THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

SUPREME COURT OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

O R D E R

NEW APPELLATE PROCESS -- RULES

 

Earlier this year, the court announced its intention to expand the appellate review process, increasing the number of appeals from trial courts that are accepted by the court for review. The court invited public comment on proposed rule amendments intended to implement the new appellate review process. See R-2003-0001, In re Proposed Amendments to Supreme Court Rules. After consideration of the comments received, and pursuant to Part II, Article 73-a of the New Hampshire Constitution and Supreme Court Rule 51, the Supreme Court of New Hampshire adopts: amendments to Supreme Court Rule 3, on a temporary basis, as set forth in Appendix A; amendments to Supreme Court Rule 5(1), on a temporary basis, as set forth in Appendix B; amendments to Supreme Court Rule 6, on a temporary basis, as set forth in Appendix C; amendments to Supreme Court Rule 7, on a temporary basis, as set forth in Appendix D; new Supreme Court Rule 7-A, on a temporary basis, as set forth in Appendix E; amendments to Supreme Court Rule 10(1) through 10(3), on a temporary basis, as set forth in Appendix F; amendments to Supreme Court Rule 13, on a temporary basis, as set forth in Appendix G; amendments to Supreme Court Rule 15, on a temporary basis, as set forth in Appendix H; amendments to Supreme Court Rule 16, on a temporary basis, as set forth in Appendix I; amendments to Supreme Court Rule 17, on a temporary basis, as set forth in Appendix J; amendments to Supreme Court Rule 18, on a temporary basis, as set forth in Appendix K; amendments to Supreme Court Rule 21, on a temporary basis, as set forth in Appendix L; and amendments to Supreme Court Rule 25, on a temporary basis, as set forth in Appendix M.

These amendments shall take effect on January 1, 2004. They shall be referred to the Advisory Committee on Rules for consideration of whether they should be adopted on a permanent basis.

The amendments to Supreme Court Rules 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, and 25 shall apply to any case first docketed in the supreme court on or after January 1, 2004; that is, any case with a docket number of "2004-XXXX." Any case docketed in the supreme court prior to January 1, 2004, e.g., cases with docket numbers such as "2003-XXXX" or "2002-XXXX," shall not be governed by the aforesaid enumerated amendments.

November 12, 2003

ATTEST: ___________________________

Eileen Fox, Clerk
Supreme Court of New Hampshire

 

APPENDIX A

Amend Supreme Court Rule 3 on a temporary basis by deleting said rule and replacing it with the following:

 

Rule 3. Definitions.

"Administrative agency": Includes agency, board, commission, or officer.

"Appeal": Appellate review of rulings adverse to a party, after a final decision on the merits in a lower court.

"Appeal document": Includes notice of mandatory appeal (rule 7), notice of discretionary appeal (rule 7), interlocutory appeal (rule 8), interlocutory transfer without ruling (rule 9), appeal from administrative agency by petition (rule 10), and petition for original jurisdiction (rule 11).

"Appeal from administrative agency by petition": Appellate review of a party's grounds for asserting that an administrative agency's final order or decision on the merits is unlawful or unreasonable.

"Briefs":

"Opening brief": The brief filed first pursuant to court order.

"Opposing brief": The brief filed by the opposing party after the filing of the opening brief.

"Reply brief": See rule 16(7).

"Supplemental brief": See rule 16(7).

"Clerk": Where the context refers to the clerk of a lower court, "clerk" includes a clerk of a lower court, a register of probate, or the administrative agency official who is the equivalent of a clerk of court or who is charged with performing the duties associated with a clerk of court, and their respective assistants and deputies; where the context refers to the clerk of the supreme court, "clerk" includes his or her assistants and deputies.

"Decision on the merits": Includes order, verdict, opinion, decree, or sentence following a hearing on the merits or trial on the merits and the decision on motions made after such order, verdict, opinion, decree or sentence. Untimely filed post-trial motions will not stay the running of the appeal period unless the lower court waives the untimeliness within the appeal period.

"Declination of acceptance order": The supreme court does not deem it desirable to review the issues in a case, as a matter of sound judicial discretion and with no implication whatever regarding its views on the merits.

"First class mail": First class postage prepaid, whether certified, registered, uncertified, or unregistered.

"Interlocutory appeal": Appellate review of rulings adverse to a party, before a final decision on the merits in a lower court.

"Interlocutory transfer without ruling": Appellate review of questions of law transferred by a lower court or administrative agency before a final decision on the merits in the lower court or administrative agency and without ruling by the lower court or administrative agency.

"Mandatory appeal": A mandatory appeal shall be accepted by the supreme court for review on the merits. A mandatory appeal is an appeal from a final decision on the merits issued by a superior court, district court, probate court, or family division court, that is in compliance with these rules, other than the following:

(1) an appeal from a final decision on the merits issued in a post-conviction review proceeding (including petitions for writ of habeas corpus and motions for new trial);

(2) an appeal from a final decision on the merits issued in a collateral challenge to any conviction or sentence;

(3) an appeal from a final decision on the merits issued in a sentence modification or suspension proceeding;

(4) an appeal from a final decision on the merits issued in an imposition of sentence proceeding;

(5) an appeal from a final decision on the merits issued in a parole revocation proceeding; and

(6) an appeal from a final decision on the merits issued in a probation revocation proceeding.

"Moving party": The plaintiff in an interlocutory transfer, the party appealing by appeal or by interlocutory appeal, or the party petitioning that the supreme court exercise its original jurisdiction.

"Notice of appeal": The notice filed to initiate an appeal from the lower court's final decision on the merits, in the form prescribed by these rules.

"Petition for original jurisdiction": Request that the supreme court exercise its original jurisdiction, whether exclusive or nonexclusive and whether in aid of its appellate jurisdiction or its supervisory jurisdiction, and that the court issue an extraordinary writ or grant other suitable relief.

 

"Trial court reporter": Lower court or administrative agency reporter.

Transition Period

The amendments to Supreme Court Rules 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, and 25 that take effect on January 1, 2004, shall apply to any case first docketed in the supreme court on or after January 1, 2004; that is, any case with a docket number of "2004-XXXX." Any case docketed in the supreme court prior to January 1, 2004, e.g., cases with docket numbers such as "2003-XXXX" or "2002-XXXX," shall not be governed by the aforesaid amendments.

APPENDIX B

Amend Supreme Court Rule 5(1) on a temporary basis by deleting said section and replacing it with the following:

 

Rule 5. Docketing the Case: Filing the Record.

