Appellate Rule Changes

This past week new amendments to the Rules of Appellate Procedure, effective January 1, 2018, were published. One change will make life easier for appellees who were in the underlying case but don’t care about the appeal. The docketing statement under P.B. § 63-4(a)(3), will soon allow either the appellant or appellee to designate a party as a “Nonparticipating appellee.” This saves time and effort for those in the appeal, and for those who don’t care about it.

Under the current rules, if there is someone is listed in the docket, they must be included on filings. But not everyone involved in a case, such as witnesses, cares about the appeal. Nor do they want the appellate filings, in either paper or electronic form. But once listed on the docket they need to be included.

Under the January 1, 2018 amendment, the appellant, or the appellee, may designate in the docketing statement that an appellee is nonparticipating. Absent a docketing statement filed noting disagreement, after that designation, filings will not need to be certified to the nonparticipating appellees.

Seems like a small matter, but under the current rule where there are 10 appearing witnesses, each filing has to be certified to all of them, a waste of resources for the filer and the receiving party.

This Rule change is one of several designed to make the Rules of Appellate Practice more user-friendly. One reason to look forward to January 1, 2018.

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