News

Changes to Rules of Appellate Procedure Take Effect Oct. 1

Starting Oct. 1, 2019, several amendments to the Alabama Rules of Appellate Procedure take effect. A summary of the more notable changes are as follows:

Rules 3(a), (d), and (e) were amended to bifurcate the payment of the docket fee and the filing of the notice of appeal. The amendment to Rule 3(a) allows an appellant to electronically file the notice of appeal in both civil and criminal cases with the trial court clerk.

The amendment to Rule 3(d) added the language in subdivision (3) and, according to the Court Comment, “[i[f the notice of appeal is filed electronically, under Rule 3(d)(3), the clerk of the trial court may serve the notice of appeal electronically on the appropriate appellate court, the parties registered in the trial court’s electronic-filing system, and the court reporter.”  Rule 3(d)(3) itself provides that “[t]he clerk of the trial court may serve the court reporter who reported the evidence by electronic mail, by personal service, or by mail.  If an attorney or a party is not a registered user of the trial court’s electronic-filing system, then the clerk of the trial court shall provide notice of the filing of the notice of appeal pursuant to (d)(1) of (d)(2) of this Rule. . . . The clerk of the trial court is not required to certify as a true copy an electronically filed notice of appeal.”

The amendment to Rule 3(e) added a sentence providing that “[a]n electronically filed notice of appeal shall be accompanied by an electronically filed docketing statement.”

Rules 12(a), 35A(a)(1), and 35A(b) were amended to require the appellant to pay the docket fee to the clerk of the appropriate appellate court within seven days of the electronic filing of the notice of appeal and is consistent with the amendments to Rule 3(a), (d), and (e).

As a result of these Rule changes, copies of revised Forms ARAP-1, ARAP-24, and ARAP-25, are available under the Appellate Forms part of E-Forms found here.

ELECTRONIC FILING INFORMATION:

 A tutorial, which applies only for ELECTRONIC filings of Notices of Appeal to the State Appellate Courts is available here.  Notices of Appeal to the Circuit Court MUST continue to be PAPER filed at this time.

If a Notice of Appeal to a State Appellate Court is PAPER filed, then traditional rules apply (nothing changes with the paper process).  When a filer PAPER files a Notice of Appeal to a State Appellate Court, the Circuit Clerk’s Office will continue accepting and sending payment to the appropriate Appellate Court Clerk.

When a filer ELECTRONICALLY files a Notice of Appeal to a State Appellate Court, the filer is instructed, as per the appellate rules, that the filer is responsible for sending payment directly to the appropriate appellate court (the appellate clerks’ addresses are provided within AlaFile).  When a Notice of Appeal is correctly e-filed, AlaFile will generate an email to the respective Appellate and Trial Court notifying them of this e-filing.  AlaFile will generate a courtesy e-notice to all registered parties of AlaFile.  A courtesy copy will be sent to the Circuit Clerk’s Office of the trial court where the Notice of Appeal was e-filed (via an email sent to the Emails Queue within AlacourtPlus for further processing in SJIS).  Finally, a Case Action Summary entry will also be generated.

For more information, visit www.alacourt.gov.