Updated August 24, 2020
A litigant may sometimes file a summary judgment reply memorandum without first obtaining the court’s permission.
Superior Court Rule 9A(a)(3) does not require a party to obtain the court’s permission before filing a reply memorandum if: (1) the “matters raised in the opposition … were not and could not reasonably have been anticipated and addressed in the moving party’s initial memorandum”; (2) the reply is limited to addressing such matters; and (3) the reply does not exceed five typed double-spaced pages. “No other reply or surreply submission shall be filed without leave of court, which will be granted only in exceptional circumstances.”
Leave of court is required to exceed the page limit for a permitted reply or to file a reply that does not satisfy the requirements outlined above. Leave may be applied for by filing a request captioned as a pleading. The length of the request must “not exceed one page … (not counting the caption and title).” The request must “state the grounds and specific relief sought (e.g., a specific proposed new page limit).” Finally, the request must be addressed to “Session Clerk, ATTN: Session Judge,” rather than directly to the judge.
Reply memoranda should not be filed a matter of course. Nor should a reply merely repeat arguments made in the moving party’s primary memorandum. An effective reply is brief and targeted, focusing only on answering an unexpected argument or, perhaps, on correcting important misstatements of law or fact in the opposition.