Title 4. Rules of Civil Procedure
Title 4. Rules of Appellate Procedure
Article I – General Provisions
Article II – Appellate Procedure
Article III – Scope of Appeal
Article IV – Suspension of Judgment
Article V – Docketing the Appeal; Filing of the Record
Article VI – Trial Record on Appeal
Article VII – Appellate Briefs
Article VIII – Voluntary Dismissal
Article IX – Disposition of Appeals
Article X – Miscellaneous
RULE 101. COURT OF APPEALS GUIDING POLICY
The Pit River Court of Appeals will review cases on the record submitted by the Pit River Tribal Court in light of the issues presented by the parties on appeal. The Pit River Tribe of California encourages any and all disputes to be reconciled without pursuing the litigation process. Parties who bring their disputes to Tribal Court should respect the integrity and fairness of the Tribal Court and not prolong litigation. Therefore, as a general rule, all appeals to the Pit River Tribal Court of Appeals are disfavored.
RULE 102. SCOPE OF RULES
These Rules shall govern the procedure in all appealable cases taken to the Pit River Court of Appeals from a final judgment or order of the Pit River Tribal Court. These rules shall be known as the Pit River Rules of Appellate Procedure, and may be abbreviated PRT R. App. P.
RULE 103. DEFINITIONS
(A) Appealable cases: Appealable cases include, but are not limited to, civil cases, criminal cases, probate cases and domestic relations cases.
(B) Appellant: An appellant is the person or party who files the appeal seeking to overturn a court order.
(C) Appellee: An appellee is the person or party against whom an appeal is taken.
(D) Brief: A brief is a person or party’s written statement of the legal and factual contentions on an issue.
(E) Costs: Costs are the fees or charges ordered by the court but not including attorney’s or advocate’s fees.
(F) Court Holiday: Any day on which the court is closed, whether because of Tribal law, custom or other reason.
(G) Execution: Execution is the act of carrying out an order of the court.
(H) Final Judgment: A final judgment is the Court’s last action that settles the rights of the parties and resolves the issues in controversy. This action does not have to include provisions for awards of costs, attorney’s fees or enforcement of the judgment.
(I) Good cause: Good cause is a sufficient reason offered to convince the court to grant a party relief.
(J) Motion: A motion is a written or oral request to the court for a specific ruling or order.
(K) Order: An order is a written or oral command or instruction from the court.
(L) Party: A person concerned or having or taking part in a legal proceeding.
(M) Stay: A stay is a suspension of a proceeding or judgment.
(N) Stipulation: A stipulation is an agreement between parties on a matter concerning their case.
RULE 104. COMPUTATION OF TIME
(A) Period of time. When computing any period of time allowed by these rules, by order of the court, or by any applicable law, the day of the act, event, or default is not to be included. If the period of time ends on a Saturday, Sunday or Court holiday, the period of time will be considered to end on next day the Court is open.
(B) Shortening or extension of time. The time for doing of the acts provided within these rules, by order of the Court, or by any applicable law, may be shortened or extended by the Court upon stipulation or upon motion, for good cause shown.
ARTICLE II. APPELLATE PROCEDURE
RULE 201. APPEALS
Within ten (10) days from the entry of judgment, a party dissatisfied with the Tribal Court judgment may file a notice of appeal with this Court.
RULE 202. BOND
(A) Costs on appeal. A bond for costs on appeal shall be submitted by any appellant to the Trial Court for an amount deemed sufficient by the Tribal Court. Such costs shall include:
(1) A docket fee of fifteen dollars ($15.00) must be posted with the Clerk of the Trial Court to cover costs and disbursements.
(2) In civil cases, posting with the Clerk of the Court of Appeals a:
a. Satisfactory bond equal to twice the amount of the judgment or fine, including costs, when the judgment is for money; or
b. Twice the value of the property, including costs, when the judgment is for the return of property.
c. A cash deposit for the amount of the judgment or the value of the property, plus costs, may be made in lieu of bond.
