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Petitions for Writs of Certiorari

On Behalf of | Aug 1, 2022 | Appeals

A writ of certiorari is used in many different contexts, depending on the courts involved. In Florida state courts, the writ of certiorari most often refers to a proceeding in which a party asks an intermediate appellate court to review a decision of a trial court. For the District Court of Appeal to have jurisdiction to hear a Writ of Certiorari, the order must be otherwise unappealable, and the party seeking certiorari relief must demonstrate that harm caused by the order is irreparable, cannot be remedied on plenary appeal (appeals of full and formal suits), and

that the ruling was “a departure from the essential requirements of law.”

The Use of Writs of Certiorari

Certiorari is used when there are suggestions of error regarding the legal process in the lower courts. A remedy is required in the interests of fairness and the preservation of legal precedent in similar cases. The Supreme Court, where arguments are heard, either grants or rejects the request for review. The certiorari process at the Supreme Court level has several stages.

A Noted Case Where Certiorari Was Filed

In its landmark decision in the 1973 case of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruled 7–2 that a woman’s right to an abortion was protected by the due process of law clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The case was initiated by a Writ of Certiorari from the state of Missouri Attorney General suggesting the elimination of the right to abortion in cases of fetal malformation.

The Writ of Certiorari Judicial Process

Once a request is filed, the case goes through a series of processes in the Supreme Court.

  • Accepted for argument by four of the nine judges
  • The filing of a 50-page brief submission laying out the case details
  • Submission of a shorter brief detailing the counter parties’ position
  • Public 30-minute oral arguments from both parties
  • Judges question the attorneys
  • The judges go into conference
  • Opinions on the case are written and made

The Solicitor General usually argues cases in which the U.S. Government is a party. If the U.S. Government is not a party, the Solicitor still may be allotted time to express the government’s interests in the case.

Florida and Writs

Florida has made a policy decision that certain kinds of cases do not need to make the showing that is normally required by certiorari in cases where a lack of remedy is not forthcoming by the time the case is over. Before considering filing a writ of certiorari, attorneys should be sure to check the list of directly appealable nonfinal orders found in Rule 9.140.  If the order that is to be reviewed is not on the list of appealable non-final orders, a determination as to whether a writ is available is in order.

Hunker Appeals

While you may never see yourself in need of a writ, you may be surprised at the legal impact of such a legal tool. It is also important to note that most writs filed with the Supreme Court are not heard and their use of them should be selective. At Hunker Appeals, we understand the process of writ appeal and the chances of success should a writ be filed in an appeal on any level.

If you live in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Weston, Miami, West Palm Beach, or one of the other surrounding Florida communities, our expert appeal attorneys are ready to interpret the many complex rules of the state’s appeal process.

Call or email Hunker Appeals now to set up a consultation.

Hunker Appeals, 110 Southeast 6th Street, Suite 2330, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301 877-906-5656.

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