Section 207.4 Papers filed in court; clerk's file number; official forms.
(a) Unless otherwise specified by the court, attorneys, as well as parties appearing without attorneys, shall prepare and submit all papers, pleadings, orders and decrees to be acted upon by the Surrogate. The party causing the first paper to be filed shall communicate the clerk's file number forthwith to all other parties to the proceeding; service of the citation bearing the file number shall be sufficient. Thereafter such number shall appear on the outside cover and first page to the right of the caption of every paper tendered for filing in the proceeding. The caption also shall contain the title of the proceeding, an indication of the county of venue and a brief description of the nature of the paper. All papers shall comply with the provisions of CPLR 2101 and (other than wills, codicils, exhibits and forms of other governmental agencies) shall be on standard 8 1/2 inch by 11-inch paper. The text of all papers must be legible and, other than prompts and instructions, must be in a standard typeface of 10 to 12-point characters and have margins that shall be no less than one-half inch. Papers also shall contain the name of the attorney or party submitting them and, whenever possible, the names, addresses and information regarding parties to the proceeding shall be printed in bold typeface.
(b) The forms set forth in Chapter VII of Subtitle D of this Title, designated "Surrogate Court Forms," and including forms for the Surrogate's Court and adoption forms of the Family Court and Surrogate's Court, shall be the official forms of the court and shall be accepted for filing pursuant to SCPA 106. Forms produced on computers or word processors shall be accepted for filing, provided (1) the text used shall be the same as that contained in the official forms and (2) the attorney or party preparing such form shall certify at the end thereof that the form is the same as the official form and that the substantive text has not been altered. Persons submitting such forms may leave out instructions (contained in brackets) and optional words or phrases that have not been selected or are irrelevant. Submitting a form to be an official form, but upon which the text has been intentionally altered to change the substance or meaning thereof, may be regarded as an attempt to mislead the court.
(c) Examples of the official forms shall be available at the clerk's office of any Surrogate's Court.
Sec. filed Jan. 9, 1986; amd. filed Jan. 12, 1998 eff. April 1, 1998.
Q: What size paper should you use?
A: "All papers . . . (other than wills, codicils, exhibits and forms of other governmental agencies) shall be on standard 8 1/2 inch by 11-inch paper."
Q: Can you use legal-size paper?
A: No, you cannot use legal size paper, which is 8 1/2 inches by 14 inches. You must use letter size paper, which is 8 1/2 inches by 11 inches.
Q: What type of font can you use?
A: You must use "a standard typeface." There is no explanation of what it means, but I think it means, "Don't get too creative."
Q: Should you all-caps the names of parties?
A: No, use boldface: "[W]henver possible, the names, addresses and information regarding parties to the proceeding shall be printed in bold typeface."
Q: Can you create your own forms using Word, Pages, or another word-processor?
A: Yes, you can create your own forms "provided (1) the text used shall be the same as that contained in the official forms and (2) the attorney or party preparing such form shall certify at the end thereof that the form is the same as the official form and that the substantive text has not been altered." See the sample Attorney Certification, below.
Sample Attorney Certifications
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