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Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Public Law and Legal Theory

Litigation

2018

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The Federal Rules Of Inmate Appeals, Catherine T. Struve Jan 2018

The Federal Rules Of Inmate Appeals, Catherine T. Struve

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

The Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure turn fifty in 2018. During the Rules’ half-century of existence, the number of federal appeals by self-represented, incarcerated litigants has grown dramatically. This article surveys ways in which the procedure for inmate appeals has evolved over the past 50 years, and examines the challenges of designing procedures with confined litigants in mind. In the initial decades under the Appellate Rules, the most visible developments concerning the procedure for inmate appeals arose from the interplay between court decisions and the federal rulemaking process. But, as court dockets swelled, the circuits also developed local case management ...