 

(1) In an interlocutory appeal from a ruling and in an appeal from an administrative agency by petition, the party appealing, and in an interlocutory transfer without ruling and in a petition requesting the supreme court to exercise its original jurisdiction, the plaintiff shall pay the entry fee prescribed by the supreme court and shall simultaneously file the original and 12 copies of the required forms in the office of the clerk of this court, 1 copy with each of the parties, and 2 (where appropriate, 3) copies with the office of the clerk of the court or agency from which the appeal or transfer is taken (including a register of probate), 1 each of which copies shall be furnished to the trial judge and master by that clerk.

In an appeal from a lower court decision on the merits pursuant to Rule 7 other than a mandatory appeal, the party appealing shall pay the entry fee prescribed by the supreme court and, unless differently provided by law, shall simultaneously file the original and 12 copies of the notice of appeal and of the attachments mentioned on the applicable notice of appeal form, in the office of the clerk of this court, 1 copy with each of the parties, and 2 (or where appropriate, 3) copies with the office of the clerk of the court from which the appeal is taken (including a register of probate). The latter clerk shall provide a copy to the judge and master.

In a mandatory appeal from a lower court decision on the merits pursuant to rule 7, the party appealing shall pay the entry fee prescribed by the supreme court and, unless differently provided by law, shall simultaneously file the original and 3 copies of the notice of appeal and the attachments mentioned on the applicable notice of appeal form in the office of the clerk of this court, 1 copy with each of the parties, and 2 (or where appropriate, 3) copies with the office of the clerk of the court from which the appeal is taken (including a register of probate). The latter clerk shall provide a copy to the judge and master.

In all criminal appeals and appeals from an administrative agency, the appealing party shall simultaneously file 1 copy of the notice of appeal with the attorney general.

A cross-appeal by another party shall be docketed in the same manner, accompanied by the required entry fee, subject to rule 7(5) or rule 10(9).

A motion to extend time to file an appeal document, when not accompanied by the appeal document, shall be docketed upon the filing of an original and 7 copies of the motion, accompanied by the required entry fee. The moving party shall simultaneously file 1 copy with each of the parties, 1 copy with the office of the clerk of the court or agency from which the appeal or transfer is taken, and (in the case of a criminal appeal or an appeal from an administrative agency) 1 copy with the attorney general. A motion to extend time to file an appeal shall be granted only in exceptional circumstances. See Rule 21(6).

Transition Period

The amendments to Supreme Court Rules 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, and 25 that take effect on January 1, 2004, shall apply to any case first docketed in the supreme court on or after January 1, 2004; that is, any case with a docket number of "2004-XXXX." Any case docketed in the supreme court prior to January 1, 2004, e.g., cases with docket numbers such as "2003-XXXX" or "2002-XXXX," shall not be governed by the aforesaid amendments.

APPENDIX C

Amend Supreme Court Rule 6 on a temporary basis by deleting said rule and replacing it with the following:


    (1) Filings of cases and appendices may be prepared using a printing, duplicating or copying process capable of producing a clear letter quality black image on white paper, but shall not include ordinary carbon copies. If timely filings do not conform to this rule or are not clearly legible, the clerk of the court may require that new copies be substituted, but the filings shall not thereby be deemed untimely.

    (2) Each filing of a case in a mandatory appeal shall be upon good quality, nonclinging paper 8 by 11 inches in size, but the mandatory notice of appeal need not be in pamphlet form, need not have covers, and need not be bound along the left margin.

Each filing of a case and appendix in any case other than a mandatory appeal shall be in pamphlet form upon good quality, nonclinging paper 8 by 11 inches in size, with front and back covers of durable quality. Each shall have a minimum margin of one inch on the binding side and shall be firmly bound along the left margin. Any metal or plastic spines, fasteners, or staples shall be flush with the covers and shall be covered by tape. The covers shall be flush with the pages of the case. The court will not accept any other method of binding unless prior approval has been obtained from the clerk of the supreme court.

    (3) The front cover of the filing of a case and of the appendix, if the appendix is separately produced, shall contain: (1) The name of this court; (2) The docket number, after one has been assigned; (3) The title of the case; (4) The nature of the proceeding in this court, e.g., appeal by petition; and (5) The names and addresses of counsel for the party filing the case. See form in appendix to these rules.

    (4) Whenever the pertinent text of constitutions, statutes, ordinances, rules, regulations, insurance policies, contracts or other documents is to be set forth in an appendix, it need not be typewritten, but may be produced by an easily readable duplicating or dry copying process.

   (5) Each request for findings of fact and rulings of law set forth in a notice of appeal or appendix shall indicate on the margin whether they have been "granted," "denied" or "not ruled upon" by the master or the court.

 

Transition Period

The amendments to Supreme Court Rules 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, and 25 that take effect on January 1, 2004, shall apply to any case first docketed in the supreme court on or after January 1, 2004; that is, any case with a docket number of "2004-XXXX." Any case docketed in the supreme court prior to January 1, 2004, e.g., cases with docket numbers such as "2003-XXXX" or "2002-XXXX," shall not be governed by the aforesaid amendments.

APPENDIX D

Amend Supreme Court Rule 7 on a temporary basis by deleting said rule and replacing it with the following:

 

Rule 7. Appeal from Lower Court Decision on the Merits


        (1) (A) Mandatory appeals.

Unless otherwise provided by law or by these rules, a mandatory appeal shall be by notice of appeal in the form of notice of appeal approved by the supreme court for the filing of a mandatory appeal. The form of notice of appeal for the filing of a mandatory appeal appears in the appendix to these rules ("Notice of Mandatory Appeal" form). Such an appeal shall be filed by the moving party within 30 days from the date on the clerk's written notice of the decision on the merits.

(B) Other appeals from lower court decisions on the merits.

The supreme court may, in its discretion, decline to accept an appeal, other than a mandatory appeal, or any question raised therein, from a lower court after a decision on the merits, or may summarily dispose of such an appeal, or any question raised therein, as provided in rule 25. Unless otherwise provided by law or by these rules, an appeal from a lower court decision on the merits other than a mandatory appeal shall be by notice of appeal in the form of notice of appeal approved by the supreme court for the filing of such an appeal. The form of notice of appeal for the filing of an appeal from a lower court decision on the merits other than a mandatory appeal appears in the appendix to these rules ("Notice of Discretionary Appeal" form). Such an appeal shall be filed by the moving party within 30 days from the date on the clerk's written notice of the decision on the merits.

