The California appellate doghouse

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

Charles Nichols pointed out to me an interesting California Supreme Court docket entry from Monday: "received Court of Appeal record … one doghouse."

Huh? It took some searching on Google, but Horvitz & Levy's At The Lectern blog gave the answer:

[I]t turns out a "doghouse" is nothing more than a file folder, which the Court of Appeal sometimes uses to transport its file to the Supreme Court when a petition for review is filed.

Doesn't look much like a doghouse to me, but check out the post and see for yourself.

UPDATE: A reader points out—and the Horvitz post is not inconsistent with this—that the doghouse is the regular storage container in some Courts of Appeal, not something specially used for transmitting the file to the Supreme Court:

Some—but not all—California Courts of Appeal use doghouse for daily file-keeping; the others use ordinary expandable file folders. So, when the Supreme Court requests a record from a DCA that uses doghouses, that is how it is sent, exactly as the record is maintained at the DCA ….

A doghouse consists of a cloth-covered cardboard frame, with ribbons on three sides which are tied to secure the contents. Contrary to one comment on the Horvitz post, they are not called doghouses because the cases are viewed as "dogs" but because the folders, when placed upright with the ribbons down, resemble doghouses.