Definitions

Appellant/Petitioner -- The appellant/petitioner generally is the party who lost in the district court/agency and filed the notice of appeal. The appellant/petitioner generally wants this Court to reverse or modify the judgment of the district court or agency.

Appellee/Respondent -- The appellee/respondent is generally the party who won in the district court/agency.  The appellee/ respondent generally wants this Court to affirm the decision of the district court or agency.

Appendix -- An appendix is a compilation of the relevant documents filed in the district court/agency that the court of appeals must review in order to reach a decision in your case.  FRAP 30. A pro se litigant may attach relevant documents to the informal brief, rather than binding them separately in an appendix.  It is the duty of appellant/petitioner to reproduce important documents from the district court/agency record. 

Brief -- A brief is the written presentation of your argument on appeal.  Pro se litigants may file an informal brief by completing the informal brief form provided by the Clerk.  If you choose to file a formal brief, you must comply with all court rules.  See FRAP 28, 32; 3rd Cir. LAR 28, 32.

Certificate of Service -- The rules of the Court require that you send a copy of any brief or motion to each opposing party and that you advise the Court in writing that you have done so.  Service may be required regardless of whether the opposing parties were served in the District Court.  A certificate of service is attached to the informal brief and must be completed and filed with the brief. Unlike the District Court, this Court does not use the U.S. Marshal to serve papers for you.  This Court will not serve papers for you.  FRAP 25, 27. When filing a motion, you must include a statement that you personally gave or mailed a copy of the motion to opposing parties and the date on which you did so. 

Motion -- A motion is a request by a party for a certain kind of action by the Court.  A party may request, for example, extensions of time, permission to proceed in forma pauperis, bail, or other relief.  Opposing parties may file an answer to the motion.  FRAP 27.

Petition for Rehearing -- After the final judgment is entered, a dissatisfied litigant may petition for rehearing before the original panel or the Court in banc.  You will be given instructions when the final order is entered.  FRAP 35, 40.  Note: the Court does not entertain petitions for rehearing or reconsideration of non-final orders, i.e., orders which do not close the case.