Supreme Court

Frequently Asked Questions 

If these topics do not cover the information you seek, call the Clerk's office at (512) 463-1312.

  1. Orders of the Supreme Court are scheduled for release at 9:00 a.m. each Friday. The orders are posted on the Court's web page that day. View the most recent orders of the Court.

  2. For questions related to filing requirements, please review the Filing Requirements page.

  3. The Appellate Section of the State Bar has prepared Instructions and Templates for Preparing a Petition for Review in the Supreme Court of Texas. These instructions may be used to help you complete an electronic template for a petition for review that can be filled out using Microsoft Word or an electronic template that can be filled out using Adobe Acrobat. Or you can print the handwritten template and use it as a guide for completing a petition for review.

    The following forms may also assist you in taking a case to the Texas Supreme Court:

  4. There are many laws that govern appeals to the Supreme Court of Texas, and for that reason, you should seek the advice of an attorney. The Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure provide detailed directions on filing appeals. These rules are found in most libraries and may also be found on in the rules section of our web site. Generally an appeal from a lower court is done through a petition for review. View the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure. The Appellate Section of the State Bar of Texas web site provides a free Guide to Practice before the Supreme Court of Texas and free access to articles discussing all aspects of practice in Texas appellate courts as well as forms and instructions for filing a petition for review.

  5. No paper copies are required when electronically filing.

  6. If you are filing with the Supreme Court of Texas, you will need to submit an unbound copy of the original document. 

    For regular mail service, mail your filing to:

    P.O. Box 12248
    Austin, Texas 78711-2248

    For express services, such as Federal Express, United Parcel Service, and others, use our street address:

    201 West 14th Street, Room 104
    Austin, Texas 78701

  7. In order to get an extension of time to file a petition for review, you must file a motion for extension of time. The motion for extension of time must comply with Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure 53.7(f) and 10.5(b). The motion must state when the court of appeals issued its judgment, the court of appeal’s cause number, the date that the petition for review is due, the amount of additional time you want (e.g. 30 days), and explain the reasons for the request for additional time. The filing fee for the motion for extension of time is $10. You must file the motion for extension of time no later than 15 days after the deadline for filing the petition for review. The Appellate Section of the State Bar of Texas has created a Sample Motion for Extension of Time.

  8. For questions in regard to attorney status or licensing requests, please review the Attorney Information page for answers.

  9. Yes. Rule 9 of the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure provides general instructions for all documents filed with the Texas Supreme Court. In addition, if you are filing a petition for review, be sure to read and follow the requirements of Rule 53 of the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure. Rule 53.2 explains what the required contents are for a petition for review. If you are filing an original proceeding, such as a petition for writ of mandamus or writ of habeas corpus, you should read and follow the requirements of Rule 52 of the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure. Rule 52.3 explains what the necessary contents and form are for a petition filed in an original proceeding. Failure to follow the requirements of Rule 9, Rule 52, or Rule 53 may result in the Court striking your filing for failure to comply with the rules. View the Texas Rules of Appellate Procedure.

  10. Check your scanner software settings. Make sure that you are scanning the documents at 300 dots per inch or dpi as required by the Technology Standards of the Judicial Committee on Information Technology (JCIT). In addition the scan must be in black and white scale (not gray scale or color). Scanner settings should be set to scan your documents as a document, and not as an image. You may be able to save the document as a reduced size PDF file for an optimal file size. There are a number of online resources that explain how to reduce the file size of scanned documents. For example, this article on the Adobe Acrolaw blog explains how to reduce the file size of scanned documents using Adobe Acrobat.

  11. The record may be split into volumes of 35MB files, as needed. Please be sure to place a styled cover page on each volume of the record, and indicate the volume within the title of the style cover page.

  12. If you are a counsel of record on a case, you may access and download the electronic appellate record through the attorney portal. Register with your bar member number and a known TAMES email address in order to retrieve appellate records for cases in which you are listed as an attorney of record. Please select from the court(s) that are currently providing access to appellate records.

     

    If you do not see a case listed for which you are counsel of record, ensure you have selected the court that is specific to your case. If you still do not see the case listed, please contact the Clerk’s Office.

     

    The appellate record in the attorney portal excludes the sealed records that are required to be filed separately per Rule 8.7 of the Uniform Format Manual for Texas Reporters’ Records. Please contact the Clerk’s Office to request access to sealed records.

     

  13. Documents filed under seal or subject to a motion to seal may not be electronically filed. In order to file a document under seal that has not already been sealed by a lower court, you must electronically file a motion to seal. If the documents are subject to a sealing order, you must electronically file the order sealing the documents. Follow the instructions below for submitting your sealed documents.

    If the sealed exhibit is being filed as part of an unsealed appendix or record:

    Please indicate the title of the sealed exhibit in the bookmarks and exhibit cover page, and include the notation "Filed under Seal." The unsealed appendix or record will still be filed via the electronic filing service provider, and the sealed exhibit will be mailed separately. Please place the sealed exhibit(s) in an envelope (separate envelopes if multiple exhibits), with a label on the envelope indicating the case number, case style, and the title of the sealed document. Along with one paper copy of each sealed document, please mail an electronic copy of each exhibit filed under seal on a thumb drive or CD.

