Fifth Court of Appeals | Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Fifth Court of Appeals



Are there Revisions to the Local Rules?
The Local Rules posted are effective July 1, 2012.

Note: the revisions make electronic filing of civil documents mandatory. However, parties not represented by counsel may file in either electronic or paper format.
What are the Fees and Deposits for Costs?
Fees and Deposits for Costs

Filing fee $175
Original proceeding $125
Motions $10
Motion for rehearing $15
Exhibits tendered for oral argument $25
How many copies briefs are required?
If filing the brief in paper, pursuant to 5th Tex. App. (Dallas) Loc. R. 3.B(h) a party must file one original plus three copies. Additionally, an electronic copy of the document in text-searchable portable document format (PDF) must be emailed to the Court at ebrief@5th.txcourts.gov and to each party's lead counsel on the same date the original document is filed. If the electronic copy of the brief contains an appendix, the appendix must be combined into one PDF computer file with the brief.

If filing the brief electronically, a party files the brief through www.texas.gov/efiling, and then send three paper copies of the brief to the Court within one business day of submitting the electronic file.
How many copies of motions are required?
If filing the motion in paper, the Court requires one original plus one copy. Additionally, an electronic copy of the document in text-searchable portable document format (PDF) must be emailed to the Court at ebrief@5th.txcourts.gov and to each party's lead counsel on the same date the original document is filed.

If filing the motion electronically, a party files the motion through www.texas.gov/efiling, No additional paper requirements.
May I check the record out?
In criminal cases, the Court will not allow the record to be checked out. Records must be checked out through the District or County Clerk's Office. See 5th Tex. App. (Dallas) Loc. R. 4.a. In civil cases not under submission, attorneys may check out the record from the clerk by completing a receipt. The record must be returned to the clerk within 14 days. See 5th Tex. App. (Dallas) Loc. R. 4.a.
Can Inmates have access to our records?
Only in cases in which an inmate is pro se or counsel of record, or in which the inmate's attorney has filed a frivolous appeal brief pursuant to Anders v. California 386 U.S. 938 (1967), will the Court grant a motion to allow the record to be made available to an imprisoned appellant.
Does the Court hear oral argument on motions?
Generally, no oral argument will be heard on motions, in extraordinary cases the panel to which the motion has been assigned may set the motion for oral argument on motion of any party or on the panel's own motion.
Should I submit a proposed order for the Justices signature?
No, the Court prepares its own orders.
In a civil case, the reporter's record is ready to be filed but the clerk's record is not. Will the court file the reporter's record?
Yes
If I filed a supplemental clerk's record, does that alter my briefing time?
The briefing deadlines start from the date the complete record is filed. Filing a supplemental clerk's record does not alter the briefing deadlines, unless the attorney has requested and been granted an extension.
If my brief is due today, can I request an extension of time tomorrow?
In both civil and criminal cases a motion to extend the time to file the brief may be filed before or after the date the brief is due. See Tex. R. App. P. 38.6(d). However, in criminal cases, the Court will not accept an appellee's brief tendered more than ten (10) days after the date of the letter notifying the parties that the case is set for submission. See 5th Tex. App. (Dallas) Loc. R. 6.a
Is there a general format for briefs?
Yes, Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 38 explains the requisites of briefs.
Is there a book that shows proper citations?
Yes, the latest editions of A Uniform System of Citation by Harvard Law Review and Texas Rules of Form by Texas Law Review should be observed.
Is there a page limit on briefs?
Yes, 50 pages is the limit, unless leave is obtained from the Court to file a brief in excess of 50 pages. A reply brief must be no longer than 25 pages. In civil cases, the aggregate number of pages for all briefs filed by a party must not exceed 90 pages. See Tex. R. App. P. 38.4.
May I file a supplemental brief?
Yes, supplemental and amended briefs may be filed without leave of court only if no new points of error are raised.
How do I request oral argument?
A party desiring to present oral argument must make a notation on the front cover of the parties' brief. Failure to do so waives the parties' right to argue. See Tex. R. App. P. 39.7.
How much time do I get for oral argument?
Oral argument will be limited to twenty (20) minutes for the appellant's opening argument, twenty (20) minutes for the appellee's argument, and five (5) minutes for the appellant's rebuttal. Requests for additional time must be made by written motion filed at least ten (10) days prior to the scheduled submission date. See 5th Tex. App. (Dallas) Loc. R. 8.
How many copies of my brief do I file?
If filing the brief in paper, pursuant to 5th Tex. App. (Dallas) Loc. R. 3.B(h) a party must file one original plus three copies. Additionally, an electronic copy of the document in text-searchable portable document format (PDF) must be emailed to the Court at ebrief@5th.txcourts.gov and to each party's lead counsel on the same date the original document is filed. If the electronic copy of the brief contains an appendix, the appendix must be combined into one PDF computer file with the brief.

If filing the brief electronically, a party files the brief through www.texas.gov/efiling, and then send three paper copies of the brief to the Court within one business day of submitting the electronic file.
How many copies of my request for extension of time to file my brief do I file?
If filing the motion in paper, the Court requires one original plus one copy. Additionally, an electronic copy of the document in text-searchable portable document format (PDF) must be emailed to the Court at ebrief@5th.txcourts.gov and to each party's lead counsel on the same date the original document is filed.

If filing the motion electronically, a party files the motion through www.texas.gov/efiling, No additional paper requirements.
Can I file my brief with anyone after hours?
Yes, through efiling at www.texas.gov/efiling.
If my brief is due on a federal/state holiday, how do I file it?
When the Court is closed for a legal holiday, your brief is not due until the next working day. If your brief is due on a Saturday or Sunday, it should be filed on Monday, the first working day.
I cannot afford a lawyer, how can I get the Court to appoint one for me?
Appointment of lawyers is usually done at the trial court level.

Additional resources:
Referral Directory: Categorized by county, it contains the State Bar of Texas - Texas Lawyers Care guide to help low-income Texans find civil legal services. Although the Referral Directory probably contains the information, you can also call your local bar association, or the one in a large city nearby, to see if they can assist with referring you to an organization that can help you.

For your information, the Supreme Court has recently appointed commission to develop and publish a strategic plan for statewide delivery of services to low-income Texans. Be on the lookout for more information as they begin their work. You can check their web page at http://www.TexasATJ.org
I Need a Lawyer, how can I find one?
In addition to the low income Referral Directory, there is also a State Bar of Texas Lawyer Referral Service. The number is 800-252-9690. All of the Referral Programs are listed on the page Lawyer Referral Services - Full Fee and Reduced Fee on the Referral Directory.

Updated: 19-Nov-2012

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