Actually, it isn’t me saying it. But for anyone looking to file any kind of pleading in a Surrogate’s Court in New York, you’ve heard the court clerk say it. Sometimes with real enthusiasm.

A little history: “Henry R. Heyl of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania applied for a patent in September 1877 titled ‘Improvement in devices for inserting metallic staples.’ This was the beginning of the evolution of paper fastening machines that would lead to today’s version of a stapler.” I think we’d all agree the darn things are quite handy. And for anyone working in a law office, you know they’re everywhere. Big ones. Small ones. They’re one of those things that just work.

But not anymore.

In this time of ever expanding e-filing of documents in various courts, we have not (yet) reached a point where all courts use e-filing. The Surrogate’s Court does, though, scan pleadings and then make those documents available to be printed out. At the courthouse. For a fee.

Not perfect, but it’s a start. And because this is the way things are done, the court wants your pleadings, no matter how thick and voluminous they may be, without staples. Actually, without any binding of any kind at all. Oh, you can use those big paper binder clips, or even rubber bands, as those can be easily removed. But if you attempt to file a large a bulky pleading with staples that may take Herculean effort to remove, don’t be surprised if you are turned away and told to remove them yourself. And trust me on this one. That can be a real pain.

Although this has been the rule for some time now, it seems some people haven’t gotten the memo. And some people forget. So consider yourself reminded.

Sigh. First it was the legal sized paper. Then it was the red ruled paper. Legal backs are going the way of the Dodo Bird. Now staples. What next?