Federal Rule Changes December 1, 2011

Federal Rule Changes December 1, 2011

Federal Rules Book
Changes to Federal Rules became effective  December 1, 2011. The changes are listed below with links to each changed rule.


  • Rule 4 (clarifies 60-day appeal deadline in cases where U.S., federal agency, or federal employee is a party) 
  • Rule 40 (clarifies 45-day rehearing deadline in cases where U.S., federal agency, or federal employees is a party)
  • Rule 1   (expands the definition of “telephone and “telephonic” to include technologies that enable live, contemporaneous voice conversations)
  • Rule 3   (authorizes consideration of complaints and issuance of arrest warrants and summonses based on   information submitted by reliable electronic means as provided for in proposed new Rule 4
  •  Rule 4   (authorizes consideration of complaints and issuance of arrest warrants and summonses based on information submitted by reliable electronic means as provided for in proposed new Rule 4.1. Also authorizes the return of warrants by reliable electronic means)
  •  Rule 4.1     (new rule incorporates provisions that allow a warrant to be issued based on information submitted reliable electronic means and extends those procedures to complaints, arrest warrants, and summonses)
  •  Rule 6   (provides that a grand jury return may be taken by video conference)
  •  Rule 9   (authorizes consideration of complaints and issuance of arrest warrants and summonses based on information submitted by reliable electronic means to provided for in proposed new Rule 4.1)
  • Rule 32  (permits the defendant, upon consent, to appear by video conference in a proceeding on arrest for failure to appear in another district)
  • Rule 41(deleted provisions now covered by new Rule 4.1. Also authorizes the return of warrants by reliable electronic means)
  • Rule 43 (permits, with the defendant’s written consent, the arraignment, trial, and sentencing in misdemeanor cases to be conducted by video conference)
  • Rule 49 (authorizes local rules permitting papers to be filed, signed, or verified by electronic means)



  • Rules 101-1103 (make the rules simpler and easier to read and understand without changing substantive meaning)
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