Cases & Deals

Jones Day attorney briefs and argues Sixth Circuit case as amicus in support of district courts' authority to impose partial filing fees on habeas appellants

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The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit appointed Jones Day associate Jim Saywell to help it work through an issue of federal statutory interpretation.

A group of habeas petitioners argue that district courts lack any authority to impose on them the typical fees associated with filing an appeal. The petitioners insist that they are entitled to a free appeal because, even though they have enough money to pay some of the filing fee, they lack funds to pay the full amount of the fee. The district courts, however, interpreting a federal statute, held that they could impose partial fees on the habeas appellants.

On appeal at the Sixth Circuit, both the habeas appellants and the federal government disagreed with the district courts. To get the opposing viewpoint, therefore, the Sixth Circuit needed to appoint an amicus to brief and argue the case in support of the district courts. It chose Jim Saywell to do so. He argued the case on January 30, 2019, and the court will decide the case soon.

Samarripa v. Ormond, No. 17-06048 (6th Cir.)