In my last post, I talked about the jurisdictional statement in an appellant’s brief. Today, the topic is the jurisdictional statement in an application for a supervisory writ.
Jurisdictional statements in writ applications are governed by Uniform Rule 4-5(C)(2). This rule is not as detailed as Rule 2-12.4(A)(3), which governs jurisdictional statements in briefs. Rule 4-5(C)(2) just says that the writ application must include “a concise statement of the grounds on which the jurisdiction of the court is invoked ....” Still, by analogizing to Rule 2-12.4(A)(3), we can conclude that the jurisdictional statement in a writ application must accomplish at least one thing: it must prove that the court of appeal has supervisory jurisdiction to review the judgment at issue. This usually means proving (not just saying) hat the writ application is timely under Uniform Rule 4-3.
Now, timeliness of a writ application can get complicated because it is determined by two variables: (1) notice of judgment as determined by La. Code Civ. P. art. 1914, and (2) the return date set by the trial court for filing the writ application. For tips on navigating this sometimes tricky terrain, see A Writ in Time (51 La. Bar J. Feb./Mar. 2004). Generally, the writ application must be filed within the return date set by the trial court, and the return date set by the trial court must be no more than 30 days after notice of judgment as determined by Article 1914.
Getting back to the topic of this post: the jurisdictional statement in the writ application must do the following things:
- Establish the date that notice of judgment occurred under Article 1914.
- Prove that the notice of intent was filed timely, that is, no more than 30 days after notice of judgment under Article 1914.
- Establish the return date set by the trial court for filing the writ application.
- State (truthfully!) that the writ application itself was filed within the return date set by the trial court.
Each of the above four things should be proved by a citation to a specific page in the appendix to the writ application. For example, if the ruling in open court constituted notice of judgment, your writ application should include the minute entry or hearing transcript reflecting the judge’s ruling in open court, and your jurisdictional statement should cite the pages in the appendix where the court can find that transcript page or minute entry. If the judge ordered the judgment to be reduced to writing, your writ application should include documentation of that order (usually a hearing transcript, sometimes a minute entry), and your jurisdictional statement should cite the page in the writ application’s appendix where that order can be found. Your jurisdictional statement should also include a citation to the pages in the appendix where the court of appeal can find the filed-stamped copy of your notice of intent to seek a supervisory writ and the trial court’s order setting the return date.
In short, the jurisdictional statement should include all information and all appendix citations that the court of appeal needs to conclude that the writ application was filed timely under Rule 4-3.