Rule 904. Content of the Notice of Appeal.
(a) Form. Except as otherwise prescribed by this rule, the notice of appeal shall be in substantially the following form:
COURT OF COMMON PLEAS
Party As full name, Plaintiff:
Party Bs full name, Defendant:
Docket or File No.
Offense Tracking Number
NOTICE OF APPEAL
Notice is hereby given that
, defendant above named, hereby appeals to the (Supreme) (Superior) (Commonwealth) Court of Pennsylvania from the order entered in this matter on the
. This order has been entered in the docket as evidenced by the attached copy of the docket entry.
(Address and telephone number)
(1) General Rule. The parties shall be stated in the caption as they appeared on the record of the trial court at the time the appeal was taken.
(2) Appeal of Custody Action. In an appeal of a custody action where the trial court has used the full name of the parties in the caption, upon application of a party and for cause shown, an appellate court may exercise its discretion to use the initials of the parties in the caption based upon the sensitive nature of the facts included in the case record and the best interest of the child.
(c) Request for Transcript. The request for transcript contemplated by Pa.R.A.P. 1911 or a statement signed by counsel that either there is no verbatim record of the proceedings or the complete transcript has been lodged of record shall accompany the notice of appeal, but the absence of or defect in the request for transcript shall not affect the validity of the appeal.
(d) Docket Entry. The notice of appeal shall include a statement that the order appealed from has been entered on the docket. A copy of the docket entry showing the entry of the order appealed from shall be attached to the notice of appeal.
(e) Content in Criminal Cases. When the Commonwealth takes an appeal pursuant to Pa.R.A.P. 311(d), the notice of appeal shall include a certification by counsel that the order will terminate or substantially handicap the prosecution.
(f) Content in Childrens Fast Track Appeals. In a childrens fast track appeal, the notice of appeal shall include a statement advising the appellate court that the appeal is a childrens fast track appeal.
(g) Completely Consolidated Civil Cases. In an appeal of completely consolidated civil cases where only one notice of appeal is filed, a copy of the consolidation order shall be attached to the notice of appeal.
The Offense Tracking Number (OTN) is required only in an appeal in a criminal proceeding. It enables the Administrative Office of the Pennsylvania Courts to collect and forward to the Pennsylvania State Police information pertaining to the disposition of all criminal cases as provided by the Criminal History Record Information Act, 18 Pa.C.S. § § 9101 et seq.
The notice of appeal must include a statement that the order appealed from has been entered on the docket. Because generally a separate notice of appeal must be filed on each docket on which an appealable order is entered so as to appeal from that order, see Pa.R.A.P. 902(a), the appellant is required to attach to the notice of appeal a copy of the docket entry showing the entry of the order appealed from on that docket. The appellant does not need to certify that the order has been reduced to judgment. This omission does not eliminate the requirement of reducing an order to judgment before there is a final appealable order where required by applicable practice or case law.
Subdivision (b)(2) provides the authority for an appellate court to initialize captions in custody appeals. See also Pa.R.C.P. 1915.10.
With respect to subdivision (e), in Commonwealth v. Dugger, 486 A.2d 382, 386 (Pa. 1985), the Supreme Court held that the Commonwealths certification that an order will terminate or substantially handicap the prosecution is not subject to review as a prerequisite to the Superior Courts review of the merits of the appeal. The principle in Dugger has been incorporated in and superseded by Pa.R.A.P. 311(d). Commonwealth v. Dixon, 907 A.2d 468, 471 n.8 (Pa. 2006). Thus, the need for a detailed analysis of the effect of the order, formerly necessarily a part of the Commonwealths appellate brief, has been eliminated.
A party filing a cross-appeal should identify it as a cross-appeal in the notice of appeal to assure that the prothonotary will process the cross-appeal with the initial appeal. See also Pa.R.A.P. 2113, 2136, and 2185 regarding briefs in cross-appeals and Pa.R.A.P. 2322 regarding oral argument in multiple appeals.
A party appealing completely consolidated civil cases using one notice of appeal must attach a copy of the consolidation order to the notice of appeal to assure the applicability of Pa.R.A.P. 902.
The provisions of this Rule 904 amended through December 10, 1986, effective January 31, 1987, and shall govern all matters thereafter commenced and, insofar as just and practicable, matters then pending, 16 Pa.B. 4951; corrected at January 16, 1987, 17 Pa.B. 246; amended July 7, 1997, effective in 60 days, 27 Pa.B. 3503; amended October 16, 2002, effective immediately, 32 Pa.B. 5402; amended January 13, 2009, 39 Pa.B. 1094, effective as to all appeals filed 60 days or more after adoption; amended December 14, 2015, effective April 1, 2016, for all orders entered on or after that date, 46 Pa.B. 8; amended October 22, 2020, effective January 1, 2021, 50 Pa.B. 6197; amended May 18, 2023, effective immediately, 53 Pa.B. 2940. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (403234) and (408493) to (408494).
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