(C) The definition of "decision on the merits" in rule 3 includes decisions on motions made after an order, verdict, opinion, decree or sentence. A timely filed post-trial motion stays the running of the appeal period for all parties to the case in the lower court including those not filing the motion. Untimely filed post-trial motions will not stay the running of the appeal period unless the lower court waives the untimeliness within the appeal period. Successive post-trial motions will not stay the running of the appeal period. See Petition of Ellis, 138 N.H. 159 (1993).

In criminal appeals, the time for filing a notice of appeal shall be within 30 days from the date of sentencing or the date of the clerk's written notice of disposition of post-trial motions, whichever is later, provided, however, that the date of the clerk's written notice of disposition of post-trial motion shall not be used to calculate the time for filing a notice of appeal in criminal cases if the post-trial motion was filed more than 10 days after sentencing.

        (2) An appeal shall be deemed filed when the original and all copies of the notice of appeal in proper form, together with the filing fee, are received by the clerk of this court within 30 days from the date on the clerk's written notice of the decision.

        (3) An appeal permitted by law on a different form and by a different procedure shall be deemed timely filed when it is received by the clerk of this court on the form and by the procedure prescribed by law.

        (4) All parties to the proceedings in the court from whose decision on the merits the appeal is being taken shall be deemed parties in this court, unless the moving party shall notify the clerk of this court in writing of his belief that one or more of the parties below has no interest in the outcome of the transfer. The moving party shall mail a copy of the letter first class, or give a copy, to each party in the proceeding below. A party thus designated as no longer interested may remain a party in this court by notifying the clerk of this court, with notice mailed first class or given to the other parties, that he has an interest in the transfer. Parties supporting the position of the moving party shall meet the time schedule provided for that party.

        (5) If a timely notice of appeal is filed by a party, any other party may file a notice of cross-appeal within 10 days from the date on which the first notice of appeal was filed and shall pay a filing fee therewith.

        (6) (A) The appealing party in a mandatory appeal shall attach to the notice of appeal the decision below, the clerk's written notice of the decision below, any order disposing of a timely-filed post-trial motion, and the clerk's written notice of any order disposing of a timely-filed post-trial motion.

             (B) The appealing party in an appeal other than a mandatory appeal shall attach to the notice of appeal the decision below, the clerk's written notice of the decision below, any order disposing of a timely-filed post-trial motion, and the clerk's written notice of any order disposing of a timely-filed post-trial motion. Any other pleadings and documents that the appealing party believes are necessary for the court to evaluate the specific questions raised on appeal and to determine whether the appeal is timely filed shall be filed as a separate appendix. The appendix shall contain a table of contents referring to numbered pages, and only 8 copies shall be filed. Note: Also see rule 26(5). If a ground for appeal is the legal sufficiency of the evidence, the question in the notice of appeal form raising that ground shall contain a succinct statement of why the evidence is alleged to be insufficient as a matter of law.

Transition Period

The amendments to Supreme Court Rules 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, and 25 that take effect on January 1, 2004, shall apply to any case first docketed in the supreme court on or after January 1, 2004; that is, any case with a docket number of "2004-XXXX." Any case docketed in the supreme court prior to January 1, 2004, e.g., cases with docket numbers such as "2003-XXXX" or "2002-XXXX," shall not be governed by the aforesaid amendments.

APPENDIX E

Adopt new Supreme Court Rule 7-A on a temporary basis as follows:

Rule 7-A. Motion to Stay or for Remand

 

(1) A motion to stay an order or judgment of a lower tribunal shall not be filed in this court unless the movant has first unsuccessfully sought similar relief from the lower tribunal. This requirement may be waived by the court upon motion in extraordinary circumstances. Any motion to stay shall be accompanied by a copy of the request for similar relief filed with the lower tribunal, any objection filed thereto, and the lower tribunal's order denying such relief. In addition, any motion to stay shall be accompanied by a copy of the order or judgment which the motion seeks to have stayed.

(2) A motion for remand or partial remand shall be accompanied by a copy of the pleading(s) that the movant intends to file with the lower tribunal if the motion is granted. Unless the court orders otherwise, the grant of a partial remand shall not stay the proceedings in this court.

 

Comment

 

Perfection of an appeal vests exclusive jurisdiction in the supreme court over those matters arising out of, and directly related to, the issues presented by the appeal. See Rautenberg v. Munnis, 107 N.H. 446, 447 (1966). The trial court is not in a position to act on such matters while an appeal is pending unless the case is remanded for that purpose. See id. at 448. Rautenberg also recognized, however, that the trial court is not prohibited from passing on collateral, subsidiary or independent matters affecting the case and the trial court has adequate authority and jurisdiction to preserve the status quo. See id.

 

In addition, Superior Court Rule 74 provides that a decree does not go to final judgment if a timely appeal is taken to the supreme court. See Rollins v. Rollins, 122 N.H. 6, 9 (1982). Thus, in an appeal from a divorce decree, for example, a timely appeal will prevent the trial court's final decree from going into effect, and the temporary decree would remain in effect while the appeal is pending. See id. at 10. Rollins also recognized, however, that the trial judge has the authority to order that the final decree, at least in part, is to be in effect while the appeal was pending, and that an appellant's only recourse in such a case was to obtain a stay of that order in the trial court or the supreme court. See id. (final decree as to level of child support held to be in effect while appeal was pending); Nicolazzi v. Nicolazzi, 131 N.H. 694, 696 (1989) (acknowledging trial court's discretion to set levels of alimony and child support to be paid during appeal).

 

This rule is intended to: (1) provide a procedural mechanism for requesting a stay of the judgment of a lower tribunal that is not stayed by the filing of a timely appeal; and (2) provide a procedural mechanism for requesting a remand or partial remand to a lower tribunal when necessary to allow the lower tribunal to act upon a matter that is not a collateral, subsidiary or independent matter affecting the case.

APPENDIX F

Amend Supreme Court Rule 10(1) through 10(3) on a temporary basis by deleting said sections and replacing them with the following:

Rule 10. Appeal from Administrative Agency.

