How to Cite a Denied Writ of Certiorari

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The United States Supreme Court is the final court of appeals. A petition for Writ of Certiorari is the document the losing party files asking the Supreme Court to review the decision of the lower court. The Supreme Court receives thousands per year, but only grants about 100. A denial of a certiorari petition ends all review of a case and finalizes the decision of the lower court. In legal documents, it is important to note when a petition for Writ of Certiorari is denied and to cite it in proper format.

Step 1

Start the citation with the name of the case, Smith v. Jones. A comma follows the case name. Case names may be underlined or italicized. The citation begins "Smith v. Jones,".

Step 2

Add the case reporter notation. Case reporter notations start with the volume number, followed by the edition and completed with the page number. For example, 925 F.3d 314 means the volume number 925 of the third edition of the Federal Digest starting on page 314. There is no punctuation mark after the case reporter notation. The citation now reads, "Smith v. Jones, 925 F.3d 314".

Step 3

Add the circuit court information and date in parenthesis. The circuit court is denominated by a numeral, followed by the abbreviation "Cir." The date is given as the year only. For example, a 2007 decision by the First Circuit Court of Appeals is (1st Cir. 2007). There is a comma after the parenthetical date. The citation now reads, "Smith v. Jones, 925 F.3d 314 (1st Cir. 2007),".

Step 4

Add the notation "cert. denied" in italics followed by a comma. This indicates that the U.S. Supreme Court declined to grant a Writ of Certiorari for the case. The citation now reads, "Smith v. Jones, 925 F.3d 314 (1st Cir. 2007), cert. denied,".

Step 5

Add the court reporter notation for the denial of the writ. If it is a recent denial, it is likely available only as a slip opinion. The Supreme Court publishes a sliplist for every term and gives the citation. For example, 563 U.S. _ , means the opinion will ultimately be published in volume 563 of the official United States report. There is no punctuation after the court reporter notation. The citation now reads, "Smith v. Jones, 925 F.3d 314, (1st Cir. 2007), cert. denied, 563 U.S. ___".

Step 6

Add the Supreme Court designation and the full date in parenthesis. The Supreme Court is always designated as "U.S." There is no punctuation after the parenthetical. The citation now reads, "Smith v. Jones, 925 F.3d 314, (1st Cir. 2007), cert. denied, 563 U.S. _ (U.S. Sept. 1, 2010)".

Step 7

Add the Supreme Court slip opinion number in parenthesis. Add a period after the parenthetical. The citation now reads, "Smith v. Jones, 925 F.3d 314, (1st Cir. 2007), cert. denied, 563 U.S. _ (U.S. Sept. 1, 2010)(No. 10-1234)."

References

About the Author

Terri Lynn Coop is an attorney by day and a writer by night. She began writing professionally in 2006 and her work has appeared in Dream People, Whispers of Wickedness, Flashshots and "The Flash 40 Anthology." She has a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from University of the Pacific and a Juris Doctor from the University of Tulsa.

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