    If a record is being filed separately under seal:

    Please mail the sealed record to the Court in an envelope (place multiple volumes in separate envelopes) with a label on the envelope indicating the case number, cast style, title of the sealed document, and a notation that the document is filed under seal. Along with one paper copy of each volume of a sealed record, please mail a bookmarked electronic copy on a thumb drive or CD.

  14. The Court requires Notices of Rule 76A Motions to Seal Court Records to be electronically filed via an electronic filing service provider.  Please file the notice as a new case with the case number "76A" and as the "Letter/Notice" filing type.  You must complete the party information using the "Petitioner and "Respondent" party fields.  No filing fee is required.

  15. Pro hac vice admissions are governed by Rule XIX of the Rules Governing Admission to the Bar of Texas. An electronic copy of these rules, and other information governing pro hac vice admission, is available on the Texas Board of Law Examiners web site.

  16. In addition to the low-income Referral Directory, the State Bar of Texas maintains a Lawyer Referral Service. The number is (800) 252-9690. All of the Referral Programs are listed on the page Lawyer Referral Services - Full Fee and Reduced Fee on the Referral Directory. The Texas Access to Justice Commission maintains a link on its website to a listing of attorney referral services.

  17. Appointment of lawyers is usually done at the trial court level. If you are in search of an attorney to represent you, the State Bar of Texas maintains a referral directory on its website. Categorized by county, it contains the Texas Lawyers Care guide to help low-income Texans find civil legal services. The State Bar of Texas also provides a Lawyer Referral Information Service, which you can reach by telephone at (800) 252-9690 or (877) 9TEXBAR (Toll Free). You can also call your local bar association, or the one in a large city near you, to see if they can assist you in finding an attorney. The Supreme Court refers cases to its Pro Bono Program when it requests full briefing on the merits and there is at least one party who is not represented by an attorney because of his or her financial circumstances.

    In addition, the Supreme Court of Texas has appointed the Texas Equal Access to Justice Commission to develop and publish a strategic plan for statewide delivery of legal services to low-income Texans. The commission maintains a link to a lawyer referral directory on its website.

  18. When the Court accepts a case for review, it generally sets a date for oral argument. At that time, the lawyer representing a party before the Court, or a party that is self-represented, will present argument. The Court may decide a case without argument.

  19. For questions related to arguing before the Supreme Court of Texas, please review the Oral Argument Information page.

  20. There are no filing fees for responses to petitions for review, briefs on the merits, responses to briefs on the merits, and replies to briefs on the merits. For a list of the filing fees that apply, see the table below.

    Supreme Court Filing Fees
    Petition for Review $155.00
    Additional Fee if Granted $75.00
    Motion for Extension of Time $10.00
    Petition for Writ of Mandamus, Habeas Corpus, Prohibition, Injunction and other original proceedings $155.00
    Motion for Rehearing $15.00
    Miscellaneous Motions (not covered above or in Tex. Gov't Code § 51.05) $10.00
    Exhibits tendered for argument $25.00
    Certified Question from Federal courts $180.00
    Direct Appeal (case appealed directly to the Texas Supreme Court from a state district court) $205.00
    Any other proceeding filed in the Texas Supreme Court (refers to petitions; not all other filings) $180.00

    The fees for Petition for Review; Petition for Writ of Mandamus, Habeas Corpus, Prohibition, Injunction and other original proceedings; Certified Question from Federal courts; Direct Appeal (case appealed directly to the Texas Supreme Court from a state district court); and Any other proceeding filed in the Texas Supreme Court (refers to petitions; not all other filings) all rose by $10.

    These fees are established by Court order or statute. As such, waivers for exemption from bond or security for court costs or appeals do not apply. Unpaid fees will be reported to the Court for action as appropriate.

    Motions accompanying other actions must be treated as separate filings and the appropriate filing fee paid.

    Fees may be paid in cash, by check or money order. Credit cards are not accepted. Checks and money orders should be made payable to "Clerk, Supreme Court of Texas."

  21. Complaints against Texas attorneys are handled by the State Bar of Texas, Client Assistance and Grievance. Complaints regarding the unauthorized practice of law are handled by the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee.

  22. Complaints against a judge are handled by the State Commission on Judicial Conduct (512) 463-5533 or toll-free (877) 228-5750. The Commission investigates allegations of judicial misconduct and disability. As a general rule, "wrong" or unpopular decisions by a judge are not considered judicial misconduct, and are properly the subject of an appeal to a higher court. Discretionary decisions of a judge, such as evidentiary rulings at trial, granting or denying a motion, awarding or denying custody or visitation, the setting of fines and bonds, or the imposition of sentences in criminal cases, are also not normally matters for Commission review. The Commission cannot "reverse" or amend any decision made by a judge, nor remove a judge from hearing a case.