(a) Contents. Unless the court directs that a formal mandate issue, the mandate consists of a certified copy of the judgment, a copy of the court's opinion, if any, and any direction about costs.
(b) When Issued. The court's mandate must issue 7 days after the time to file a petition for rehearing expires, or 7 days after entry of an order denying a timely petition for panel rehearing, petition for rehearing en banc, or motion for stay of mandate, whichever is later. The court may shorten or extend the time by order.
(c) Effective Date. The mandate is effective when issued.
(d) Staying the Mandate Pending a Petition for Certiorari.
(1) Motion to Stay. A party may move to stay the mandate pending the filing of a petition for a writ of certiorari in the Supreme Court. The motion must be served on all parties and must show that the petition would present a substantial question and that there is good cause for a stay.
(2) Duration of Stay; Extensions. The stay must not exceed 90 days, unless:
(A) the period is extended for good cause; or
(B) the party who obtained the stay notifies the circuit clerk in writing within the period of the stay:
(i) that the time for filing a petition has been extended, in which case the stay continues for the extended period; or
(ii) that the petition has been filed, in which case the stay continues until the Supreme Court's final disposition.
(3) Security. The court may require a bond or other security as a condition to granting or continuing a stay of the mandate.
(4) Issuance of Mandate. The court of appeals must issue the mandate immediately on receiving a copy of a Supreme Court order denying the petition, unless extraordinary circumstances exist.
(As amended Apr. 29, 1994, eff. Dec. 1, 1994; Apr. 24, 1998, eff. Dec. 1, 1998; Apr. 29, 2002, eff. Dec. 1, 2002; Mar. 26, 2009, eff. Dec. 1, 2009.)
Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1967
The proposed rule follows the rule or practice in a majority of circuits by which copies of the opinion and the judgment serve in lieu of a formal mandate in the ordinary case. Compare Supreme Court Rule 59. Although 28 U.S.C. §2101(c) permits a writ of certiorari to be filed within 90 days after entry of judgment, seven of the eight circuits which now regulate the matter of stays pending application for certiorari limit the initial stay of the mandate to the 30-day period provided in the proposed rule. Compare D.C. Cir. Rule 27(e).
Notes of Advisory Committee on Rules—1994 Amendment
Subdivision (a). The amendment conforms Rule 41(a) to the amendment made to Rule 40(a). The amendment keys the time for issuance of the mandate to the expiration of the time for filing a petition for rehearing, unless such a petition is filed in which case the mandate issues 7 days after the entry of the order denying the petition. Because the amendment to Rule 40(a) lengthens the time for filing a petition for rehearing in civil cases involving the United States from 14 to 45 days, the rule requiring the mandate to issue 21 days after the entry of judgment would cause the mandate to issue while the government is still considering requesting a rehearing. Therefore, the amendment generally requires the mandate to issue 7 days after the expiration of the time for filing a petition for rehearing.
Subdivision (b). The amendment requires a party who files a motion requesting a stay of mandate to file, at the same time, proof of service on all other parties. The old rule required the party to give notice to the other parties; the amendment merely requires the party to provide the court with evidence of having done so.
The amendment also states that the motion must show that a petition for certiorari would present a substantial question and that there is good cause for a stay. The amendment is intended to alert the parties to the fact that a stay of mandate is not granted automatically and to the type of showing that needs to be made. The Supreme Court has established conditions that must be met before it will stay a mandate. See Robert L. Stern et al., Supreme Court Practice §17.19 (6th ed. 1986).
Committee Notes on Rules—1998 Amendment
The language and organization of the rule are amended to make the rule more easily understood. In addition to changes made to improve the understanding, the Advisory Committee has changed language to make style and terminology consistent throughout the appellate rules. These changes are intended to be stylistic only.
Several substantive changes are made in this rule, however.
Subdivision (b). The existing rule provides that the mandate issues 7 days after the time to file a petition for panel rehearing expires unless such a petition is timely filed. If the petition is denied, the mandate issues 7 days after entry of the order denying the petition. Those provisions are retained but the amendments further provide that if a timely petition for rehearing en banc or motion for stay of mandate is filed, the mandate does not issue until 7 days after entry of an order denying the last of all such requests. If a petition for rehearing or a petition for rehearing en banc is granted, the court enters a new judgment after the rehearing and the mandate issues within the normal time after entry of that judgment.
Subdivision (c). Subdivision (c) is new. It provides that the mandate is effective when the court issues it. A court of appeals’ judgment or order is not final until issuance of the mandate; at that time the parties’ obligations become fixed. This amendment is intended to make it clear that the mandate is effective upon issuance and that its effectiveness is not delayed until receipt of the mandate by the trial court or agency, or until the trial court or agency acts upon it. This amendment is consistent with the current understanding. Unless the court orders that the mandate issue earlier than provided in the rule, the parties can easily calculate the anticipated date of issuance and verify issuance with the clerk's office. In those instances in which the court orders earlier issuance of the mandate, the entry of the order on the docket alerts the parties to that fact.