(1) The supreme court may, in its discretion, decline to accept an appeal, or any question raised therein, from an order of an administrative agency, or may summarily dispose of such an appeal, or any question raised therein, as provided in rule 25. Review of an order of an administrative agency, when authorized by law, shall be obtained by filing the original and 12 copies of (a) an appeal under RSA 541; (b) in the case of an appeal from the department of employment security, an appeal under RSA 282-A:67; or (c) a petition for writ of certiorari if otherwise, accompanied by the required entry fee within the time prescribed by law. No entry fee will be required for an appeal filed by an individual claiming benefits under the unemployment compensation statute in accordance with RSA 282-A:158.

NOTE: To appeal to the supreme court from an administrative agency under RSA 541, the appealing party must have timely filed for a rehearing with the administrative agency. See RSA 541:4 and Appeal of White Mountains Education Association, 125 N.H. 771 (1984). The time period for the appeal does not begin to run until the administrative agency has acted upon the motion.

The appeal or petition, including any appeal from the department of employment security filed pursuant to RSA 282-A:67, shall as far as possible and in the order listed below:

(a) Specify the names of the parties seeking review of the order, the names of all other parties of record, the names of all counsel, and the addresses of all parties and counsel.

(b) Contain, or have annexed to it, a copy of the administrative agency's findings and rulings, a copy of the order sought to be reviewed, a copy of the motion for rehearing and all objections thereto, and a copy of the order on the motion for rehearing. The appeal or petition, and any appendix that may be filed, shall contain a table of contents.

(c) Specify the questions presented for review, expressed in the terms and circumstances of the case, but without unnecessary detail. The statement of a question presented will be deemed to include every subsidiary question fairly comprised therein. Only the questions set forth in the petition or fairly comprised therein will be considered by the court.

(d) Specify the provisions of the constitutions, statutes, ordinances, rules, or regulations involved in the case, setting them out verbatim, and giving their citation. If the provisions to be set out verbatim are lengthy, their citation alone will suffice at that point and their pertinent text shall be annexed to the petition. If the provisions aggregate more than 5 pages, their text may be filed as a separate appendix, including a table of contents referring to numbered pages, and only 8 copies shall be filed.

(e) Specify the provisions of insurance policies, contracts, or other documents involved in the case, setting them out verbatim. If the provisions to be set out verbatim are lengthy, their pertinent text shall be annexed to the petition. If the provisions aggregate more than 5 pages, their text may be filed as a separate appendix, including a table of contents referring to numbered pages, and only 8 copies shall be filed.

(f) Set forth a concise statement of the case containing the facts material to the consideration of the questions presented, with appropriate references to the transcript, if any.

(g) State the jurisdictional basis for the appeal, citing the relevant statutes or cases.

(h) A direct and concise statement of the reasons why a substantial basis exists for a difference of opinion on the question and why the acceptance of the appeal would protect a party from substantial and irreparable injury, or present the opportunity to decide, modify or clarify an issue of general importance in the administration of justice.

(i) A statement that every issue specifically raised has been presented to the administrative agency and has been properly preserved for appellate review by a contemporaneous objection or, where appropriate, by a properly filed pleading.

(2) The order sought to be reviewed or enforced, the findings and rulings, or the report on which the order is based, and the pleadings, evidence, and proceedings before the agency shall constitute the record on appeal.

(3) The administrative agency, complying with the provisions of rule 6(2) as to form, shall file the record with the clerk of the supreme court as early as possible within 60 days after it has received the supreme court's order of notice. The original papers in the agency proceeding or certified copies may be filed. At the beginning of the record there shall be inserted a table of contents with references to the page of the record at which each item listed in the table of contents begins.

Transition Period

The amendments to Supreme Court Rules 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, and 25 that take effect on January 1, 2004, shall apply to any case first docketed in the supreme court on or after January 1, 2004; that is, any case with a docket number of "2004-XXXX." Any case docketed in the supreme court prior to January 1, 2004, e.g., cases with docket numbers such as "2003-XXXX" or "2002-XXXX," shall not be governed by the aforesaid amendments.

APPENDIX G

Amend Supreme Court Rule 13 on a temporary basis by deleting said rule and replacing it with the following:

 

Rule 13. The Record.

 

(1) The papers and exhibits filed and considered in the proceedings in the lower court or administrative agency from which the questions of law have been transferred, the transcript of proceedings, if any, and a certified copy of the docket entries prepared by the clerk shall be the record in all cases entered in the supreme court. However, the supreme court will not ordinarily review any part of the record that has not been provided to it in an appendix or transmitted to it. See Rules 13(3), 17(1).

(2) Neither the original nor a reproduction of the record nor any part of the record shall be transmitted to the supreme court by the lower court or administrative agency from which the questions of law have been transferred, unless a supreme court order, rule, or form expressly requires such a transmittal.

(3) The moving party shall be responsible for ensuring that all or such portions of the record sufficient for the court to decide the questions of law presented by the case are in fact provided to the supreme court. The supreme court may dismiss the case for failure to comply with this requirement.

(4) If more than one transfer of questions of law in a case is made to the supreme court, each moving party shall comply with the provisions of rule 14(1) and of this rule and a single record shall be transmitted.

(5) In lieu of the record as defined in section (1) of this rule, the parties may prepare and sign an original and 12 copies of a statement of the case showing how the questions of law transferred arose and were decided, and setting forth only so many of the agreed facts as are essential to a decision of the questions presented.

(6) The exhibits in the court or agency below to be transferred shall include those designated by any party by letter to the clerk of the supreme court, with copies to the clerk of the court or agency below and all other parties.

Transition Period

The amendments to Supreme Court Rules 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, and 25 that take effect on January 1, 2004, shall apply to any case first docketed in the supreme court on or after January 1, 2004; that is, any case with a docket number of "2004-XXXX." Any case docketed in the supreme court prior to January 1, 2004, e.g., cases with docket numbers such as "2003-XXXX" or "2002-XXXX," shall not be governed by the aforesaid amendments.

APPENDIX H

Amend Supreme Court Rule 15 on a temporary basis by deleting said rule and replacing it with the following:

 

Rule 15. Transcripts.

 

(1) Counsel shall attempt to enter into stipulations, such as an agreed statement of facts, that will reduce the size of transcripts or avoid them completely. If such a stipulation is entered into, an original and 12 copies thereof must be filed with the clerk's office if it is not included in the notice of appeal.

