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Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I file an appeal?
  • Do I need representation?
    • The Court does not require an appellant to have an attorney.

  • How do I contact the Court?
  • Can I use E-Filing?
    • It is mandatory for attorneys and representatives to use the CM/ECF Electronic Filing System. Self-represented parties must first obtain the Clerk's approval in order to e-file. Please fill out the E-Filing Registration form found on the Court Forms page.

  • Why would I file an appeal with this Court?
    • If you disagree with any part of the final decision of the Board of Veterans' Appeals (BVA), you may want to file an appeal at this Court.

  • Do I have to be present at Court proceedings?
    • No, you do not need to travel to Washington DC for your case.

  • How does the Court determine whether a single Judge or a panel of Judges will decide a case?
    • The Court generally assigns a case to a single Judge who then determines whether the case should be heard by a panel. A panel usually hears a case only when the case presents a particularly significant legal question with application to more than one veteran, or when a case presents a question "of first impression." A "case of first impression" is a cases that raises a legal question the Court has not yet considered. A party may also file a motion for decision by a panel under Rule 35 of the Court's Rules of Practice and Procedure.

  • How can I check the status of my case?
  • I do not agree with the Court's decision on my case; what do I do next?
    • You have 21 days (51 days if you are outside the United States, Puerto Rico, or the Virgin Islands) to file a motion for reconsideration. (See Rule 35.) If the Court makes a decision on your reconsideration motion and you do not agree with the decision, you have 60 days from the date the judgment is issued to file an appeal with the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

  • What can an attorney do to improve pleadings?
    • 1.  Motions for extensions should contain all the elements required by U.S. Vet. App. R. 26 (b)(1) and contain a statement of consent pursuant to U.S. Vet. App. R. 27(a)(5).
    • 2.  Include a list of RBA citations in the table of authorities of your brief.  U.S. Vet. App. R. 28(a)(2).
    • 3.  Redact all personal identifiers.  U.S. Vet. App. R. 6 and E-Rule 13(b).
    • 4.  Motions to withdraw should include appellant's telephone number.  U.S. Vet. App. R. 46(c)(1)(B).
    • 5.  Include a motion for leave if you are amending or supplementing a previously filed pleading.
    • 6.  Serve the correct party at the correct address.  U.S. Vet. App. R. 25(c).
    • 7.  Motions to expedite should contain the doctor's licensing authority and current license number.  U.S. Vet. App. R. 47(a)(1).
    • 8.  Electronically sign all pleadings including certificates of service.  U.S. Vet. App. R. 32(f) and E-Rule 10(a).
    • 9.  Describe the good faith efforts made to resolve any dispute with the RBA and/or ROP.  U.S. Vet. App. R. 10(b) and 28.1(b).
    • 10.  When you intend to file a motion for an extension of time to file a pleading, do not file a motion for a stay. U.S. Vet. App. R. 5(a)(1)(C).
  • E-Filing FAQs
  • My case was remanded. What happens next and what else do I have to do?
    • When a case is remanded, it goes back to the Board of Veterans' Appeals (BVA) for a new decision. The remand means that the Court has issued its final decision, and the case has been closed at the Court. After the BVA issues a new decision pursuant to the Court's remand, that new BVA final decision is appealable to the Court if you disagree with any aspect of it. Please keep in mind that the Court provides judicial review of final decisions by the BVA; the Court does not award monetary damages.

  • How can I contact the Judges?
    • You cannot contact the Judges or the Judges' chambers personally. You can file a pleading for your case with the Court and the Court will place it on the docket where the Judges will see it.

  • What is a petition and how do I start it?
    • This Court has the authority to issue extraordinary writs in aid of its jurisdiction pursuant to the All Writs Act, 28 U.S.C. § 1651(a). See Cox v. West, 149 F.3d 1360, 1363-64 (Fed. Cir. 1998). The writ "has traditionally been used in the federal courts only 'to confine an inferior court to a lawful exercise of its prescribed jurisdiction or to compel it to exercise its authority when it is its duty to do so.'" Will v. United States, 389 U.S. 90, 95 (1967) (quoting Roche v. Evaporated Milk Assn., 319 U.S. 21, 26 (1943)). However, "[t]he remedy of mandamus is a drastic one, to be invoked only in extraordinary situations." Kerr v. U.S. Dist. Court, 426 U.S. 394, 402 (1976). Pursuant to 38 U.S.C. § 7261, this Court is authorized to compel action of the Secretary which is "unlawfully withheld or unreasonably delayed."

      Before the Court may issue a writ, three conditions must be satisfied: (1) The petitioner must demonstrate that he or she lacks adequate alternative means to obtain the desired relief, thus ensuring that the writ is not used as a substitute for the appeals process; (2) the petitioner must demonstrate a clear and indisputable right to the writ; and (3) the Court must be convinced, given the circumstances, that the issuance of the writ is warranted. See Cheney v. U.S. Dist. Court, 542 U.S. 367, 380-81 (2004).

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