RULES OF THE SUPREME COURT OF PUERTO RICO 1996
(a) Issuance of an intrajurisdictional certification is discretional.
(b) General content of the petition
(1) The petition for certification shall be filed in the Office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court. One (1) original and nine (9) copies shall be filed as prescribed by Rule 40 of these Rules. Petitioner must serve a copy on the office of the Clerk within a period of seventy-two (72) hours after the petition for certification is filed. This term shall be of strict compliance.
(2) A petition for intrajurisdictional certification may not stay the proceedings before the Court in which the case is pending, but said court must not render judgment unless the Supreme Court denies the certification. If the certification is issued, the entire case will be brought to the attention of the Supreme Court.
(3) The caption of the petition shall contain the names of the same parties that appeared before the court, adding the designation of “petitioner in certification” and “respondent” in the appropriate places.
(4) The cover of the petition shall contain the caption; the name, address, telephone number, fax number, and bar association number of petitioner’s counsel or of the party, if unrepresented, and of counsel for all the other parties; and the court in which the matter was filed or is pending. The page immediately following the cover shall contain a legal index to the petition that conforms to Rule 38 of these Rules.
(5) The petition shall include, in the same order here indicated: (a) the citations of the legal provisions that establish the jurisdiction of this Court; (b) a reference to the case to which the certification refers; (c) a reference to the resolution, order, or judgment, if any, with regard to which certification is sought; (d) a brief statement of the procedural and substantive facts of the case that are relevant to the petition for certification; and (e) a brief discussion of the matters that, as petitioner alleges, justify direct review and disposition by the Supreme Court.
(6) The petition may not exceed twenty (20) pages, exclusive of the index and the appendix.
(7) The petition for certification must include an appendix containing a copy of: (a) the brief initially filed in the court in which the matter is pending; (b) the opposition of the other party, if any, and its appendix; (c) the briefs filed by the other parties, if any; (d) the resolution, order, or judgment, including the findings of fact and conclusions of law, indicating the matters with regard to which certification is sought; and (e) any other resolution, order, or document of the parties that is part of the court record and that may be useful to the Supreme Court when deciding whether to issue or to deny certification.
(c) Additional provisions
(1) The filing of a separate legal memorandum of authorities shall not be permitted. The arguments and legal grounds must be set forth in the body of the petition.
(2) The petitioner shall serve a copy of the petition for certification on all the parties as prescribed by Rule 39.
(3) The other parties may file in this Court a memorandum in favor or against the issuance of the certification within twenty (20) days following the date of service by the party who filed the petition. The memorandums shall not exceed fifteen (15) pages, exclusive of the index and the appendix; the latter is optional.
(4) Any party who wishes to present oral argument must thus indicate it in a well-grounded motion filed simultaneously with his or her main brief. The petition shall be decided as prescribed by the Rules of this Court.
(5) When this Court deems that the original record, a narrative statement of the evidence, or a transcript of the evidence, is necessary to determine whether or not to issue a certification, and to pass upon and adjudicate the petition, it may, motu proprio or on motion of a party, order it prepared and sent up under the conditions, and within the term it may determine in its order.
Once the certification is issued, it shall be served on the office of the Clerk of the court in which the matter is pending, which Clerk’s office will transmit the record of the case to the Supreme Court within five (5) days after entry in the record of a copy of said notice. The Supreme Court may, for good cause shown, grant a longer or shorter term. Within five (5) days following receipt of the same, the Office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court will notify the parties, and the Office of the Clerk of the court in which the matter is pending, of the receipt of the record.
(a) This Court may entertain any matter certified to it by the Supreme Court of the United States of America, by a Circuit Court of Appeals of the United States of America, by a District Court of the United States of America, or by the highest appellate court of any state of the United States of America, when it is thus requested by any of said courts, should there exist in the petitioner court any judicial matter involving questions of Puerto Rican law that may determine the outcome of the same, and with regard to which, in the opinion of the petitioner court, there are no clear precedents in the caselaw of this Court.
(b) This Court will not issue the certification sought when the question raised is a mixed question that involves aspects of federal law and/or state law of the petitioner court, and aspects of Puerto Rico’s local law, which question must be resolved by the petitioner court.
(c) When the question raised in the certification proceeding is the validity of a Puerto Rico statute, challenged under a provision of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the certification of the question may lie only if the local Puerto Rico constitutional provision has no equivalent in the federal Constitution.
(d) This certification shall be perfected by filing a petition consisting of a ruling to such effects issued by the petitioner court, sua sponte or on motion of any of the parties in the case before said court.
(e) The certification shall include: (1) the questions of law whose answer is sought; (2) a statement of all the facts that are relevant to the questions, and that clearly show the nature of the controversy that gave rise to said questions, which must arise from a determination of the petitioner court, either because they were stipulated by the parties or because they were discussed and adjudicated in the proceeding; and (3) an appendix that shall include the original and the certified copy of that part of the record that, in the opinion of the petitioner court, is necessary or convenient to place this Court in a position to answer the questions.
(f) The petition for certification must be signed by the judge of the petitioner court who entertained the matter. The petition shall be sent to the Clerk of this Court by the clerk of said court, under his or her hand and the seal of the court.
(g) Should it deem it necessary, this Court may ask the petitioner court to transmit the original, or a certified copy of the whole or part of the record, to this Court, in addition to the documents sent as an appendix to the certification.
(h) The parties who wish to file briefs will have simultaneous terms of thirty (30) days to do so, counting from the date on which the certification is sent to this Court by the Clerk of the petitioner court. Notice of said briefs given to the petitioner court and to all the parties to the case shall be included in the same. Any party may reply to any brief thus notified within fifteen (15) days following notice thereof. The main briefs shall be governed by the provisions of Rule 33, as to form and content. Any party who wishes to present oral argument must thus indicate it in a well-grounded motion filed simultaneously with his or her main brief, and said motion will be resolved as prescribed by the Rules of this Court. The briefs may be drafted in English or in Spanish, and need not be translated, but all briefs must be signed by an attorney admitted to practice law by this Court.
(i) The opinion of this Court in answer to the certified questions of law will be sent by the Clerk of the Court to the petitioner court and to the parties, under his or her hand and the seal of this Court. Said opinion, with the Court’s answers to the certified questions, shall be binding upon the parties.
(j) When any judicial matter involving a question that concerns the law of any state of the United States of America is pending before this Court, and said question can determine the final outcome of the matter, and if, in the opinion of this Court, the caselaw of said state does not have clear-cut precedents as to said question of law, this Court may, sua sponte or on motion of any of the parties, certify the question of law to the highest court of said state.
(k) When this Court certifies a question of law pursuant to the above section, it will follow the procedure established to such effect by the laws of the State that will receive the certified question.
(l) The opinion rendered by this Court under the provisions of section (i) of this rule will be translated into the English language by the Bureau of Translations of the Supreme Court pursuant to sections 1 to 6 of Act No. 87 of May 31, 1972, as amended. The cost of said translation will be evenly divided between the parties to the original case, unless the petitioner court provides otherwise. The cost of any certification made by this Court to another state court pursuant to section (j) of this rule will be evenly divided between the parties before this Court, unless this Court, in furtherance of justice, provides otherwise.
(a) Briefs in petitions for certification, both intrajurisdictional and interjurisdictional, are governed by the provisions of Rule 33 as to form and content.
(b) The petitioner will file his or her brief with the Court within thirty (30) days following receipt of the notice of issuance of the certification.
(c) Within thirty (30) days following receipt of a copy of petitioner’s brief, the respondent will file his or her brief with the Court.
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