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Appealing a New York City Surrogate’s Court Judgment

An interested party to a probate or estate case in New York who is not satisfied with a judgment or decision rendered by the New York Surrogate’s Court has the right to appeal the judgment.

The most important deadline in an appellate process is the 30-day deadline for filing a Notice of Appeal. Procedurally, the Notice of Appeal needs to be filed within 30 days of the entry of the judgment or order. In Surrogate’s Court, entry often happens simultaneously with the issuance of judgment or order, so it is better play it safe and file a Notice of Appeal way before 30 days after the issuance of the judgment or order are up.

To start a Surrogate’s Court appeal, it is necessary to identify the proper judicial district and court to file it in.  The New York Surrogate’s Court website or a New York City estate attorney can provide more information about how appeals are handled.

Grounds to Appeal

In order for the Appellate court to hear an appeal, a person will need sufficient grounds to appeal. In probate cases, the grounds can be based upon some facts such as the personal representative breached a fiduciary duty, but generally appeals are mostly based upon procedural law such as the probate judge made an error in the interpretation of the law. A person usually cannot appeal orders issued by the Surrogate’s Court relating to discovery, continuances or temporary relief.

Who Can Appeal?

Only the heirs and beneficiaries of the decedent, creditors, trustees or professionals who have rendered services to the estate in connection with the administration of the estate are entitled to appeal a Surrogate’s Court judgment. Also, you can only appeal a final judgment entered into the Court’s records.

Notice to Appeal and Brief

You will also need to send a notice of appeal to all interested parties in the case.  Your brief should set forth the jurisdiction of the court, the parties involved in the appeal and the legal arguments for making your appeal, and other things dictated by civil procedure and the assigned judge’s part rules.

An experienced New York City estate attorney is more qualified to write a Surrogate’s Court appeal then an attorney who is not familiar with Surrogate’s Court practice. That’s because an estate attorney is experienced in dealing with estate matters and understands the complex issues that arise during the administration of an estate.

New York Estate Attorney

Having an experienced New York estate attorney on your side representing you ensures that you getting your case heard and your arguments considered, giving you a better chance to win the appeal.

If you wish to speak to a New York estate attorney, call the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin at (212) 233-1233.