(B) Form of Bond. A bond for costs on appeal may be in the form of cash, property, or service deemed of appropriate value to the Pit River Tribe. The Tribal Court shall determine any valuation of property submitted for bond. If security is given in the form of a bond or stipulation or other undertaking with one or more sureties each surety submits itself to the jurisdiction of the Pit River Tribal Court of Appeals and irrevocably appoints the Clerk of the Court as its agent upon whom any papers affecting its liability on the bond or undertaking may be served. The sureties’ liability may be enforced on motion.
(C) Time period. A bond for costs on appeal shall be issued for a consideration of adequacy to the Tribal Court within twenty (20) days of the certification of the record.
(D) Inability to submit bond. If a party is unable to submit a bond for costs on appeal, he/she shall file an affidavit stating that the party is unable to give a bond for costs on appeal and the reasons therefore.
(1) The Tribal Court may then either approve, disapprove or modify the waiver of the bond amount.
(2) In any case wherein any member of the Tribe whose age or other conditions may render him unable to qualify his/her appeal by payment of the sum of fifteen dollars ($15.00), the Court, may, in its discretion, require the Pit River Tribe rather than the appellant to pay the fee.
RULE 203. NOTICE OF APPEAL
(A) Submission. A Notice of Appeal may be submitted by any party to a civil action who is dissatisfied with the final judgment or order.
(B) Form. The Notice of Appeal shall be in writing and shall describe the judgment or order appealed from and shall state the reason for the appeal. A copy of a final judgment from the Tribal Court must be attached to such request.
(C) Time period. The Notice of Appeal must be filed with the Court of Appeals within ten (10) days of the final judgment or decree entered in the Tribal Court.
(D) Requirement of Brief. The party filing a Notice of Appeal must file a brief within thirty (30) days of the certification of the record.
RULE 204. SERVING THE NOTICE OF APPEAL
(A) Filing. Parties to an appeal shall file an original and four (4) copies of any and all papers required or permitted with the Clerk for the Pit River Court of Appeals.
(B) Service of Papers. Copies of all papers filed with the Clerk of the Pit River Court of Appeals by parties to an appeal shall be sent by certified mail to opposing parties and their legal representatives by the party filing such papers. All papers filed with the Clerks shall be accompanied by a written statement of the party filing such papers or his/her legal representatives certifying that such papers have been mailed to the opposing party(s) or his/her legal representative(s).
(C) Service of the Notice of Appeal. It shall be the duty of the party filing a Notice of Appeal or any notice, motion, brief or other paper to serve notice to the Clerk of the Court of Appeals. Service of notice shall be made by delivering a exact copy in person or by certified mail return receipt requested. The certificate shall be signed by the Clerk of the Court of Appeals to show that the notice of received by the Court.
RULE 205. FILING FEE
(A) The filing fee for appeals of Tribal Court decisions shall be two-hundred dollars ($200.00).
(B) All travel and per diem costs shall be borne by the litigants. All costs incurred, including court costs and legal fees, may be awarded to the prevailing party.
(C) Pursuant to this Ordinance, neither the Pit River Tribe, the Tribal Council or any government officer or body, acting in their official capacity on behalf of the Tribe shall pay or deposit any fee for the filling of any document or paper, for the performance of any official service, or for the filing of any stipulation or agreement which may constitute an appearance in the Pit River Tribal Court by any other party to the stipulation or agreement.
RULE 301. MOTIONS TO APPEAL
(A) Substance. Any motion submitted to the Court must state the grounds on which it is based and set forth the relief sought.
(B) Time period. Except for motions for enlargement of time, any party may file a response to a motion within ten (10) days after the motion is received.
(C) Oral argument. Motions shall be considered and decided without oral argument unless otherwise ordered.
RULE 302. REVIEW
The Pit River Tribal Court of Appeals must try the case anew based upon the papers filed in the Tribal Court unless it appears as a matter of law from such papers that the case should be reversed and judgment entered for the appellant.
RULE 303. CONTENT OF REVIEW
In reviewing the Tribal Court decision, the Court shall consider the record of the Tribal Court, but is not bound by any findings of fact or law of the trial court.
