The Brooklyn Supreme Court Law Library has records and briefs for
cases starting from 1862 to the present. Materials from 1862 to
1993 must be retrieved from an off-site storage service. Allow
twenty-four to forty-eight hours for delivery of off-site materials.
After 1983, records and briefs for all four appellate departments are stored in micro-fiche. The library
has a micro-fiche reader printer and does not charge for printing
out the first twenty-five pages of a brief. See a librarian for
assistance in retrieving files. Records and briefs are not allowed to
The indexes to the pre-1983 materials are the original court clerk
ledger books. The information available in each ledge book is limited
to the names of the parties, entered by plaintiff, month and year
that the case was filed with the clerk and the number of the
volume in which the record and brief is filed. Some entries include
New York Reports cite, but there is no consistency. Records and
briefs can be logged any time within a year before or after a
decision and the party names can be abbreviated imaginatively.
Court of Appeals Briefs
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.
Jan 1880-Nov 1907
Jan 1916 to Apr 1925
Nov. 1929 – June 1948
Sept. 1948-June 1968
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
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
Appellate Division Briefs
Appellate Division briefs from 1921-1984 are available in
bound volumes that must be retrieved from a local off-site
Indexes for 2nd Dept.
Indexes for 3rd and 4th Dept.
Jan. 1929-Dec. 1957
June 1958-June 1960
Indexes for 1st and 2nd Dept.
Sept. 1929-June 1937
Oct. 1937-Dec. 1947
June 1948-June 1960
Indexes for 2nd Dept.
Sept. 1960-June 1966
Sept. 1966-Sept. 1969
Oct. 1969-July 1973
Oct. 1977-Aug. 1980
Sept. 1980-July 1983
Oct. 1983-June 1984
Records and briefs for the first, second and fourth departments
appellate division cases are available in micro-fiche from 1983 to
the present. Records and briefs for the third department appellate
division cases from 1984- are available in micro-fiche only. See the
librarian for assistance in finding a record. Indexes are available in
print as well as through LION, the on-line catalog.
The New York State Archives holds records and briefs on appeal for
the Supreme Court- Appellate Division (Second Department) for the
years between 1896-1935 (series J2004). There is no index or
finding aids available.
Supreme Court Briefs, Miscellaneous Reports cases
The law library does not have briefs for any Supreme Court
Miscellaneous Reports cases, except for the historical material
listed below. Contact the Court Clerk for the court to find out
how briefs can be retrieved.
1875-1895 General Term City Court
1862-1889 General Term Supreme Court Cases
1890-1899 General Term Supreme Court Cases