Subdivision (d). Amended paragraph (1) provides that the filing of a petition for panel rehearing, a petition for rehearing en banc or a motion for a stay of mandate pending petition to the Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari stays the issuance of the mandate until the court disposes of the petition or motion. The provision that a petition for rehearing en banc stays the mandate is a companion to the amendment of Rule 35 that deletes the language stating that a request for a rehearing en banc does not affect the finality of the judgment or stay the issuance of the mandate. The Committee's objective is to treat a request for a rehearing en banc like a petition for panel rehearing so that a request for a rehearing en banc will suspend the finality of the court of appeals’ judgment and delay the running of the period for filing a petition for writ of certiorari. Because the filing of a petition for rehearing en banc will stay the mandate, a court of appeals will need to take final action on the petition but the procedure for doing so is left to local practice.
Paragraph (1) also provides that the filing of a motion for a stay of mandate pending petition to the Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari stays the mandate until the court disposes of the motion. If the court denies the motion, the court must issue the mandate 7 days after entering the order denying the motion. If the court grants the motion, the mandate is stayed according to the terms of the order granting the stay. Delaying issuance of the mandate eliminates the need to recall the mandate if the motion for a stay is granted. If, however, the court believes that it would be inappropriate to delay issuance of the mandate until disposition of the motion for a stay, the court may order that the mandate issue immediately.
Paragraph (2). The amendment changes the maximum period for a stay of mandate, absent the court of appeals granting an extension for cause, to 90 days. The presumptive 30-day period was adopted when a party had to file a petition for a writ of certiorari in criminal cases within 30 days after entry of judgment. Supreme Court Rule 13.1 now provides that a party has 90 days after entry of judgment by a court of appeals to file a petition for a writ of certiorari whether the case is civil or criminal.
The amendment does not require a court of appeals to grant a stay of mandate that is coextensive with the period granted for filing a petition for a writ of certiorari. The granting of a stay and the length of the stay remain within the discretion of the court of appeals. The amendment means only that a 90-day stay may be granted without a need to show cause for a stay longer than 30 days.
Subparagraph (C) is not new; it has been moved from the end of the rule to this position.
Committee Notes on Rules—2002 Amendment
Subdivision (b). Subdivision (b) directs that the mandate of a court must issue 7 days after the time to file a petition for rehearing expires or 7 days after the court denies a timely petition for panel rehearing, petition for rehearing en banc, or motion for stay of mandate, whichever is later. Intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays are counted in computing that 7-day deadline, which means that, except when the 7-day deadline ends on a weekend or legal holiday, the mandate issues exactly one week after the triggering event.
Fed. R. App. P. 26 (a)(2) has been amended to provide that, in computing any period of time, one should “[e]xclude intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays when the period is less than 11 days, unless stated in calendar days.” This change in the method of computing deadlines means that 7-day deadlines (such as that in subdivision (b)) have been lengthened as a practical matter. Under the new computation method, a mandate would never issue sooner than 9 actual days after a triggering event, and legal holidays could extend that period to as much as 13 days.
Delaying mandates for 9 or more days would introduce significant and unwarranted delay into appellate proceedings. For that reason, subdivision (b) has been amended to require that mandates issue 7 calendar days after a triggering event.
Changes Made After Publication and Comments. No changes were made to the text of the proposed amendment or to the Committee Note.
Committee Notes on Rules—2009 Amendment
Under former Rule 26(a), short periods that span weekends or holidays were computed without counting those weekends or holidays. To specify that a period should be calculated by counting all intermediate days, including weekends or holidays, the Rules used the term “calendar days.” Rule 26(a) now takes a “days-are-days” approach under which all intermediate days are counted, no matter how short the period. Accordingly, “7 calendar days” in subdivision (b) is amended to read simply “7 days.”
Changes Made After Publication and Comment. The Appellate Rules Committee made only one change to Rule 26(a) after publication and comment: Because the Committee is seeking permission to publish for comment a proposed new Rule 1(b) that would adopt a FRAP-wide definition of the term “state,” the Committee decided to delete from Rule 26(a)(6)(B) the following parenthetical sentence: “(In this rule, ‘state’ includes the District of Columbia and any United States commonwealth, territory, or possession.)” That change required the corresponding deletion—from the Note to Rule 26(a)(6)—of part of the final sentence (the deleted portion read “, and defines the term ‘state’—for purposes of subdivision (a)(6)—to include the District of Columbia and any commonwealth, territory or possession of the United States. Thus, for purposes of subdivision (a)(6)'s definition of ‘legal holiday,’ ‘state’ includes the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.”)
