Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Summary Order from Court of Appeals Reflects Full Deliberation and Comprehensive Decision of All Issues Raised — Litigants Have No Right to Written Opinion

From Genao v. United States, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 142103 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 16, 2010):

"There is no requirement in law that a federal appellate court's decision be accompanied by a written opinion." Furman v. United States, 720 F.2d 263, 264 (2d Cir. 1983). The Supreme Court has been charged with creating rules of practice and procedure in criminal cases for the Federal Courts of Appeals and, pursuant to that authority, Rule 36 of the Rules of Federal Appellate Procedure was adopted. Rule 36 provides that "[i]f a judgment is rendered without an opinion, the clerk shall prepare, sign and enter the judgment following instruction from the court." Additionally, the Supreme Court has also held "that the courts of appeals should have wide latitude in their decisions of whether or how to write opinions. That is especially true with respect to summary affirmances." Taylor v. McKeithen, 407 U.S. 191, 194 n.4 (1972). See also Jones v. United States, No. 88 CV 399 (MJL), 1990 WL 6566 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 24, 1990)("[W]e may presume that [the appellate court] considered those claims so lacking in merit as to be unworthy of discussion." Id. at *3). Petitioner claims that by issuing a summary order, the appellate court did not review the claim de novo, did not adhere to existing precedent, and did not decide a matter of first impression. Mem. in Supp. at 7-12. "The fact that a disposition is by informal summary order rather than by formal published opinion in no way indicates that less than adequate consideration has been given to the claims raised in the appeal." Furman, 720 F.2d at 265. Furthermore, a summary order is appropriate when the panel of judges deciding the case determines that "no jurisprudential purpose would be served by a written opinion." Id. Here, the Second Circuit reviewed each of Petitioner's claims and apparently found that no jurisprudential purpose would be furthered by an exhaustive written opinion. The decision to render a decision without an extensive written analysis in no way violates Petitioner's constitutional rights and, thus, Petitioner's second, third, and fourth claims must be dismissed.

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