Rule 907. Docketing of Appeal.
(a) Docketing of appeal.Upon the receipt of the papers specified in Pa.R.A.P. 905(b) (transmission to appellate court), the prothonotary of the appellate court shall immediately enter the appeal upon the docket, note the appellate docket number upon the notice of appeal, and give written notice of the docket number assignment in person or by first class mail to the clerk of the trial court, to the appellant, and to the persons named in the proof of service accompanying the notice of appeal. Unless an appellate court exercises its discretion, upon application of a party and for cause shown, to use the initials of the parties in an appeal of a custody action, the prothonotary of the appellate court shall docket an appeal under the caption given to the matter in the trial court. The appellant shall be identified in the caption. If the appellant is not identified in the caption of the trial court, the appellants name shall be added to the caption in the appellate court.
(b) Entry of appearance.Upon the docketing of the appeal the prothonotary of the appellate court shall note on the record: as counsel for the appellant, the name of counsel, if any, set forth in or endorsed upon the notice of appeal; counsel of record; and any counsel named in the proof of service. The prothonotary of the appellate court shall upon praecipe of counsel filed within 30 days after the docketing of the notice of appeal correct the record of appearances. Also within 30 days after the docketing of the notice of appeal, counsel for a party may strike off his or her appearance by praecipe, unless that party is entitled by law to be represented by counsel on appeal. Thereafter, and at any time if a party is entitled by law to be represented by counsel on appeal, a counsels appearance for a party may not be withdrawn without leave of court, unless another lawyer has entered or simultaneously enters an appearance for the party.
Paragraph (a).The transmission of a photocopy of the notice of appeal, showing a stamped notation of filing and the appellate docket number assignment, without a letter of transmittal or other formalities, will constitute full compliance with the notice requirement of paragraph (a) of this rule.
A party may be entitled to the representation by counsel on appeal by constitution, statute, rule, and case law. For example, the Rules of Criminal Procedure require counsel appointed by the trial court to continue representation through direct appeal. Pa.R.Crim.P. 120(A)(4) and Pa.R.Crim.P. 122(B)(2). Similarly, the Rules of Criminal Procedure require counsel appointed in post-conviction proceedings to continue representation throughout the proceedings, including any appeal from the disposition of the petition for post-conviction collateral relief. Pa.R.Crim.P. 904(F)(2) and Pa.R.Crim.P. 904(H)(2)(b). The same is true when counsel enters an appearance on behalf of a juvenile in a delinquency matter or on behalf of a child or other party in a dependency matter. Pa.R.J.C.P. 150(B), 151, Pa.R.J.C.P. 1150(B), 1151(B), (E). It would be rare for counsel in such cases to consider withdrawing by praecipe, but the 2020 amendment to the rule avoids any possibility of confusion by clarifying that withdrawal by praecipe is available only in matters that do not otherwise require court permission to withdraw.
If a party is entitled to representation on appeal, the appellate court will presume that counsel who represented the party in the trial court will also represent the party on appeal, and counsel will be entered on the appellate court docket. In order to withdraw in such cases, either (1) new counsel must enter an appearance in the appellate court prior to or at the time of withdrawal; (2) counsel must provide the appellate court with an order of the trial court authorizing withdrawal; or (3) counsel must petition the appellate court to withdraw as counsel. Counsel for parties entitled to representation on appeal are cautioned that if any critical filing in the appellate process is omitted because of an omission by counsel, and if the party ordinarily would lose appeal rights because of that omission, counsel may be subject to discipline.
When an appeal is filed in a custody action, upon application of a party and for cause shown the appellate court may make a determination that using the parties initials in the caption is appropriate after considering the sensitive nature of the facts included in the case record and the childs best interest. See Pa.R.A.P. 904(b)(2).
Paragraph (b).With respect to appearances by new counsel following the initial docketing appearances, please note the requirements of Pa.R.A.P. 120.
The provisions of this Rule 907 amended May 16, 1979, effective September 30, 1979, 9 Pa.B. 1740; amended July 7, 1997, effective in sixty days, 27 Pa.B. 3503; amended March 15, 2004, effective 60 days after adoption, 34 Pa.B. 1670; amended January 7, 2020, effective May 1, 2020, 50 Pa.B. 535; amended October 22, 2020, effective January 1, 2021, 50 Pa.B. 6197. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (400748) to (400749).
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