(2) (a) Mandatory appeals. The moving party shall have completed the notice of appeal form which includes the transcript information, including the date of the proceedings to be transcribed, the length of the proceedings, the name(s) of any court reporters, and the deposit required. A transcript of the parts of the proceedings necessary for appeal and not already on file in the lower court from which the questions of law have been transferred shall be prepared. The supreme court clerk's office shall issue a scheduling order notifying the moving party to pay the deposit for the transcript to the clerk of the lower court within 15 days from the date on the written notice or have the appeal deemed waived or have the case dismissed. Upon timely receiving the required deposit, the lower court clerk shall immediately notify the court reporter to proceed with the transcription and shall notify the clerk of the supreme court that the court reporter has been so notified. If the lower court clerk does not timely receive the required deposit, the clerk shall immediately so notify the clerk of the supreme court. For the purposes of initial assessment of transcription costs pursuant to this rule, any party filing an appeal may be considered a moving party, and in cases of multiple appeals, the court, within its discretion, may assess transcription costs as justice requires.

(b) Other appeals from lower court decisions on the merits. The moving party shall have completed the notice of appeal form which includes the transcript information, including the date of the proceedings to be transcribed, the length of the proceedings, the name(s) of any court reporters, and the deposit required. If the appeal is accepted by the court for briefing, the supreme court clerk's office shall issue a scheduling order notifying the moving party to pay the deposit for the transcript to the clerk of the lower court within 15 days from the date on the written notice or have the appeal deemed waived or have the case dismissed. Upon timely receiving the required deposit, the lower court clerk shall immediately notify the court reporter to proceed with the transcription and shall notify the clerk of the supreme court that the court reporter has been so notified. If the lower court clerk does not timely receive the required deposit, the clerk shall immediately so notify the clerk of the supreme court. For the purposes of initial assessment of transcription costs pursuant to this rule, any party filing an appeal may be considered a moving party, and in cases of multiple appeals, the court, within its discretion, may assess transcription costs as justice requires.

(3) If the moving party intends to argue in the supreme court that a finding or conclusion is unsupported by the evidence or is contrary to the evidence, he shall include in the record a transcript of all evidence relevant to such finding or conclusion. Unless otherwise ordered by the supreme court, the transcript shall contain all the oral proceedings except opening statements, medical testimony, arguments, and charge.

(4) Unless the parties agree, or the court otherwise orders, the trial court reporter shall produce a completed original and 2 copies of a transcript as early as possible within 45 days after the reporter is notified by the lower court clerk to proceed with the transcription. Requests for extensions of time in which to prepare a transcript shall not be favored, but a trial court reporter may request that the supreme court grant an extension of time. Such a request shall give the reasons for the need for an extension. The trial court reporter shall send a copy of the letter to the chief justice of the superior court.

(5) The supreme court may order that the preparation of a transcript in a case be given immediate attention.

(6) The original transcript shall be transmitted to the supreme court as part of the record on appeal, and the copies shall be transmitted to the parties.

(7) The trial court reporter shall bind the transcript in a volume or volumes, with the pages consecutively numbered throughout all volumes. The transcript shall be indexed. The index in the first volume shall refer to the number of each volume and the page, and shall be cumulative for all volumes; the index in each other volume shall cover the subject matter in that volume. The index shall list each witness alphabetically, and under the name of the witness, shall refer to the page number where the direct and each other examination of the witness begins. There shall be a list of exhibits by number or letter, with a brief indication of the nature of the contents, and a list of the pages of the transcript where each exhibit has been identified, offered, received, or rejected. There shall be a list of other important parts of the trial that may have been transcribed, such as opening statements, arguments to the jury, and instructions, with a reference to the page where each begins.

(8) The State in every case in which it is a party, and the appealing party in every case in which the State is not a party, shall file with the clerk of the supreme court a copy of the transcript immediately after oral argument has concluded or immediately after the case is submitted for decision on the briefs and without oral argument.

Transition Period

 

The amendments to Supreme Court Rules 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, and 25 that take effect on January 1, 2004, shall apply to any case first docketed in the supreme court on or after January 1, 2004; that is, any case with a docket number of "2004-XXXX." Any case docketed in the supreme court prior to January 1, 2004, e.g., cases with docket numbers such as "2003-XXXX" or "2002-XXXX," shall not be governed by the aforesaid amendments.

APPENDIX I

Amend Supreme Court Rule 16 on a temporary basis by deleting said rule and replacing it with the following:

  

Rule 16. Briefs.

 

(1) Briefs may be prepared using a printing, duplicating or copying process capable of producing a clear letter quality black image on white paper, but shall not include ordinary carbon copies. If briefs timely filed do not conform to this rule or are not clearly legible, the clerk of the supreme court may require that new copies be substituted, but the filing shall not thereby be deemed untimely.

Each brief shall be in pamphlet form upon good quality, nonclinging paper 8 by 11 inches in size, with front and back covers of durable quality. Each brief shall have a minimum margin of one inch on the binding side and shall be firmly bound at the left margin. Any metal or plastic spines, fasteners or staples shall be flush with the covers and shall be covered by tape. The covers shall be flush with the pages of the case. See also rule 26(5).

If briefs are produced by commercial printing or duplicating firms, or, if produced otherwise and the covers to be described are available, the cover of the brief of the appealing party should be blue; that of the opposing party, red; that of an intervenor or amicus curiae, green; and that of any reply brief, including the answering brief in accordance with Rule 16(8), gray. The cover of the appendix, if separately printed, should be white.

The court will not accept any other method of binding unless prior approval has been obtained from the clerk of the supreme court.

(2) The front covers of the briefs and of appendices, if the appendices are separately produced, shall contain: (a) the name of this court and the docket number of the case; (b) the title of the case; (c) the nature of the proceeding in this court, e.g., appeal by petition pursuant to RSA 541: 6, and the name of the court or agency below; (d) the title of the document, e.g., brief for plaintiff; (e) the names and addresses of counsel representing the party on whose behalf the document is filed; and (f) the name of counsel who is to argue the case. See form in appendix.

(3) So far as possible, the brief of the moving party on the merits shall contain in the order here indicated:

(a) A table of contents, with page references, and a table of cases listed alphabetically, a table of statutes and other authorities, with references to the pages of the briefs where they are cited.

(b) The questions presented for review, expressed in terms and circumstances of the case but without unnecessary detail. While the statement of a question need not be worded exactly as it was in the appeal document, the question presented shall be the same as the question previously set forth in the appeal document. The statement of a question presented will be deemed to include every subsidiary question fairly comprised therein. The moving party may argue in his brief any question of law not listed in his appeal document, but only if the supreme court has granted a motion to add such question, and he has presented a record that is sufficient for the supreme court to decide the questions presented. Motions to add a question may be filed only by a party who filed an appeal document (including a party who filed a cross-appeal), and shall be filed at least 20 days prior to the due date of the moving party's brief.

