It can be challenging to accept an unfavorable trial judgment, especially if a legal error happened and affected the outcome. In these instances, it is best to file an appeal to review the decision, detecting issues based on the evidence and events during the trial.
Like other legal actions, an appeal also follows specific rules according to the law. This process can be complex, often requiring legal counsel to avoid dismissal. Even before initiating the process, an appellant should follow these steps to start an appeal properly:
- File a notice of appeal while meeting the appropriate deadline. The timeline is often 30 days, but it can vary based on the circumstances. The appellant can file this notice at the lower court’s clerk or administrative agency.
- Pay the accompanying fees, usually totaling $400. This amount includes filing charges for the circuit court clerk and the district court of appeal. There are several ways to pay for these fees, such as by transacting online, by mail or by personally appearing to hand over the payment.
- Check for additional fees with the lower tribunal. These charges may cover the record but are waivable in specific situations. Indigent appellants might need to file a motion and meet other requirements to waive these fees. Depending on the circumstances, they could also attend a hearing to appear before a judge for an indigency order.
Completing these steps can help start the appeal, allowing the process to proceed accordingly. Some appellants might require additional fees and paperwork based on their case details.
Seeking legal advice for your appeal
Even the first steps of the appeals process can be overwhelming. As the process progresses, it may also grow more complex, making it difficult to understand. An appellant should have an attorney to stay on top of each step. It is essential for an appellant to fully understand what is happening concerning their appeal, what issues they must address and what to do next.