Records & Briefs | Appellate Division | Supreme Court, Miscellaneous Reports
Court of Appeals Briefs for the years preceding 1993 can be retrieved locally. The names of the plaintiff and defendant are necessary as well as the approximate date that the case was filed or published. Be aware that these local records may not be complete. At one time, the Brooklyn Supreme Court Law Library received depository copies of briefs from the Court of Appeals’ Clerk if extra copies were available for distribution. The Brooklyn Law Library received no checklist from the Court of Appeals to verify completeness of the records.
The following indexes are available:
1869 - 1879
January 1880 - November 1907
1908 - 1915
January 1916 to Apr 1925
November 1929 - June 1948
September 1948 - June 1968
1968 - 1993
For briefs after 1993, contact the State Library.
Court of Appeals briefs can be obtained from the State Library, the State Archives, or a commercial service. The Court of Appeals Clerk has a case management database that is not available to the public, but the clerk will take calls from the public if attorneys want to verify the status of a file. Call (518) 455-7701, 7702. There is no subject index to the briefs other than the Court Reporter’s case index on CD-ROM or the West Digest.
Court Records Services (CRS) has copies of the Court of Appeals briefs on microfilm and a subscription is available for a charge. Briefs are available for cases in Volumes 82 NY2d thru 91 New York Reports 2d. Retrospective coverage covers the New York Reports First Series Volumes 1 thru 266. Court Records Services also has an Internet site that allow on-line ordering of briefs starting at $25. For more information call 1-800-662-7790 or go to BriefServe.com. The CRS briefs are complete and authorized by the state. Many law schools have this set. For more information call 215-535-7790.
The State Library receives a depository copy of the records and briefs from the Court of Appeals. Older copies of the briefs are bound and may be borrowed by registered borrowers or through inter-library loan with the approval of the reference librarian. Since the 1970s, the State Library has created a micro-fiche copy of the depository copy. The State Library will supply copies of individual fiche. Call 518-474-5355 for more information on availability and charges.
The Court of Appeals also creates a bound, archival copy of each record and brief. These volumes comprise the State's archive of the records and briefs and are transferred to the State Archives, (518) 474-8955, after 5 years. The State Archives will make copies at 25 cents per page, but only if photocopying will not damage the book. All of the volumes are available for viewing in the Archives' Reading Room. Contact the State Archives for more information. Before transfer to the State Archives, the documents are available for viewing at the Court of Appeals, and all requests for copies are referred to the State Library or CRS, Inc. However, until such time as CRS has created the master fiche, the Court retains a "loaner copy" of each record and brief. Attorneys may borrow the loaner set for a period of up to two weeks. The borrower must pay the cost of shipping to and from the Court via UPS, FED-EX etc (i.e. a traceable mail service).
No matter which set is consulted, there will be some papers that are unavailable, either because they are sealed by the courts or because papers were not available for copying (e.g., certified questions where the papers are returned to the court certifying the question).