After each statement of a question presented, counsel shall make specific reference to the volume and page of the transcript where the issue was raised and where an objection was made, or to the pleading which raised the issue. Failure to comply with this requirement shall be cause for the court to disregard or strike the brief in whole or in part, and opposing counsel may so move within ten days of the filing of a brief not in compliance with this rule.

(c) The constitutional provisions, statutes, ordinances, rules, or regulations involved in the case, setting them out verbatim, and giving their citation. If the provisions involved are lengthy, their citation alone will suffice at that point, and their pertinent text shall be set forth in an appendix.

(d) A concise statement of the case and a statement of facts material to the consideration of the questions presented, with appropriate references to the appendix or to the record.

(e) A summary of argument, suitably paragraphed, which should be a succinct, but accurate and clear, condensation of the argument made in the body of the brief. It should not be a mere repetition of the headings under which the argument is arranged.

(f) The argument, exhibiting clearly the points of fact and of law being presented, citing the authorities relied upon.

(g) A conclusion, specifying the relief to which the party believes himself entitled.

(h) A copy of the decision(s) below that are being appealed or reviewed.

(4) (a) The brief of the opposing party shall conform to the foregoing requirements, except that no statement of the case need be made beyond what may be deemed necessary in correcting any inaccuracy or omission in the statement of the other side, and except that subsections (b), (c), and (h) of subsection (3) need not be included unless the opposing party is dissatisfied with their presentation by the other side.

(b) Instead of a brief, the opposing party in a mandatory appeal may file a memorandum of law not to exceed 15 pages in length. A memorandum of law need not comply with the requirements for a brief set forth in this rule, including the requirements that briefs be bound in pamphlet form and have covers. A memorandum of law, however, shall contain: (i) the argument, exhibiting clearly the points of fact and of law being presented, citing the authorities relied upon; and (ii) a conclusion, specifying the relief to which the party believes himself entitled. A party who files a memorandum of law shall be deemed to have consented to the waiver of oral argument.

(5) Reply briefs shall conform to such parts of this rule as are applicable to the briefs of an opposing party, but need not contain a summary of argument, regardless of their length, if appropriately divided by topical headings.

(6) Briefs and memoranda of law must be compact, logically arranged with proper headings, concise and free from burdensome, irrelevant, and immaterial matter. Briefs and memoranda of law not complying with this section may be disregarded and stricken by the supreme court.

(7) Unless specially ordered otherwise, the original and 12 copies of the opening brief shall be filed with the clerk of the supreme court, in addition, 2 copies with counsel for each party separately represented, and like distribution shall be made of the opposing brief, opposing memorandum of law, or any other brief, all within the times specified in the applicable scheduling order.

The party filing the opening brief may similarly file, and make like distribution of, a reply brief, which shall be filed by the earlier of 30 days following the submission of the opposing brief or opposing memorandum of law, or 10 days before the date of oral argument. A reply brief may be filed after the expiration of the applicable time period only by leave of court. Responses to a reply brief shall not ordinarily be allowed. No response to a reply brief may be filed except by permission of the court received in advance.

Whenever a party desires to present late authorities, newly enacted legislation, or other intervening matters that were not available in time to have been included in his brief, he may similarly file, and make like distribution of, such new matters up to and including the day of oral argument, or by leave of the supreme court thereafter.

The clerk of the supreme court shall not accept any brief or memorandum of law after a case has been argued or submitted, unless the supreme court has granted to the party offering to file the brief or memorandum of law special leave to do so in advance.

(8) If a cross-appeal is filed, the plaintiff in the lower court or in the administrative agency shall be deemed the moving party for the purposes of this rule, unless the parties agree or the court orders differently. The brief of the opposing party shall contain the issues and argument involved in his appeal as well as the answer to the brief of the moving party. The moving party may file an answering brief within the time specified in the scheduling order.

(9) All references in a brief or memorandum of law to the appendix or to the record must be accompanied by the appropriate page number.

Citations to Supreme Court of the United States cases that cannot be made to the official United States Reports or to the Supreme Court Reporter shall include the month, day, and year of decision or a reference to United States Law Week. Citations to other federal decisions not presently reported shall identify the court, docket number, and date.

Citations to the decisions of this court may be to the New Hampshire Reports only. Citations to other State court decisions may either be: (a) to the official report and to the West Reporter system, with the year of decision; or (b) to the West Reporter only, in which case the citation should identify the State court by name or level, and should mention the year of decision. 

(10) The party filing a brief or memorandum of law shall conclude the pleading with a certification that the party has hand-delivered or has sent by first class mail two copies of the pleading to the other counsel in the case. The party filing a brief shall also conclude the brief, when applicable, with a statement that the party waives oral argument or that the party requests oral argument. A party requesting oral argument shall designate the lawyer to be heard if there are two or more lawyers on the party's side and shall estimate the time not exceeding 15 minutes for such argument.

The name of the party filing the brief or memorandum of law and the name of the lawyer representing the party shall appear in type at the conclusion of the pleading, and the lawyer shall sign the pleading. Names of persons not members of the bar or not parties shall not appear on the notice of appeal, the brief, the memorandum of law, or in the appendix unless they have complied with rule 33 and received prior written approval of the court. See rule 33(2).

(11) Each brief and memorandum of law shall consist of standard sized typewriter characters or size 12 font produced on one side of each leaf only. The text shall be double spaced.

Except by permission of the court received in advance, no reply brief (or response thereto) shall exceed 10 pages, and no other brief shall exceed 35 pages, exclusive of pages containing the table of contents, tables of citations, and any addendum containing pertinent texts of constitutions, statutes, rules, regulations, and other such matters. 

(12)  Failure of the appealing party to file a brief shall constitute a waiver of the appeal and the case shall be dismissed.

Transition Period

The amendments to Supreme Court Rules 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, and 25 that take effect on January 1, 2004, shall apply to any case first docketed in the supreme court on or after January 1, 2004; that is, any case with a docket number of "2004-XXXX." Any case docketed in the supreme court prior to January 1, 2004, e.g., cases with docket numbers such as "2003-XXXX" or "2002-XXXX," shall not be governed by the aforesaid amendments.

