Rule 3. How to Appeal
(a) Filing. A person adversely affected by a Board of Veterans’ Appeals decision may appeal that decision to the Court only by filing a written Notice of Appeal with the Clerk of the Court (Clerk), including transmission by facsimile (fax), within the time allowed by Rule 4 (a). Failure of an appellant to take any step under these rules other than the timely filing of a Notice of Appeal does not affect the validity of the appeal, but may be grounds for such action as the Court deems appropriate, including dismissal of the appeal.
(b) Service. The appellant must serve a copy of the Notice of Appeal on any party (other than the Secretary of Veterans Affairs (Secretary)) to the proceedings before the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (Board). See Rule 25.
(c) Content. The Notice of Appeal need not conform to Rule 32 and must—
(1) show the most recent name, address, and telephone number of the person or persons taking the appeal, and the appropriate Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) claims file number;
(2) reasonably identify the Board decision appealed from and be able to be reasonably construed, on its face or from the surrounding circumstances, as expressing an intent to seek Court review of that decision; and
(3) if filed by a representative other than one making a limited appearance, be accompanied by a notice of appearance and its attachments. See Rule 46 (d)(2) and (6).
Form 1 in the Appendix of Forms is a suggested, but not required, form for a Notice of Appeal. Correspondence will be liberally construed in determining whether it is a Notice of Appeal.
(d) Joint or Consolidated Appeals. If more than one person is entitled to appeal from a decision of the Board and their interests make joinder practicable, they may file a joint Notice of Appeal or may join in an appeal after filing separate timely Notices of Appeal, and they may thereafter proceed on appeal as a single appellant. Appeals may be consolidated by order of the Court on its own initiative or on a party’s motion.
(e) Payment of Fees. A Notice of Appeal must be accompanied by a $50.00 nonrefundable filing fee, paid by check or money order payable to “U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.” An appellant who believes that the payment of the fee would be a financial hardship may obtain a waiver of the fee by filing a declaration of financial hardship in accordance with Rule 24. If a fax Notice of Appeal is filed, the filing fee or declaration must be received by the Court not later than 14 days after the fax was sent.
(g) Addresses and Fax Number. The Court’s mailing address is Clerk of the Court, U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, 625 Indiana Avenue, N.W., Suite 900, Washington, D.C. 20004–2950. The Court’s fax number is (202) 501–5848. The Court’s web site is found at www.vetapp.gov.
(h) Translations. The Court conducts its reviews and deliberations in English. Any document transmitted to the Court (including one in the record on appeal) in a language other than English must be accompanied by an English translation that is certified by the translator, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1746, as true and accurate.
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