The Appellate Rules Committee made one change to its proposed amendments concerning Appellate Rules deadlines. Based on comments received with respect to the timing for motions that toll the time for taking a civil appeal, the Committee changed the cutoff time in Rule 4(a)(4)(A)(vi) to 28 days (rather than to 30 days as in the published proposal). The published proposal's choice of 30 days had been designed to accord with the proposed amendments published by the Civil Rules Committee, which would have extended the deadline for tolling motions to 30 days. Because 30 days is also the time period set by Appellate Rule 4 and by 28 U.S.C. §2107 for taking a civil appeal (when the United States and its officers or agencies are not parties), commentators pointed out that adopting 30 days as the cutoff for filing tolling motions would sometimes place would-be appellants in an awkward position: If the deadline for making a tolling motion falls on the same day as the deadline for filing a notice of appeal, then in a case involving multiple parties on one side, a litigant who wishes to appeal may not know, when filing the notice of appeal, whether a tolling motion will be filed; such a timing system can be expected to produce instances when appeals are filed, only to go into abeyance while the tolling motion is resolved.
By the time of the Appellate Rules Committee's April 2008 meeting, the Civil Rules Committee had discussed this issue and had determined that the best resolution would be to extend the deadline for tolling motions to 28 days rather than 30 days. The choice of a 28-day deadline responds to the concerns of those who feel that the current 10-day deadlines are much too short, but also takes into account the problem of the 30-day appeal deadline. As described in the draft minutes of the Committee's April meeting, Committee members carefully discussed the relevant concerns and determined, by a vote of 7 to 1, to assent to the 28-day time period for tolling motions and to change the cutoff time in Rule 4(a)(4)(A)(vi) to 28 days.
The Standing Committee changed Rule 26(a)(6) to exclude state holidays from the definition of “legal holiday” for purposes of computing backward-counted periods; conforming changes were made to the Committee Note.
Committee Notes - 2018 Amendment
Subdivision (b). Subdivision (b) is revised to clarify that an order is required for a stay of the mandate.
Before 1998, the rule referred to a court’s ability to shorten or enlarge the time for the mandate’s issuance “by order.” The phrase “by order” was deleted as part of the 1998 restyling of the rule. Though the change appears to have been intended as merely stylistic, it has caused uncertainty concerning whether a court of appeals can stay its mandate through mere inaction or whether such a stay requires an order. There are good reasons to require an affirmative act by the court. Litigants—particularly those not well versed in appellate procedure—may overlook the need to check that the court of appeals has issued its mandate in due course after handing down a decision. And, in Bell v. Thompson, 545 U.S. 794, 804 (2005), the lack of notice of a stay was one of the factors that contributed to the Court’s holding that staying the mandate was an abuse of discretion. Requiring stays of the mandate to be accomplished by court order will provide notice to litigants and can also facilitate review of the stay.
Subdivision (d). Three changes are made in subdivision (d).
Subdivision (d)(1)—which formerly addressed stays of the mandate upon the timely filing of a motion to stay the mandate or a petition for panel or en banc rehearing— has been deleted and the rest of subdivision (d) has been renumbered and renamed accordingly. In instances where such a petition or motion is timely filed, subdivision (b) sets the presumptive date for issuance of the mandate at 7 days after entry of an order denying the petition or motion. Thus, it seems redundant to state (as subdivision (d)(1) did) that timely filing of such a petition or motion stays the mandate until disposition of the petition or motion. The deletion of subdivision (d)(1) is intended to streamline the rule; no substantive change is intended.
Under the new subdivision (d)(2)(B), if the court of appeals issues a stay of the mandate for a party to file a petition for certiorari, and a Justice of the Supreme Court subsequently extends the time for filing the petition, the stay automatically continues for the extended period.
Subdivision (d)(4)—i.e., former subdivision (d)(2)(D) —is amended to specify that a mandate stayed pending a petition for certiorari must issue immediately once the court of appeals receives a copy of the Supreme Court’s order denying certiorari, unless the court of appeals finds that extraordinary circumstances justify a further stay. Without deciding whether the prior version of Rule 41 provided authority for a further stay of the mandate after denial of certiorari, the Supreme Court ruled that any such authority could be exercised only in “extraordinary circumstances.” Ryan v. Schad, 570 U.S. 521, 525 (2013) (per curiam). The amendment to subdivision (d)(4) makes explicit that the court may stay the mandate after the denial of certiorari, and also makes explicit that such a stay is permissible only in extraordinary circumstances. Such a stay cannot occur through mere inaction but rather requires an order.
The reference in prior subdivision (d)(2)(D) to the filing of a copy of the Supreme Court’s order is replaced by a reference to the court of appeals’ receipt of a copy of the Supreme Court’s order. The filing of the copy and its receipt by the court of appeals amount to the same thing (cf. Rule 25(a)(2)(A)(i), setting a general rule that “filing is not timely unless the clerk receives the papers within the time fixed for filing”), but “on receiving a copy” is more specific and, hence, clearer.