(a) When Hearing or Rehearing En Banc May Be Ordered. A majority of the circuit judges who are in regular active service and who are not disqualified may order that an appeal or other proceeding be heard or reheard by the court of appeals en banc. An en banc hearing or rehearing is not favored and ordinarily will not be ordered unless:
(1) en banc consideration is necessary to secure or maintain uniformity of the court’s decisions; or
(2) the proceeding involves a question of exceptional importance.
(b) Petition for Hearing or Rehearing En Banc. A party may petition for a hearing or rehearing en banc.
(1) The petition must begin with a statement that either:
(A) the panel decision conflicts with a decision of the United States Supreme Court or of the court to which the petition is addressed (with citation to the conflicting case or cases) and consideration by the full court is therefore necessary to secure and maintain uniformity of the court’s decisions; or
(B) the proceeding involves one or more questions of exceptional importance, each of which must be concisely stated; for example, a petition may assert that a proceeding presents a question of exceptional importance if it involves an issue on which the panel decision conflicts with the authoritative decisions of other United States Courts of Appeals that have addressed the issue.
(2) Except by the court’s permission:
(A) a petition for an en banc hearing or rehearing produced using a computer must not exceed 3,900 words; and
(B) a handwritten or typewritten petition for an en banc hearing or rehearing must not exceed 15 pages.
(3) For purposes of the limits in Rule 35(b)(2), if a party files both a petition for panel rehearing and a petition for rehearing en banc, they are considered a single document even if they are filed separately, unless separate filing is required by local rule.
(c) Time for Petition for Hearing or Rehearing En Banc. A petition that an appeal be heard initially en banc must be filed by the date when the appellee’s brief is due. A petition for a rehearing en banc must be filed within the time prescribed by Rule 40 for filing a petition for rehearing.
(d) Number of Copies. The number of copies to be filed must be prescribed by local rule and may be altered by order in a particular case.
(e) Response. No response may be filed to a petition for an en banc consideration unless the court orders a response.
(f) Call for a Vote. A vote need not be taken to determine whether the case will be heard or reheard en banc unless a judge calls for a vote.