APPENDIX J

Amend Supreme Court Rule 17 on a temporary basis by deleting said rule and replacing it with the following:

 

 

Rule 17. Appendix to Brief.

 

(1) The court will not ordinarily review any part of the record that has not been provided to it in an appendix or transmitted to it. See Rule 13(3).

If there is to be an appendix of relevant documents or pleadings, the parties are encouraged to agree on its contents as an addendum to the moving party's brief or as a separate submission, if voluminous. If the moving party's appendix is not deemed to be sufficient, the opposing party may prepare and file an appendix of such additional parts of the record as an addendum to his brief or memorandum of law or, if voluminous, as a separate submission.

(2) The original and 12 copies of an appendix meeting the requirements of rule 6(2) shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the supreme court and its pages shall be sequentially numbered. The cover of the appendix should be white.

(3) The cost of producing the appendix shall be taxed as costs in the case, but if either party shall cause matter to be included in the appendix unnecessarily, such as the full text of decisions of this court or irrelevant pleadings, the supreme court may impose the cost of producing such parts on that party, even though he may be the prevailing party.

(4) At the beginning of the appendix there shall be inserted a table of contents with references to the page of the appendix at which each item listed in the table of contents begins. When matter contained in the transcript of proceedings is set out in the appendix, the page of the transcript at which such matter may be found shall be indicated in brackets immediately before the matter that is set out. Omissions in the text of papers or of the transcript must be indicated by asterisks. Immaterial formal matters, e.g., captions, subscriptions, acknowledgments, shall be omitted.

Transition Period

The amendments to Supreme Court Rules 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, and 25 that take effect on January 1, 2004, shall apply to any case first docketed in the supreme court on or after January 1, 2004; that is, any case with a docket number of "2004-XXXX." Any case docketed in the supreme court prior to January 1, 2004, e.g., cases with docket numbers such as "2003-XXXX" or "2002-XXXX," shall not be governed by the aforesaid amendments.

APPENDIX K

Amend Supreme Court Rule 18 on a temporary basis by deleting said rule and replacing it with the following:

 

 

Rule 18. Oral Argument.

 

(1) Oral argument may be shortened, or dispensed with, by order of the court. Oral argument will probably be dispensed with if the questions of law are not novel, and the briefs adequately cover the arguments; if the questions of law involve no more than an application of settled rules of law to a recurring fact situation; if the sole question of law is the sufficiency of the evidence, the adequacy of instructions to the jury or rulings on the admissibility of evidence, and the briefs refer to the record, which will determine the outcome.

(2) A party who has not filed a brief shall not be heard orally. A party who has filed a memorandum of law in lieu of a brief shall be deemed to have waived oral argument, but shall be heard orally if oral argument is nevertheless held.

(3) Oral argument shall be limited to not more than 15 minutes to a side (including questions by the court), except that, for good cause shown prior to the publication of the oral argument list normally occurring approximately 4 weeks prior to the first day of the session, the clerk may grant additional time. Without prior written approval, only one lawyer shall be heard for each side on the oral argument of a case.

If there are cross-appeals, they shall be argued together as one case and in the time of one case. The plaintiff in the case below shall be deemed the party appealing for the purposes of this paragraph, unless the parties agree or the supreme court directs differently.

(4) Oral argument shall emphasize and clarify the written argument appearing in the briefs. The supreme court does not favor any oral argument that is read from briefs or from a prepared text.

(5) The party having the opening argument may, at the beginning of the argument, reserve a portion of the party's time for closing argument.

(6) The supreme court may, on its own motion or for good cause shown on motion of either party, advance any case for hearing and prescribe an abbreviated briefing schedule.

(7) A party wishing to waive oral argument may file: (a) a stipulation for submission on briefs without oral argument joined in by all parties not later than ten (10) days prior to the date scheduled for such argument; or (b) a motion to waive oral argument not later than twenty (20) days prior to the date scheduled for such argument. The court may require oral argument notwithstanding the filing of such stipulation or motion.

(8) The supreme court shall make available to the parties, attorneys, and members of the public duplicate copies of the recording of oral argument. Upon receipt of a written request for a duplicate recording of oral argument, the clerk shall release a copy of the recording except that no duplicate of an oral argument made confidential by statute or case law shall be released. The fee for each copy shall be $25.

Transition Period

The amendments to Supreme Court Rules 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, and 25 that take effect on January 1, 2004, shall apply to any case first docketed in the supreme court on or after January 1, 2004; that is, any case with a docket number of "2004-XXXX." Any case docketed in the supreme court prior to January 1, 2004, e.g., cases with docket numbers such as "2003-XXXX" or "2002-XXXX," shall not be governed by the aforesaid amendments.

APPENDIX L

Amend Supreme Court Rule 21 on a temporary basis by deleting said rule and replacing it with the following:

 

Rule 21. Motions and Brief Memoranda.

(1) Motions relating to substance shall be entered upon the filing with the clerk of the supreme court of the original and 7 copies of the motion and a signed statement by counsel that a copy of the motion and notice of the filing have been mailed first class or delivered to opposing counsel. See rule 26. Motions shall be upon good quality, nonclinging paper 8 by 11 inches in size. They shall consist of standard size typewriter characters or size 12 font produced on one side of each leaf only. The text shall be double spaced and they shall have sequentially numbered pages. 

(2) Every motion to the court shall state with particularity the grounds on which it is based and the order or relief sought. A memorandum of law, affidavits, or other papers in support of the motion may be filed with it. 

(3) The original and 7 copies of objections to a motion relating to substance may be filed within 10 days from the date the motion has been filed in the clerk's office. The grounds of objections shall be stated with particularity. A memorandum of law, affidavits, or other papers in support of the objections may be filed with the objections. 

(3-A) No reply to an objection may be filed without permission of the court received in advance. A motion for permission to file a reply must be filed within 10 days from the date the objection has been filed in the clerk's office; provided, however, that the court may act upon a motion prior to the expiration of said ten-day period. Any reply to an objection filed without prior permission of the court shall not be considered by the court.

(4) Oral argument will not be heard on any motion, except at the invitation of the court. 

(5) If a motion does not relate to substance, but relates solely to scheduling or procedure, an original and one copy shall be filed with the clerk of the supreme court, with copies to opposing counsel. See rule 26. All motions relating solely to scheduling or procedure shall state whether opposing counsel consents. 

