An appeal is a request for a higher court to review the decision reached by a lower court. Many states have trial courts as the lowest level of courts and then appellate courts. After the appellate court, there is a higher court, which may be called the state’s supreme court or another name.
The first step in the appeals process is to provide notice of the appeal within the applicable time limit. This notice of appeal is filed in the clerk’s office of the county where the judgment or order was entered.
For many civil cases, the case must be appealed within 30 days from the date of the judgment. However, if the other party filed an appeal, you may only have 14 days to file an appeal. In criminal cases, the defendant may only have 14 days to file an appeal. If these time limits are not met, the party may lose his or her right to appeal the decision. It is important that you know what your time limit to appeal is so you can reserve your rights.
Typically, a person must wait until the final judgment or a final order in the case is entered before he or she can appeal. In many situations, the appeal is lodged after a judgment is entered in a case. However, there are other times when a case may be appealed and an order be considered “final.” For example, a party may be able to appeal a decision after a motion to dismiss or motion for summary judgment is granted. These types of motions can result in the end of the case, so a party wishing to continue the case and who believes the motion was granted in error may choose to appeal the decision.
Typically, there will be a higher court to which you can further appeal your case. If the appellate court did not rule in your favor, you can typically appeal this decision to the state supreme court. In some situations, you may be able to appeal the decision to the United States Supreme Court. If an administrative panel denied your appeal, you may then be able to file a lawsuit with a district or circuit court.