When perfecting an appeal in the Appellate Division, First Department, the lower court index number is used to identify all of the documents filed. However, after filing a notice of appeal to be perfected at the Appellate Division, Second Department, a docket number will be issued. Each Order/Judgment, together with their respective notice(s) of appeal, will carry a specific docket number. In the event that one finds oneself appealing from multiple Orders and/or a Judgment being perfected in a single Record, the Second Department will still assign each Order/Judgment (with respective Notices of Appeal) a different docket number.
In the past, a docket number was issued promptly after the filing of the notice of appeal. If an Appellant was required to perfect an appeal before a docket number could be issued, the clerk of the Second Department would simply issue a docket number at the time of filing of the Record/Appendix and Brief. However, due to a large increase of appeals being filed at the Second Department, this is no longer the case. Currently, it can take several months for a docket number to be issued after the notice of appeal is filed.
In view of the fact that a docket number is required for all appeals perfected at the Second Department, problems can arise whenever an Appellant must perfect an appeal expeditiously. At present, in order to obtain a docket number quickly, the Appellant must bring a copy of the stamped “filed” notice of appeal, Order/Judgment being appealed and the RADI form to the Second Department. The Court will issue a docket number the next day and the Appellant will be able to label their Record/Appendix and Brief accordingly.
The Court considers this accelerated approach of receiving a docket number to be a method that is only carried out under extreme circumstances. As a result, the clerks will make a note in their system that a docket number has been issued in this manner and expect to see the appeal served and filed within the next two or three days. It is best not to go through this process uncertain of whether or not you will be filing without ado, to then find yourself perfecting the appeal months down the road. This exclusive request should be made prudently and judiciously as one never wants to run the risk of displeasing the Court.