(a) Filing the Notice of Appeal.
(1) An appeal permitted by law as of right from a district
court to a court of appeals may be taken only by filing a
notice of appeal with the district clerk within the time
allowed by Rule 4. At the time of filing, the appellant must
furnish the clerk with enough copies of the notice to enable
the clerk to comply with Rule 3(d).
(2) An appellant’s failure to take any step other than the
timely filing of a notice of appeal does not affect the
validity of the appeal, but is ground only for the court of
appeals to act as it considers appropriate, including
dismissing the appeal.
(3) An appeal from a judgment by a magistrate judge in a
civil case is taken in the same way as an appeal from any
other district court judgment.
(4) An appeal by permission under 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b) or an
appeal in a bankruptcy case may be taken only in the manner
prescribed by Rules 5 and 6, respectively.
(b) Joint or Consolidated Appeals.
(1) When two or more parties are entitled to appeal from a
district-court judgment or order, and their interests make
joinder practicable, they may file a joint notice of appeal.
They may then proceed on appeal as a single appellant.
(2) When the parties have filed separate timely notices of
appeal, the appeals may be joined or consolidated by the
court of appeals.
(c) Contents of the Notice of Appeal.
(1) The notice of appeal must:
(A) specify the party or parties taking the appeal by
naming each one in the caption or body of the notice, but
an attorney representing more than one party may describe
those parties with such terms as “all plaintiffs,” “the
defendants,” “the plaintiffs A, B, et al.,” or “all
defendants except X”;
(B) designate the judgment, order, or part thereof being
(C) name the court to which the appeal is taken.
(2) A pro se notice of appeal is considered filed on behalf
of the signer and the signer’s spouse and minor children (if
they are parties), unless the notice clearly indicates
(3) In a class action, whether or not the class has been
certified, the notice of appeal is sufficient if it names
one person qualified to bring the appeal as representative
of the class.
(4) An appeal must not be dismissed for informality of form
or title of the notice of appeal, or for failure to name a
party whose intent to appeal is otherwise clear from the
(5) Form 1 in the Appendix of Forms is a suggested form of a
notice of appeal.
(d) Serving the Notice of Appeal.
(1) The district clerk must serve notice of the filing of a
notice of appeal by mailing a copy to each party’s counsel
of record—excluding the appellant’s—or, if a party is
proceeding pro se, to the party’s last known address. When a
defendant in a criminal case appeals, the clerk must also
serve a copy of the notice of appeal on the defendant,
either by personal service or by mail addressed to the
defendant. The clerk must promptly send a copy of the notice
of appeal and of the docket entries—and any later docket
entries—to the clerk of the court of appeals named in the
notice. The district clerk must note, on each copy, the date
when the notice of appeal was filed.
(2) If an inmate confined in an institution files a notice
of appeal in the manner provided by Rule 4(c), the district
clerk must also note the date when the clerk docketed the
(3) The district clerk’s failure to serve notice does not
affect the validity of the appeal. The clerk must note on
the docket the names of the parties to whom the clerk mails
copies, with the date of mailing. Service is sufficient
despite the death of a party or the party’s counsel.
(e) Payment of Fees.
Upon filing a notice of appeal, the appellant must pay the
district clerk all required fees. The district clerk
receives the appellate docket fee on behalf of the court of
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Last modified at 12/16/2009