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Criminal Appeals

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Appealing a Case
Criminal/Quasi-Criminal Court Conviction for Pro Se (Unrepresented) Litigants
(Section 200.33 Uniform Rules, Sec. 460.10
and 460.70(1) CPL)

If any party to a criminal/quasi-criminal court conviction believes that a City Court Judge's decision is legally incorrect; he/she may ask to have that determination reviewed by a Judge of the County Court.

A Notice of Appeal is a written statement to the Court indicating your intention to proceed with an Appeal. The filing of the Notice of Appeal with the City Court (court of original jurisdiction) is the first step; but is not, by any means, the Appeal itself. You will have an opportunity to provide the Appellate Court (County Court) with your written arguments only after the transcript of the court proceedings has been prepared and the City Court has filed the Return on Appeal (City Court file) with the Appellate Court.

If you intend on retaining an attorney for the Appeal, you should still file your Notice of Appeal to protect your rights. Your attorney can thereafter "perfect" the Appeal. You should read the following in its entirety before proceeding with the Appeal.

WITH ATTORNEY: If you are represented by an attorney at the time of the conviction, your attorney should file the Notice of Appeal. Be sure to advise your attorney at the time of the conviction that you wish to Appeal so that the Notice of Appeal may be filed within the proper time limits. If you have assigned counsel at the time of conviction, your assigned counsel will need to make an application to the County Court for him/her to continue as assigned counsel on the Appeal.

WITHOUT AN ATTORNEY: You should file your Notice of Appeal within thirty (30) days from the date of sentencing or service of an order not included in the judgment. If you wish to request poor person status for payment of the transcripts on the Appeal because of indigency, you must make an application to the Appellate Court (County Court) for poor person status. The filing of the Notice of Appeal within thirty (30) days will protect your right to continue with the Appeal should your application for poor person status be denied.

The defendant to a criminal or quasi-criminal (traffic infraction) case may Appeal to have his/her conviction reviewed by a judge of the County Court by following these instructions:

Within thirty (30) days from the date of sentencing, file (by mail or in person) two copies (original and copy) of a Written Notice of Appeal with the City Court that heard and decided the case.

The Notice should contain the caption of the case, the docket number associated with that case, and a statement that you (as the "appellant") Appeal the conviction.

You must also include your address in the Notice of Appeal.

You must mail/deliver a copy of the Notice of Appeal to the prosecuting attorney and file an Affidavit of Service with the court.

If there was a court reporter at the trial:
You must contact that reporter and request a Transcript of the trial. You must advise the court reporter that there is an Appeal pending in the City Court and the reporter is required to file an original Transcript with the City Court. If you wish to obtain a copy of the Transcript for your records, you must make those arrangements with the reporter.

The cost of the preparation of the Transcript (both the court's original and any copy for your record) is solely your responsibility (unless you have been granted poor person status by the County Court pursuant to CPLR 1101). You must request a cost estimate of the Transcript before ordering it. The reporter may require an advance deposit before starting the Transcript and will require payment of the balance before releasing the Transcript.

Note: This is only an estimate and the actual cost may be less or more than the estimate.

If there was no court reporter at the trial:
The trial may have been taped on an audio cassette. If this is the case, you will need to make a written request to the City Court for the Transcript to be prepared. Your written request must contain the date(s) of the trial and the transcription service that you wish to use to prepare the Transcript.

It is your responsibility to pay for the cost of the two Transcripts (unless you have been granted poor person status by the County Court pursuant to CPLR 1101). You must file the original Transcript with the Court and keep one for yourself.

Note: If you do not wish to have a Transcript provided to you, you must notify the transcription service that only one Transcript is to be prepared and it must be sent to the Court. You should be aware that the Court will not provide you with a copy of the Transcript.

You must request a cost estimate of the Transcript before ordering it. The reporter may require an advance deposit before starting the Transcript and will require payment of the balance before releasing the Transcript.

Note: This is only an estimate and the actual cost may be less or more than the estimate.

After the City Court has received the original Transcript of the trial, the City Court will file a Return on Appeal (that is, the City Court file including the transcript) with the County Court Clerk.

The matter is now ready to be considered by the County Court. If you wish to file additional documentation or written arguments in support of the Appeal with the County Court, you should contact the County Court Clerk's Office for this procedure. Any documents you provide to the Court should be provided to the opposing party.

If you change your mind after starting an Appeal or wish to withdraw or discontinue the Appeal, you must notify the City Court and the County Court, in writing, of the discontinuance. You should also notify the opposing party that you will not be proceeding with the Appeal. You will also be responsible for any costs associated with the Appeal, including any portion of the Transcript which has already been prepared.

After the Appeal has been decided by the County Court Judge, a copy of the decision will be mailed to you at the most recent address on file with the County Court.

You may visit the Law Library located in your county, if you have one, for legal references on the filing of a civil Appeal.

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