(6) No motion to extend time to file an appeal document will be accepted unless accompanied by the required entry fee. See also rule 5(1). No motion for late entry of an appeal document will be accepted unless accompanied by the appeal document and the required entry fee and unless the appeal document conforms to applicable rules. Motions to extend time to file an appeal document and motions for late entry of an appeal document are not favored and shall be granted only upon a showing of exceptional circumstances.   No court or agency other than the supreme court may extend the time to file an appeal document in the supreme court or permit late entry of an appeal document in the supreme court.

(7) A single justice may rule on all non-dispositive motions and may issue any non-dispositive order.  A single justice may rule upon requests to withdraw or dismiss an appeal filed by the appellant, may dismiss an appeal pursuant to Rule 5(4), Rule 15(2) or Rule 16(12); and may dismiss an appeal without prejudice upon procedural grounds.  Any order of a single justice shall state which justice so ruled.   

(8)  The clerk of the supreme court may rule on all motions relating to scheduling except for motions for expedited consideration, motions to extend time to file an appeal document, and motions for late entry of an appeal document. The clerk may issue briefing and other scheduling orders.  The clerk may grant or refer to the court dispositive motions to which all parties consent, and non-dispositive motions to which no objection is filed or all parties consent except for motions to extend time to file an appeal document and motions for late entry of an appeal document. With respect to other motions filed between the issuance of the scheduling order pursuant to Rule 12-B and the date of oral argument, the clerk may refer such motions to the court or issue an order to the effect that no ruling will be made on the motion prior to oral argument but that the parties may address the motion during their allotted oral argument time.  In mandatory appeals, the clerk may issue orders accepting the case. Any order of the clerk shall state that it is issued pursuant to this rule. 

  (9)  Any motion to reconsider an order issued by a single justice or the clerk shall be filed within ten days from the date of the issuance of the order.  A motion to reconsider an order issued by a single justice shall be referred to the court for decision.  A motion to reconsider an order issued by the clerk shall be referred to a single justice or to the court for decision.

(10) Whenever the court issues an order requiring or permitting a party to file a brief memorandum, the brief memorandum shall be entered upon the filing with the clerk of the supreme court of the original and 7 copies of the brief memorandum and a signed statement by counsel that a copy of the brief memorandum and notice of the filing have been mailed first class or delivered to opposing counsel. See rule 26.  Brief memoranda shall be upon good quality, nonclinging paper 8 by 11 inches in size. They shall consist of standard size typewriter characters or size 12 font produced on one side of each leaf only. The text shall be double spaced and they shall have sequentially numbered pages.   

Transition Period

 

The amendments to Supreme Court Rules 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, and 25 that take effect on January 1, 2004, shall apply to any case first docketed in the supreme court on or after January 1, 2004; that is, any case with a docket number of "2004-XXXX." Any case docketed in the supreme court prior to January 1, 2004, e.g., cases with docket numbers such as "2003-XXXX" or "2002-XXXX," shall not be governed by the aforesaid amendments.

 

 

 

APPENDIX M

Amend Supreme Court Rule 25 on a temporary basis by deleting said rule and replacing it with the following:

 

Rule 25. Summary Disposition or Dismissal.

(1) Except in a mandatory appeal, the supreme court may at any time, on its own motion and without notice or on such notice as it may order, dispose of a case, or any question raised therein, summarily. An order of summary affirmance under this rule may be entered when (a) no substantial question of law is presented and the supreme court does not disagree with the result below, or (b) the case includes the opinion of the lower court, which identifies and discusses the issues presented and with which the supreme court does not disagree, or (c) the case includes the decision of the administrative agency appealed from, and no substantial question of law is presented and the supreme court does not find the decision unjust or unreasonable, or (d) other just cause exists for summary affirmance, in which case the order shall contain a succinct statement of the reason for affirmance. An order of summary dismissal under this rule may be entered when the supreme court has not considered the merits, because the court clearly lacks jurisdiction, or other just cause for summary dismissal exists, in which case the order shall contain a succinct statement of the reason for dismissal. An order of summary reversal may be made by the supreme court under this rule for just cause and the order shall contain a succinct statement of the reason therefor.

(2) Except in a mandatory appeal, a party may move for summary disposition of a docketed case by filing an original and 7 copies of a motion for summary reversal or affirmance within 20 days of the filing of the appeal. He shall serve a copy of the motion on the opposing party. No motion for summary disposition of a docketed case shall be accepted after 20 days from the filing of the appeal, except if such motion is for the purpose of bringing to the court's attention the effect that an opinion issued since the filing of the docketed case may have on the docketed case. The opposing party has 10 days from the date of filing of any motion for summary disposition within which to file an original and 7 copies of a response to the motion. The supreme court may at any time, on such motion or response or both, or on its own motion, without notice or on such notice as the court may order, dispose of the case summarily.

(3) The motion for summary disposition and the response to it may each be accompanied by an original and 7 copies of a memorandum of law.

(4) The filing of a motion for summary disposition and of a response shall not toll any time limitations established by law, rule, or order.

(5) Cases summarily disposed of under this rule shall not be regarded as establishing precedent or be cited as authority.

(6) In a mandatory appeal, no motions for summary affirmance or summary reversal shall be filed. No such motion shall be considered or acted upon by the court.

(7) In a mandatory appeal, any party may file a motion to dismiss the appeal based upon lack of subject matter jurisdiction, mootness, untimeliness, or other cause unrelated to the merits of the appeal. The court may, without the issuance of any order, defer ruling upon the motion until after briefs are filed and oral argument, if any, is held. Any order or decision by the court disposing of the case on the merits shall be deemed to be a denial of any pending motion to dismiss.

In a mandatory appeal, the supreme court may at any time, on its own motion and without notice or on such notice as it may order, dismiss the appeal based upon lack of subject matter jurisdiction, mootness, untimeliness, or other cause unrelated to the merits of the appeal.

(8) The supreme court may, after briefing, oral argument (if any), and consideration of the record on appeal, decide a case on the merits, or any question therein, without a statement of reasons, except that an order reversing the decision below shall contain a succinct statement of the reason therefor.

Transition Period

 

The amendments to Supreme Court Rules 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, and 25 that take effect on January 1, 2004, shall apply to any case first docketed in the supreme court on or after January 1, 2004; that is, any case with a docket number of "2004-XXXX." Any case docketed in the supreme court prior to January 1, 2004, e.g., cases with docket numbers such as "2003-XXXX" or "2002-XXXX," shall not be governed by the aforesaid amendments.