RULE 304. WITNESSES
If the Court of Appeals allows witnesses to be heard:
(A) The judges of the Pit River Court of Appeals shall have the power to issue subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses either on their own motion or on the request of the Superintendent, or any of the parties to the case;
(B) The subpoena shall bear the signature of the judge issuing it;
(C) All witnesses subpoenaed in behalf of the Pit River Tribe shall be entitled to payment of fifty dollars ($50.00) per person and such other traveling expenses as may be determined by the Court.
RULE 305. PARTY ASSERTING ERROR
In any case where a party feels the Tribal Court has made an error, in order to assert that error on appeal, the party must allow the Tribal Court to correct the error. The party asserting error must allow the Tribal Court the opportunity to remedy the action by first making a motion to the Tribal Court stating the claimed error and including a request for relief.
ARTICLE IV. SUSPENSION OF JUDGMENT
RULE 401. FILING A NOTICE OF APPEAL
Filing a Notice of Appeal shall not stay any judgment of the Tribal Court.
RULE 402. EFFECT OF SUSPENSION
After a Notice of Appeal has been filed pursuant to Rule 203 and Rule 204, the Tribal Court may enter an order providing that the judgment or order not be enforced until the final decision of the case on appeal upon a party’s motion or upon the court’s own motion.
RULE 403. DENIAL BY TRIBAL COURT
If the Tribal Court denies a request for a stay of execution, a petition for reexamination may be filed with the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals may grant a stay of execution conditioned upon bond or other conditions as determined by the Court of Appeals.
ARTICLE V. DOCKETING THE APPEAL; FILING OF THE RECORD
RULE 501. RECORD
A record shall be made of all proceedings in the Court of Appeals. The record may be made either by electronic means as approved by the Court or made by a court reporter.
RULE 502. TIME PERIOD
Unless exempted, the appellant shall pay to the Clerk of the Court the docket fee within fifteen (15) days after the Clerk of the Court gives notice that he/she has received the Trial Court record and that the papers shall be filed upon receipt of the docket fee. The Clerk shall thereupon enter the appeal upon the docket. The Court of Appeals may, upon motion for cause shown, enlarge the time for docketing the appeal or permit the appeal to be docketed out of time.
RULE 503. NOTICE
The Clerk of the Court shall immediately give notice to all parties of the date on which the record was completed.
RULE 504. CERTIFICATION
The Clerk of the Court shall issue a certification that states that the record is complete upon receipt of all the documents and other items contained in the record.
RULE 505. FAILURE TO PAY DOCKET FEE
If the appellant fails to timely pay the docket fee in a timely manner, the appeal will be deemed abandoned and the judgment of the Tribal Court may be enforced as if no appeal had been taken.
ARTICLE VI. TRIAL RECORD ON APPEAL
RULE 601. RECORD TRANSMITTAL
Upon receipt of notice of appeal, the Clerk of the Pit River Tribal Court shall send the trial court record to the Court of Appeals.
RULE 602. FORM OF RECORD
It shall be the duty of the Clerk of the Court to submit the trial court record to the Court of Appeals within thirty (30) days of the certification of the record.
(A) The Clerk of the Tribal Court shall submit an indexed trial court record to the Court of Appeals.
(B) The Clerk of the Tribal Court shall provide photocopies of all written material in the record to each individual Court of Appeals judge.
(C) The Clerk of the Tribal Court shall provide either audio copies or transcripts, if available, of any hearings in the prior proceeding, to each individual Court of Appeals judge.
(D) The Clerk of the Tribal Court shall make available to the parties copies of the written and audio record from the Tribal Court. The cost of such copies shall be the responsibility of the requesting party. The Clerk of the Court may charge the appellant reasonable fees for copying.
RULE 603. DOCUMENT FILING SCHEDULE
Once the record is submitted to the Court of Appeals, the Court of Appeals shall notify the parties in writing of the date of the completion of the record and the schedule for the filing of briefs.
RULE 604. CONTENTS OF THE RECORD
The record shall include:
(A) All original papers filed in the case by the parties or the Court.
(B) All exhibits in the file of the Tribal Court.
(C) Either an audio recording of the Tribal Court proceedings or a transcript of the Tribal Court proceedings.
(D) The costs of the audio recording of the record and the transcription of the record for the Court of Appeals shall be the responsibility of the appealing party.
