Rule 21 – Extraordinary writs
(a) Mandamus or Prohibition to a Court: Petition, Filing, Service, and Docketing.
(1) A party petitioning for a writ of mandamus or prohibition directed to a court must file a petition with the circuit clerk and serve it on all parties to the proceeding in the trial court. The party must also provide a copy to the trial-court judge. All parties to the proceeding in the trial court other than the petitioner are respondents for all purposes.
(2)(A) The petition must be titled “In re [name of petitioner].”
(B) The petition must state:
(i) the relief sought;
(ii) the issues presented;
(iii) the facts necessary to understand the issue presented by the petition; and
(iv) the reasons why the writ should issue.
(C) The petition must include a copy of any order or opinion or parts of the record that may be essential to understand the matters set forth in the petition.
(3) Upon receiving the prescribed docket fee, the clerk must docket the petition and submit it to the court.
(b) Denial; Order Directing Answer; Briefs; Precedence.
(1) The court may deny the petition without an answer. Otherwise, it must order the respondent, if any, to answer within a fixed time.
(2) The clerk must serve the order to respond on all persons directed to respond.
(3) Two or more respondents may answer jointly.
(4) The court of appeals may invite or order the trial-court judge to address the petition or may invite an amicus curiae to do so. The trial-court judge may request permission to address the petition but may not do so unless invited or ordered to do so by the court of appeals.
(5) If briefing or oral argument is required, the clerk must advise the parties, and when appropriate, the trial-court judge or amicus curiae.
(6) The proceeding must be given preference over ordinary civil cases.
(7) The circuit clerk must send a copy of the final disposition to the trial-court judge.
(c) Other Extraordinary Writs. An application for an extraordinary writ other than one provided for in Rule 21(a) must be made by filing a petition with the circuit clerk and serving it on the respondents. Proceedings on the application must conform, so far as is practicable, to the procedures prescribed in Rule 21(a) and (b).
(d) Form of Papers; Number of Copies; Length Limits. All papers must conform to Rule 32(c)(2). An original and 3 copies must be filed unless the court requires the filing of a different number by local rule or by order in a particular case. Except by the court’s permission, and excluding the accompanying documents required by Rule 21(a)(2)(C):
(1) a paper produced using a computer must not exceed 7,800 words; and
(2) a handwritten or typewritten paper must not exceed 30 pages.
Selected Committee Notes
The term “proof of service” in subdivisions (a)(1) and (c) is deleted to reflect amendments to Rule 25(d) that eliminate the requirement of a proof of service when service is completed using a court’s electronic filing system.
Key Civ Pro Laws (MBE/MEE)
- Section 1291 – Final decisions of district courts
- Section 1292 – Interlocutory decisions
- Section 1331 – Federal question
- Section 1332 – Diversity
- Section 1335 – Interpleader
- Section 1338 – Intellectual Property
- Section 1359 – Parties collusively joined or made
- Section 1367 – Supplemental jurisdiction
- Section 1391 – Venue generally
- Section 1397 – Interpleader
- Section 1404 – Change of venue
- Section 1406 – Cure or waiver of defects
- Section 1407 – Multidistrict litigation
- Section 1441 – Removal generally
- Section 1446 – Removal procedure
- Section 1447 – Post-removal procedure
- Section 1738 – Full faith and credit
- Section 1870 – Challenges
- Section 2072 – Rules of procedure and evidence; power to subscribe
- Section 2361 – Process and procedure
- Rule 3 – Commencing an action
- Rule 4 – Summons
- Rule 6 – Computing and extending time
- Rule 7 – Pleadings allowed
- Rule 8 – General pleading rules
- Rule 9 – Pleading special matters
- Rule 11 – Signing pleadings, motions, and other papers
- Rule 12 – Defenses and objections
- Rule 13 – Counterclaim and crossclaim
- Rule 14 – Third-party practice
- Rule 15 – Amended and supplemental pleadings
- Rule 16 – Pretrial conferences, scheduling, management
- Rule 19 – Required joinder of parties
- Rule 20 – Permissive joinder of parties
- Rule 22 – Interpleader
- Rule 23 – Class actions
- Rule 24 – Intervention
- Rule 26 – Duty to disclose
- Rule 30 – Depositions by oral examination
- Rule 31 – Depositions by written questions
- Rule 33 – Interrogatories
- Rule 34 – Producing documents, electronically stored information, and tangible things
- Rule 35 – Physical and mental examinations
- Rule 36 – Requests for admission
- Rule 37 – Failure to make disclosures or to cooperate in discovery
- Rule 38 – Right to a jury trial
- Rule 41 – Dismissal of actions
- Rule 42 – Consolidation; separate trials
- Rule 45 – Subpoena
- Rule 47 – Selecting jurors
- Rule 48 – Number of jurors; verdict; polling
- Rule 49 – Special verdict; general verdict and questions
- Rule 50 – Judgment as a matter of law in a jury trial
- Rule 51 – Instructions to the jury; objections; preserving a claim of error
- Rule 52 – Findings and conclusions by the court; judgment on partial findings
- Rule 54 – Judgment, costs
- Rule 55 – Default
- Rule 56 – Summary judgment
- Rule 59 – New trial; altering or amending a judgment
- Rule 60 – Relief from a judgment or order
- Rule 65 – Injunctions and restraining orders