Effective September 1, 2018, appellate attorneys in Indiana will be required to electronically file their notices of appeal. The good news is that we do not have to wait until then; we can begin e-filing notices now.
I had a notice of appeal due tomorrow, so I decided to try e-filing it. A special thank you to Ruth Johnson (formerly with the Marion County PD Agency, now with the Indiana Public Defender Council), who shared a ton of helpful information to get me started.
Here are the steps I took to successfully e-file the notice of appeal:
- Prepare your notice of appeal as usual, except for the certificate of service/filing. Be sure to leave the “Case Number” line blank; a case number will not be assigned until the filing is “accepted” by the Appellate Clerk.
- Here’s where things get tricky. Before you can finish preparing your notice of appeal, you must determine who can be served electronically and who cannot. But the public service contacts list is not searchable outside of preparation of a filing. So you must log into your efiling service provider and create a filing in order to search the list.
- Click on “Start a New Case” and fill out the top section with the Case Information. The court is the “Court of Appeals,” if this is a standard appeal. Save your changes to open the next section.
- Fill out the Party Information section. In a typical criminal appeal, the Appellant will be your client’s contact information. For Appellee, you will want to check the box that the party is a “business/agency.” Then under Business Name, put “State of Indiana.” Nothing else needs to be filled in for the Appellee. Save your changes to open the next section.
- In the Filings section, select “Notice of Appeal.” Here’s the tricky part. In order to look for public service contacts on the list, you have to first attach a document for filing so that the Service Contact section will open up. But your notice of appeal is not complete yet because you have not yet determined who can be served through e-service. So I just select some dummy document and then remember to delete it later. Save your changes to open the next section.
- For Service Contacts, I add myself to my client’s section, and I add the AG to the State of Indiana. Then I add anyone else I can find to the “Other Service Contacts” section. In general, the trial court clerk, the court reporter, and the judge will not be on the public service contacts list. It will usually only be the prosecutor and trial counsel.
- After I complete my service contacts, I finish drafting the certificate of service/filing section of the notice of appeal. Then I merge both the notice of appeal and the attachments (sentencing order, pauper appointment order, etc.) into one PDF document. You must submit the notice of appeal and all attachments as one PDF document. I then delete the dummy document I initially attached to open the Service Contacts section and add the notice of appeal as the lead document. Save your changes to open the next section.
- I double-check all my service contacts, save my changes, and move to the Fees section. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. If this is a pauper appeal, in order to NOT be charged $250 for the filing of the notice of appeal, you must make sure that you select your “waiver” account. That is the account you initially set up that allowed you to waive the filing fees. Make sure the total at the bottom of the screen equals zero.
- Finally, submit your e-filing. Remember to conventionally serve those individuals who were not able to be served through e-service. Because notices of appeal have a firm deadline, I also print out the “Notice of Electronic Filing” for my file.
- When the Appellate Clerk accepts the notice of appeal for filing, your acceptance email will include the new appellate case number.
Hope this information helps!