RULE 701. TIME PERIOD
(A) The appellant’s brief shall be filed within thirty (30) days after the service on the parties by the Court of Appeals of the date of certification of completion of the record. The appellant’s brief shall consist of completion of notice of appeal. The notice of appeal is found in these rules. The model court form may also be used for appellate briefs and may be adopted as mandatory for by the Court. An additional brief may be filed if desired.
(B) The appellee’s brief shall be filed within thirty (30) days after service of the appellants brief on the appellee.
(C) Appellant may file a reply brief within twenty (20) days of the service of the appellee’s brief on appellant.
(D) No further response shall be allowed to either party without leave of court.
RULE 702. LENGTH
Briefs may be no longer than twenty-five (25) double-spaced typed pages in length or the handwritten equivalent exclusive of appendices, except with permission of the Court of Appeals. Illegible briefs may be stricken by the Court of Appeals.
RULE 703. CONTENTS
(A) Appellant’s Brief. Appellant’s Brief shall include:
(1) A short statement of the case, including relevant facts that are material to the issues presented on appeal. The statement shall include appropriate references to the record with regard to such facts.
(2) A concise argument clearly showing the reasons for rendering judgment for the party.
(3) A short conclusion stating the relief sought from the Court of Appeals.
(B) Appellee’s Brief. Appellee’s Brief shall have the same requirements as appellant’s brief, except that no statement of the case is required unless the appellee finds the appellant’s statement lacking or incorrect.
(C) Appellant’s Reply Brief. The appellant may file a reply brief. The reply shall be confined strictly to rebuttal of points in the appellee’s brief.
(D) Appendix. The Court encourages the appellate brief for both parties to include an appendix which may contain:
(1) Pertinent Tribal laws
(2) Tribal regulations
(3) Tribal case authority
(4) Tribal rules
(5) Tribal custom and tradition
(6) Any other non-readily available sources of law or custom.
RULE 704. AMICUS CURIAE
In any appellate proceeding, amicus briefs, memoranda or statements shall be permitted only in the following situations:
(A) When all parties to the action consent to the filing of an amicus curiae brief, memorandum, or statement;
(B) By leave of court pursuant to a properly filed motion; or
(C) At the request of the court.
RULE 705. ORAL ARGUMENT
(A) Provision for. The Pit River Court of Appeals shall decide all appeals upon the briefs, memoranda, and statements filed together with the record of the trial court, without oral arguments unless either party requests oral argument and shows the court that such is necessary and/or will aid the court in its decision. Nothing in these rules, however, shall preclude the court from ordering oral arguments on its own motion.
(B) Procedure. When oral arguments are ordered, the clerk of Court shall notify both parties of the specific time, date, and place the arguments are to be heard. At the hearing both appellant and appellee shall have a maximum of twenty (20) minutes to present their respective arguments. Appellant shall be permitted to both open and close the arguments.
ARTICLE VIII. VOLUNTARY DISMISSAL
RULE 801. POLICY
Parties to a case may and are always encouraged to settle the case.
RULE 802. MOTION FOR VOLUNTARY DISMISSAL
An appeal taken by a party may be dismissed on motion of the party taking the appeal, upon such terms as may be agreed upon by the parties or fixed by the court.
RULE 803. STIPULATION
If the parties to an appeal file with the Clerk of the Court a stipulation that the proceedings be dismissed, specifying the terms as to payment of costs, and shall pay whatever fees are due, the clerk shall enter the case dismissed.
RULE 804. COURT ORDER
In the case of a voluntary dismissal, no mandate or other process shall issue without an order of the Court.
RULE 805. RETURN OF BOND
Any bonds posted by the parties shall be returned to the person who posted such bond upon a voluntary dismissal.
RULE 806. NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT
It shall be the duty of the advocate or any party if unrepresented by an advocate to give the Clerk of the appellate court prompt notice of the settlement of any case or matter filed in the Court. In the event of any unreasonable delay in the giving of such notice, the Court may impose sanctions pursuant to Rule 18 against the advocate or the parties to insure future compliance with this rule.
ARTICLE IX. DISPOSITION OF APPEALS
RULE 901. OPINION
The Court of Appeals shall issue its written opinion and mandate within 60 days of the filing of the last appellate brief in the case, or the hearing of oral argument, whichever is later. The Court of Appeals may, upon notice to both parties, extend that time based on the complexity of the issues involved.
