Notification of Constitutional Challenges to State Law

The information below is provided as a general description of the laws governing constitutional challenges to New York laws and does not constitute legal advice. An attorney or party should review the relevant law to ensure compliance with the requirements.

State Cases

New York’s Executive Law § 71 authorizes the Attorney General to appear in court to defend the constitutionality of state acts, statutes, rules, or regulations. See N.Y. Executive Law § 71

A party challenging the constitutionality of a state act, statute, rule, or regulation at any level (trial or appeal) in the state court system is required to notify the Office of the Attorney General in any action in which the State of New York is not a party. If a party has not served notice upon the Attorney General, the court shall direct the party to serve notice. Additionally, under the Court of Appeals’ Rules of Practice and the Practice Rules of the Appellate Division, a party asserting that a statute is unconstitutional is required to provide written notice to the Attorney General. The Attorney General may intervene as a party as of right to defend the constitutionality of the challenged law. See N.Y. Executive Law § 71N.Y. C.P.L.R. 1012(b)22 N.Y.C.R.R. § 500.9(b);   22 N.Y.C.R.R. § 1250.9(i).

Where to Serve Notices and Documents (unless otherwise directed by court order or law)

New York City Office

Any trial court in the following counties ― Bronx, Dutchess, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, Westchester
Appellate Divisions for the First and Second Departments
New York Court of Appeals if the case arose in any of the above courts

Albany Office

Any trial court in the following counties ― Albany, Allegany, Broome, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Erie, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Genesee, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Madison, Monroe, Montgomery, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Orleans, Oswego, Otsego, Rensselaer, St. Lawrence, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Sullivan, Tioga, Tompkins, Ulster, Warren, Washington, Wayne, Wyoming, Yates

Appellate Divisions for the Third and Fourth Departments
New York Court of Appeals if the case arose in any of the above courts

Federal Cases

Under federal law, if a party challenges the constitutionality of a state statute in federal litigation and neither the State nor any state agency, officer, or employee is a party, either the court or the party shall notify the Attorney General of the challenge and the court shall grant the Attorney General intervention as of right. In the United States Supreme Court and the federal circuit courts, a party must notify the clerk in writing of the challenge and, before the Supreme Court, serve its filing on the Attorney General.  See 28 U.S.C. § 2403(b)U.S. Sup. Ct. R. 29.4(c);  Fed. R. App. Proc. 44(b).

Where to Serve Notices and Documents (unless otherwise directed by court order or law)

New York City Office

Cases originating in the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York or on appeal from these districts; cases originating in any other federal court

Albany Office

Cases in the U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Western Districts of New York or on appeal from these districts