What is a CJA  Appeal at the Second Circuit Court of Appeals?

Executive Vice President of Appellate Services | PHP

The Criminal Justice Act (CJA) (United States Code: Title 18, § 3006A) provides federal funds for attorneys, experts, and services necessary for the adequate representation of indigent defendants.

Unlike most civil appeals at the Second Circuit, CJA appeals deals with those accused of criminal conduct. The Second Circuit establishes for the representation of the accused a CJA panel of attorneys who are selected to represent the party and/or parties in the criminal matter. An attorney must first apply to the Second Circuit for consideration as a member of the CJA panel. The attorney is required to have experience with criminal matters in order to be considered for acceptance to the panel.

Appointments to the CJA Panel shall be made by the Court upon appropriate recommendation from the CJA Committee after consultation with the Attorney Advisory Group. The court uses an internal rotation system to assign the CJA appeals. An attorney is placed on the panel for the duration of 3 years. Once the 3 years elapses the attorney is required to apply once again for reinstatement.

In cases where a request for the appointment of an attorney under the Act is made for the first time on appeal, the Chief Judge or the Chief Judge’s designee, before making the appointment, shall inquire into and make a finding as to whether the CJA applicant is financially able to employ counsel. The Court may at any time after appointment of counsel, re-examine the financial status of a CJA client. If the Court finds that a CJA client is financially able to obtain counsel or make partial payment for the CJA client’s representation, the appointment should be terminated or partial payment required to be made.

When Should the Initial Information and Documents
be Electronically Filed in an Appeal?

Senior Appellate Consultant  | PHP

The Joint Rules of the Appellate Division on Electronic Filing (22 NYCRR Part 1245) govern e-filing designations and requirements, and specifically Rule 1245.3 deals with entry of initial information and documents.

The first step in filing initial information in an e-filed appeal is to register or confirm registration as an authorized e-filer on the NYSCEF site (attorneys can use their existing Attorney Online Services account). To then request a Docket/Case Number from the appellate division you must, within 14 days of filing the Notice of Appeal in the lower court, e-file:

– A copy of the Notice of Appeal;
– Informational Statement; and
– Copy of Order or Judgment appealed from.

The Informational Statement will include the necessary details related to the appeal, including: caption, case type, originating court information and nature of suit, description of appeal and statement of issues, party information, and attorney information for all parties (including contacts).

Keep in mind each department of the appellate division can have various distinctions related to these initial filing documents, specifically as to how they should be consolidated and e-filed, and whether proof of filing/proof of service are required. We can assist in navigating the filing procedures and local rule exceptions (for example, in the Fourth Department the Informational Statement is not required, per Rule 1000.3(a)).

Once the initial documents are e-filed, the appellate division will then issue a Docket/Case Number. The attorney for appellant is required (within seven days of receipt) to serve on all other parties the Notification of Appellate Case or Docket Number. Service is by hardcopy, and must also follow with e-filing proof of service of the notification.

Unless exempt from e-filing requirements, the attorney for respondent must then, within 20 days of service of the notification of the case or docket number, register/confirm registration as an authorized e-filer with NYSCEF and e-file contact information in NYSCEF, see Rule 1245.3(d). After the 20-day period, an attorney who has not fulfilled these requirements will be deemed served with any e-filed documents.

In addition, Rule 1245(e) allows the appellant to designate a person or entity to e-file documents on their behalf as a filing agent, if that agent is also an approved e-filer. The Statement of Authorization for Electronic Filing form (either as an individual attorney or as managing attorney) must be e-filed together with the first document e-filed by the agent in the matter. The authorization for e-filing as an agent can also be revoked at any time, and the form designated for such purpose must be sent to the E-Filing Resource Center for processing.

This is just a brief summary of the rules, generally, for filing the initial documents in an e-filed appeal. Each court has specific requirements on format and procedure – PrintingHouse Press can help you navigate the rules and work with you every step of the way. Contact us with questions related to your appeal and we would be happy to help you.

Tips when E-filing at the Appellate Division

The first piece of advice when E-filing is never wait for the last day or late in the day to file if you don’t have to. Court clerks are usually overwhelmed and under a lot of pressure on any given day. If there’s a problem with a filing, it’s much easier to contact and correct when there is time to do so. If you’re using an Appellate service provider, the same rule should apply as a courtesy. I also find the NYSCEF website is much slower, less responsive on the last day to file for a term.

Second, a quick note about citations; pulling them, bookmarking them and the typos we encounter. We understand no one is perfect and typos can happen. If we can’t find a citation, it usually involves going back to the page the citation appears. Then reading as much as needed to understand and find the correct citation.

It can be very time consuming and we will reach out to you if we are not sure. There is so much involved from the submission of a Word document to the final PDF that is E-filing compliant.

Lastly, we all should be more respectful of each other’s time in our stressful occupation during the stress filled times we are currently living in. We all have lives and families that maybe we’re more appreciative of and would like to get back to at the end of the day. So submit those documents earlier in the day even though the filing deadline is 11:59PM.