RULE 902. SERVICE OF OPINION
Upon issuance of the opinion, the Clerk of the Court of Appeals shall send the opinion, mandate or other final disposition of the case and the Tribal Court’s file to the Tribal Court, and serve copies of the opinion, mandate or other final disposition of the case upon the parties.
RULE 903. ADDITIONAL ORDERS
The Court of Appeals may issue additional orders to facilitate carrying out the proceedings, as it deems necessary.
RULE 904. COSTS
(A) Except as otherwise provided by law, if an appeal is dismissed, costs shall be taxed against the appellant unless otherwise agreed or ordered by the court.
(B) If a judgment is affirmed, costs shall be ordered against the appellant unless otherwise ordered. If a judgment is reversed, costs shall be taxed against the appellee unless otherwise ordered.
(C) If a judgment is affirmed in part, reversed in part, or is vacated, costs shall be allowed only as ordered by the court.
(D) Parties requesting payment of costs must submit an itemized listing of the costs to the Court of Appeals.
(E) If the judgment of the trial court is reversed, the court, in its discretion may order the appellee to pay all costs of the appeal, or direct the parties to pay a designated portion of the cost.
(F) Whenever a judgment is recovered by the Pit River Tribe either as plaintiff or petitioner or as defendant or respondent, in any action to begin or to defend which, pursuant to Rule 205, did not require the payment of any fee, the Court entering judgment shall include as a part of the judgment the amount of the filing fee and the amount of the fee for the service of process or notices which would have been paid but for Rule 205.
RULE 905. ISSUANCE OF MANDATE
A mandate of the Pit River Court of Appeals shall issue ten (10) days after entry of judgment in the appeal.
RULE 906. MOTION FOR REHEARING
a. Requirements. Any party desiring rehearing of a decision or opinion of the Court of Appeals which finally disposes of the case, except for an order denying rehearing, may file a motion for rehearing within ten days after service of the decision or order. Accompanying the motion shall be a brief which states, with particularity, the points of law which the party contends the court has decided wrongly. Within ten (10) days thereafter, the opposing party may file a response to such motion. On a motion for rehearing there shall be no oral argument unless requested by the court.
b. No further appeal. No further appeal may be taken from a final decision or order under these Rules. All decisions of the Pit River Court of Appeals shall be arrived at by a simple majority of the three judge panel. All decisions shall be issued in written form, and all judgments on appeal shall be final.
RULE 1001. SANCTIONS FOR DELAY OR OTHER INFRACTIONS
(A) Where an appeal or motion is frivolous or taken solely for the purpose of delay, or where any party or their representative has been guilty of an unreasonable infraction of these rules, the Court of Appeals may impose upon the offending representatives or parties such reasonable penalties, including but not limited to community service or fines of not more than $1,000, as the training, skills, experience, and economic circumstances of the party or representative may suggest and the discouragement of like conduct in the future may require.
(B) If the Pit River Court of Appeals finds that a party has filed a frivolous appeal, the Court may award the appellee his/her just damages plus single or double costs.
RULE 1002. WAIVER OF FORMAL REQUIREMENTS
Upon a showing of exceptional circumstances or lack of training in the law of a party not represented by an advocate, the Court of Appeals may extend the time for filing an appellate brief. The Court may accept a memorandum or pleading which does not conform to the formal requirements of these rules but which is legible and understandable or modify the procedural requirements of these rules in order to insure that a fair and just determination of the appeal on its merits can be made.
RULE 1003. APPEALS BY PERSONS UNABLE TO PAY FEES OR COSTS
A party who seeks a waiver of fees or costs on appeal because of inability to pay shall file in the Court of Appeals a request for a waiver of fees or costs together with a sworn statement of his/her financial resources and such further information as required by the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals may require the party requesting a waiver to appear for an inquiry into his/her ability to pay. The court shall grant or deny the request within 3 days of filing or of hearing, based on whether the party seeking waiver is able to pay for costs on appeal or the transcript, if any, without incurring substantial hardship to the party or the party’s extended family.