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Understanding the Appeals Process

  • December 4, 2013

It is worth noting that the appellate procedure is a vital element of any judicial system. It is fundamental for those who want to know their judicial system rights to have an understanding of the appeals process. Before any appeal from either a civil or criminal case can be filed, a final judgement from the trial level court should exist. When it comes to the criminal case, this final judgement is considered as being the courts sentencing order. Usually, with the civil cases, the final judgement is considered as the order that disposes of all issues of the parties involved in the case.

Once the court has issued the final judgment, the next step procedure is the filing of the Notice of Appeal. This is filed at the trial court and it is designed to provide notice to the trial court as well as the other parties of the case. It is absolutely necessary for the Notice of Appeal to be filed in a timely manner. Every state has its specific statute that governs the time frame in which the Notice of Appeal should be filed. In case the filing of the Notice of Appeal is not done within the stipulated time that is permitted by the statute, then the individual will be barred from raising an appeal in the future. It is considered jurisdictional to file the Notice of Appeal in a timely manner.

After the Notice of Appeal has been filed, the case will be moved to the appellate court. This court will then establish a specific timeline for filing of certain documents as well as materials with the court. These are inclusive of the appellate brief that is filed by the person who initially lodges the appeal.

Right after the briefing procedure, a hearing is held that will allow both sides to present their oral arguments, which is done by the attorneys. Take note that the appeals procedure could last anywhere between 12 months to 18 months. In some instances, the appeals procedure could be accelerated for certain reasons.

Lastly, keep in mind that appellate law is extremely specialized. So, anyone facing any prospects of an appeal would definitely want to consider engaging a professional appeals attorney.