summary of the amendments:

Rule 303A

Under Rule 303A, involving expedited and confidential proceedings under the Parental Notification of Abortion Act, a petitioner who appeals the circuit court’s denial of a judicial waiver under the Act may file a brief statement of facts and memorandum of law in support of her petition. Together, those documents may not exceed 15 pages or now, alternatively, 4,500 words.

Rule 306

Under Rule 306, involving permissive interlocutory appeals, specifically, interlocutory orders affecting the care and custody of, or the allocation of parental responsibilities for unemancipated minors, or the relocation of unemancipated minors, a petition must be filed in the appellate court. In conjunction with the petition, the petitioner may file a memorandum of law, which may not exceed 15 pages or now, alternatively, 4,500 words. Similarly, a memorandum of law by the respondent may not exceed 15 pages or now, alternatively, 4,500 words.

Rule 307

Under Rule 307, involving interlocutory appeals as of right, specifically those involving the temporary restraining orders, a petition must be filed in the appellate court. In conjunction with the petition, the petitioner may file a memorandum of law, which may not exceed 15 pages or now, alternatively, 4,500 words. Similarly, a memorandum of law by the respondent may not exceed 15 pages or now, alternatively, 4,500 words.

Rule 315

Under Rule 315, involving petitions for leave to appeal from the appellate court to the Supreme Court, the petition is limited to 20 pages, or now, alternatively, 6,000 words, excluding only the appendix. Similarly, the respondent’s answer, which is optional to file, is limited to 20 pages, or now, alternatively, 6,000 words, excluding only the appendix.

Rule 341

Under Rule 341, involving the general format of appellate briefs, reply briefs may not exceed 20 pages, or alternatively, now may not exceed 6,000 words, excluding the cover, the statement of points and authorities, the Rule 341(c) certificate of compliance, the certificate of service and any matters appended to the brief under Rule 342(a).

Also, cross-appellants and cross-appellees are granted 30 additional pages, or alternatively, now 9,000 words. The cross-appellant’s reply brief may not exceed 20 pages, or alternatively, now may not exceed 6,000 words.

Rule 367

Under Rule 367, involving petitions for rehearing, unless authorized by the court, those petitions must be limited to 27 pages or alternatively, now may not exceed 8,100 words. Answers to petitions are similarly limited to 27 pages or alternatively, now may not exceed 8,100 words. Lastly, a reply is limited to 10 pages or alternatively, now may not exceed 3,000 words.

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