How to request the publishing of an unpublished opinion.

Basically any unpublished opinion in the State of California can be published by the request of any person. The exact rules are defined in CA Rules of Court 8.1120 and  CRC, Rule 8.1105(c) posted below. 


2014 California Rules of Court

Rule 8.1120. Requesting publication of unpublished opinions

(a) Request

(1)Any person may request that an unpublished opinion be ordered published.

(2)The request must be made by a letter to the court that rendered the opinion, concisely stating the person’s interest and the reason why the opinion meets a standard for publication.

(3)The request must be delivered to the rendering court within 20 days after the opinion is filed.

(4)The request must be served on all parties.

(b) Action by rendering court

(1)If the rendering court does not or cannot grant the request before the decision is final in that court, it must forward the request to the Supreme Court with a copy of its opinion, its recommendation for disposition, and a brief statement of its reasons. The rendering court must forward these materials within 15 days after the decision is final in that court.

(2)The rendering court must also send a copy of its recommendation and reasons to all parties and any person who requested publication.

(c) Action by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court may order the opinion published or deny the request. The court must send notice of its action to the rendering court, all parties, and any person who requested publication.

(d) Effect of Supreme Court order to publish

A Supreme Court order to publish is not an expression of the court’s opinion of the correctness of the result of the decision or of any law stated in the opinion.


 CRC, Rule 8.1105(c)  provides that an opinion of a Court of Appeal or a superior court appellate division-whether it affirms or reverses a trial court order or judgment-should be certified for publication in the Official Reports if the opinion:

(1) Establishes a new rule of law;

(2) Applies an existing rule of law to a set of facts significantly different from those stated in published opinions;

(3) Modifies, explains, or criticizes with reasons given, an existing rule of law;

(4) Advances a new interpretation, clarification, criticism, or construction of a provision of a constitution, statute, ordinance, or court rule;

(5) Addresses or creates an apparent conflict in the law;

(6) Involves a legal issue of continuing public interest;

(7) Makes a significant contribution to legal literature by reviewing either the development of a common law rule or the legislative or judicial history of a provision of a constitution, statute, or other written law;

(8) Invokes a previously overlooked rule of law, or reaffirms a principle of law not applied in a recently reported decision; or

(9) Is accompanied by a separate opinion concurring or dissenting on a legal issue, and publication of the majority and separate opinions would make a significant contribution to the development of the law.


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