Statewide Practice Rules Will Have Significant Effect on Pending First Department Appeals
On February 6, 2018, Chief Judge Janet DiFiore announced that the Statewide Practice Rules of the Appellate Division (the “Statewide Practice Rules”) will be implemented in all four departments, effective September 15, 2018. With respect to appeals in the First Department, perhaps the most notable change is that the deadline to perfect will be shortened to six months from the date of the Notice of Appeal. First Department Appellants will be permitted to stipulate to a 60-day enlargement (or two Calendar Terms), and thereafter, will be permitted to request an additional 30-day (or one Calendar Term) enlargement by letter to the Court. Any subsequent requests for enlargement must be done by Motion.
Moreover, the Statewide Practice Rules contain automatic dismissal language for appeals not perfected within the prescribed time frame. Thus, if a civil appeal has not been perfected within six months from the date of the Notice of Appeal, and no request for enlargement has been made, that appeal is subject to automatic dismissal on the merits. This means that an appeal in any department should be either perfected by its respective deadline, or the Notice of Appeal should be withdrawn.
On June 27, 2018, AppealTech held its “Navigating the Changes to the Appellate Division Rules” seminar, where First Department Clerk for Court Susanna Rojas discussed what the upcoming implementation of the Statewide Practice Rules means for currently pending First Department civil appeals. The Clerk stated that currently-pending appeals, with deadlines after September 15, 2018, should be considered to expire six months after the date of the Notice of Appeal. Thus, First Department Appellants with Notices of Appeal dated on or after March 15, 2018, are advised to plan accordingly, and either perfect within six months of the Notice of Appeal date, seek the appropriate enlargement, or withdraw any pending Notice of Appeal which will not be perfected. Even parties with Notices of Appeal dated December 15, 2017 to March 14, 2018, should consider seeking an appropriate enlargement ahead of perfecting.
While Ms. Rojas suggested that the First Department would exercise some degree of leniency in the early stages of this transitional period, all appellate attorneys with open Notices of Appeal in the First Department should be aware of this significant change to the First Department’s procedure, as it has potentially serious implications to your client’s case. AppealTech will provide its clients with updated deadlines for all First Department appeals. You can contact us any time at (888) 619-2000 or [email protected] for additional information.
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