Cal. R. 8.220

As amended through November 21, 2023
Rule 8.220 - Failure to file a brief
(a)Notice to file

If a party fails to timely file an appellant's opening brief or a respondent's brief, the reviewing court clerk must promptly notify the party in writing that the brief must be filed within 15 days after the notice is sent and that if the party fails to comply, the court may impose one of the following sanctions:

(1) If the brief is an appellant's opening brief, the court may dismiss the appeal;
(2) If the brief is a respondent's brief, the court may decide the appeal on the record, the opening brief, and any oral argument by the appellant.

(Subd (a) amended effective January 1, 2016; previously amended effective January 1, 2007, and January 1, 2008.)

(b)Combined brief

A party that is both an appellant and a respondent under rule 8.216 may file its combined respondent's brief and appellant's reply brief within the period specified in the notice under (a).

(Subd (b) amended effective January 1, 2007.)

(c) Sanction

If a party fails to file the brief as specified in a notice under (a), the court may impose the sanction specified in the notice.

(Subd (c) amended effective January 1, 2008.)

(d) Extension of time

Within the period specified in the notice under (a), a party may apply to the presiding justice for an extension of that period for good cause. If the extension is granted and the brief is not filed within the extended period, the court may impose the sanction under (c) without further notice.

Cal. R. Ct. 8.220

Rule 8.220 amended effective 1/1/2016; repealed and adopted as rule 17 effective 1/1/2002; previously amended and renumbered as rule 8.220 effective 1/1/2007; previously amended effective 1/1/2008.

Advisory Committee Comment

Rule 8.216 applies, first, to all cases in which opposing parties both appeal from the judgment. In addition, it applies to all cases in which one party appeals from the judgment and another party appeals from any appealable order arising from or related to the judgment, i.e., not only orders contemplated by rule 8.108 (denying a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict) but also, for example, posttrial

orders granting or denying attorney fees. The purpose of the rule is to provide, in all such appeals, a single unified procedure for resolving uncertainties as to the order in which the parties must file their briefs.

As used in this rule, "appellant" includes cross-appellant and "respondent" includes cross-respondent. (Compare rule 8.100(e).)

Subdivision (a). Subdivision (a) implements the above-stated purpose by providing a procedure for determining both the briefing sequence-i.e., the order in which the parties must file their briefs-and the briefing periods-i.e., the periods of time (e.g., 30 days or 70 days, etc.) within which the briefs must be filed. Subdivision (a)(1) places the burden on the parties in the first instance to propose a briefing sequence, jointly if possible but separately if not. The purpose of this requirement is to assist the reviewing court by giving it the benefit of the parties' views on what is the most efficient briefing sequence in the circumstances of the case. Subdivision (a)(2) then prescribes the role of the reviewing court: after considering the parties' proposal, the court will decide on the briefing sequence, prescribe the briefing periods, and notify the parties of both. The reviewing court, of course, may thereafter modify its order just as it may do in a single-appeal case. Extensions of time are governed by rule 8.212(b).

Subdivision (b). The purpose of subdivision (b)(3) is to ensure that in its reply brief a party addresses only issues germane to its own appeal. For example, a cross-appellant may not use its cross-appellant's reply brief to answer points raised in the appellant's reply brief.