Remember to Make Sure the Certified Record is Complete with Everything You Need.
Posted on January 12, 2012
This posting specifically applies to appeals in the Alabama state appellate courts, where the circuit court clerks have the duty to prepare the record on appeal as designated by the appellant pursuant to Rule 10(a), Ala.R.App.P., and certify that its complete. The attorney representing the appellee should not ignore this process and needs to pay attention to the appellant’s designation of the record. In one case, I found that the attorney for the appellant had specifically designated all of his client’s circuit court pleadings, but none that I had filed for the party now the appellee. I then had to file a motion with the circuit court, pursuant to Rule 10(b), Ala.R.App.P., within 7 days after the appellant designated the record to add documents to the designated record on appeal.
Even if the record on appeal is properly designated, the circuit clerks are human and subject to error. When the circuit clerk certifies the record on appeal to be complete and forwards a copy to you electronically, you must be sure to check it to ensure to includes all the documents that were designated. If not, you must move the circuit court, pursuant to Rule 10(f), Ala.R.App.P., to supplement the certified record with the missing documents that were designated. Also, it must be noted that if a Rule 10(f) motion is not granted by the circuit court within 14 days it is deemed denied, and the motion must be renewed in the appellate court within seven days.
Given that a document must be found in the record on appeal in order to be relied upon in the appellate brief(s), an appellate attorney must pay close attention to the details involved in the designation and certification of the record on appeal.