Friday, November 28, 2008

Writing an amicus letter to the court

A little-known policy of the California Supreme Court is that it will accept ordinary letters from anyone in support of pending petitions and writs. You don't have to be a lawyer or to follow obscure rules. According to Rule 8.500(g):
(g) Amicus curiae letters

(1)Any person or entity wanting to support or oppose a petition for review or for an original writ must serve on all parties and send to the Supreme Court an amicus curiae letter rather than a brief.
Rule 8.520(f) similarly allows such letters after the court has decided to grant review of a case. For example, the court has taken a bunch of letters on Prop. 8, the recent same-sex marriage initiative. As you can see, these can read like formal legal briefs, or informal arguments in letter form.

As the rule says, the letter should be served on all parties. That means that you mail a copy to the California Supreme Court, the Sixth District, the Santa Cruz Superior Court, my ex-wife, and myself. You should also add a signed statement at the end of your letter listing these parties and addresses, certifying that you have mailed a copy to each. You don't have to use a professional process server or get it notarized or anything like that.

If you are interested in writing a letter to the court, send me an email, and I will send a link to my petition. It has the necessary addresses.

No comments: