Q: How long in an AZ appeal with the dependency court do you have to file a reply to a reply brief of an atty general?
This request is a little vague. In most circumstances the Parents appeal from the decision of the lower court, thus they file their appeal, the Attorney General files an Answering (Response Brief), and the Parent then gets the last word with a Reply Brief. See Rule 106 of the Arizona Rules of Procedure for the Juvenile Court (ARPJC). I am assuming that the question refers to the A.G.'s Answering Brief, but provide a brief note if the questioner meant what they wrote.
The Reply Brief must be filed within 10 days of service of the Answering Brief according to ARPJC 106(B)(3). You need to ask an attorney to know whether the extra five days for mailing is included in this time limit, because the safest course of action is to get it in within 10 days. Rule 6(c) of the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure (ARCP) provides for 5 extra days for mailing depending on the type of service. Rule 43 of the ARPJC adopts ARCP Rule 6 for Dependency proceedings. The Rule 6 of the ARCP also provides for exclusions of time for 10 day deadlines under certain circumstances. The Appellate Court will often grant one timely requested extension of time by custom with good cause, and even if it is already late, it is best to at least try for an extension of time to file. In summation, you may have as many as 17 days, but 10 days is the sure bet. If one needs more than 10 days, they should file for an extension. The Appellate E-Filing Portal should have the deadline calculated by the Appellate Court itself under the e-filing for your case, if you are e-filing. You can also call the Clerk of the Appellate Court for the division you are in. They can give you deadline information specific to your case.
Bear in mind that it is not necessary to file a Reply Brief pursuant to ARJCP 106, but if you do not file a Reply Brief the Rule calls for the party to give notice to the Court that they do not intend on filing a Reply Brief.
If a case were appealed by the Attorney General and they filed a Reply brief that raised new issues or contained improper argument or somesuch, you would seek leave from the Court to file a Sur-Reply or Motion to Strike as soon as possible and state the reasons why. This would normally be quite rare.
This Answer is posted for general informational purposes only. It is not designed as legal advice to the questioner. Any instances of the word “you” are meant in the third person. All individuals are counseled to seek the advice of an Attorney before basing any action on any information posted herein.
Filing for an extension after a deadline has lapsed may not be best practice in all circumstances. A thorough review of the case law and facts of the particular case would be in order to see if a Reply Brief is even legally necessary. A review of appellate timetable in any given case would be de minimus information to give actually give advice. A late request for extension may be frivolous depending on the circumstances. If one was in a coma or their office burned down, the Court may consider the extraordinary circumstances depending on the case law regarding that particular point and the facts causing the delay. For that issue, you would need to consult an attorney and devote at least a few hours to research and consultation.
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