Several years ago, the New York State Unified Court System established the NYS Courts Electronic Filing “NYSCEF” program to permit the filing of legal papers by electronic means with the county clerk and the courts in certain types of cases in designated venues, as well as electronic service of papers in those cases. Recently, an Administrative Order of the Chief Administrative Judge of the Courts was issued expanding the types of cases in various courts that are required to be filed electronically, as well as those which may voluntarily be filed electronically. See AO/64/14. [Click here.] Certain kinds of cases in the New York Supreme Court in Bronx, Erie, Essex, Kings, Nassau, New York, Onondaga, Queens, Rockland, Suffolk and Westchester counties fall in the mandatory e-filing category. Various Surrogate’s Court proceedings in Cayuga, Chautauqua, Erie, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne, and Yates counties also require e-filing. The list of counties, courts and case types that allow for consensual/voluntary e-filing is too voluminous to list in this brief blog article. Practitioners should be sure to review the Administrative Order to see if your case falls within either category.
So, what does all this e-filing in the lower courts mean for the appellate practitioner?
Simply put, if your lower court case was e-filed, any Notice of Appeal from an order or judgment in such a case must be filed online through the NYSCEF system1. Documents that must accompany the Notice of Appeal must also be e-filed. For example, a Request for Appellate Division Intervention (RADI) form, as required by the Appellate Division, Second Department or a Pre-Argument Statement, as required by the Appellate Division, First Department, as well as a copy of the order/judgment appealed from. These documents must be uploaded as a single text-searchable PDF file. Furthermore, the $65 filing fee must be paid online. Hard copies do not have to be filed with the county clerk’s office in most counties (parties should verify the individual court’s rules).
Service of these documents, however, may or may not be effectuated electronically, depending upon which court you are appealing from. For example, in New York County, once a Notice of Appeal and related documents are e-filed, the other participating parties to the case will be served via NYSCEF. On the other hand, e-filed cases coming out of Kings County require service of hard copies. Proof of the hard copy service upon all necessary parties must be filed electronically.
The lesson here is that e-filing documents to commence an appeal is here to stay, and the rules are constantly evolving. So, just as you would become familiar with a judge’s individual rules when practicing in his or her courtroom, if your case is e-filed, you must research how to go about initiating an appeal.
Please contact me with any questions regarding preparing and filing any appeal. Counsel Press provides a full spectrum of appellate services. Our New York office focuses on rule-compliant appellate filings in the New York State Court of Appeals, New York State Appellate Division (First-Fourth Departments), New York State Appellate Term (First-Second Departments) and the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Through our local offices, we offer in-depth knowledge of rules and procedures in all state and federal appellate courts nationwide.
1Pro se parties or attorneys, who have opted out of the NYSCEF system, need not e-file their Notice of Appeal.
Tagged: New York State Appellate Division First Department, New York State Appellate Division Second Department, New York State Court of Appeals, Appellate Practice, Appellate Services, Production & Support, Appellate Procedure, Litigation