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In this post, I discuss the mandate in the Arkansas appellate process and its usefulness in enforcing the result of an appeal.

mandate

Photo by Dave Conner is licensed under CC 2.0.

After an appellate decision is issued, the first step in enforcing the result of the appeal is the issuance of a mandate.

Enforcing the Result of the Appeal

When a decision becomes final, enforcing the result of the appeal falls to the Clerk of the Court. The Clerk will issue a mandate and mail it to the clerk of the circuit court whose decision was the subject of the appeal. The clerk of the circuit court will then file and record the mandate.

For purposes of this provision, a decision of the appellate court is considered final only when the time for filing a petition for rehearing or, in the case of a decision of the Court of Appeals, the time for filing a petition for review has expired. If such a petition is filed, a decision is not final until there is a final disposition of that petition.

Issuance of the Mandate

The Clerk will not certify the decision of the appellate court until at least eighteen days have passed from the date the appellate court rendered its judgment. This time period can, however, be waived by special leave of the deciding court or upon stipulation of counsel.

Since the Clerk cannot issue the mandate until the appellate court’s decision is certified, the Clerk will generally not issue the required mandate until at least eighteen days have passed.

Stay of the Mandate

In most circumstances, the Arkansas Supreme Court has the final say on cases arising within the state. Where there is an issue of federal law, however, decisions of the Arkansas Supreme Court may be appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

Any party filing a petition for a writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme Court may seek an order from the Arkansas Supreme Court to either stay the issuance of a mandate or to recall a mandate if the party can show that:

  1. The petition for a writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court presents a substantial question.
  2. There is good cause for granting the motion.
  3. An order for a copy of the record has been placed with the Clerk of the Court along with payment of an advance deposit of $50.

The Arkansas Supreme Court is not required to grant such a request. The grant of a stay or recall is within the absolute discretion of the court—though the United States Supreme Court could possibly grant a stay if the Arkansas Supreme Court refuses.

Such a stay cannot exceed ninety days from the date it is issued, unless extended for good cause. If, however, the party who obtained the stay timely files a petition for certiorari with the United States Supreme Court and so notifies the Clerk of the Arkansas Supreme Court, the stay will remain in effect until the United States Supreme Court makes a final disposition of the case.

If the Supreme Court denies the petition for writ of certiorari, however, the Clerk shall immediately issue the mandate.

The decision of the appellate court is not automatically carried out. Enforcing the result of your appeal is an important part of the appellate process and must be handled carefully.


Sources:

Rule 5-3 of The Rules of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals of the State of Arkansas


See Also:

The Notice of Appeal

Deadline to File the Record on Appeal

Categories: Legal Blog

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