Sometimes litigants are dissatisfied with the outcome of a court proceeding. They may believe the outcome was unfair, unjust, or just plain incorrect. Fortunately, they may have the option to appeal the matter to a higher court.
Appealing does cost some additional time and money, but it may be well worth the investment.
A successful appeal could mean that a person gets another trial or hearing of their case. In some situations, the appeals court may even toss out the unfavorable decision altogether and replace it with a much more favorable one.
Filing and preparing an appeal is a complicated process
The first step when appealing is to understand which court the matter will be appealed to. Depending on the type of case, family law matters may be heard in a juvenile and domestic relations district court or a circuit court. When matters are brought before the juvenile and domestic relations district court, parties have the right to appeal the matter de novo. This means that the circuit court will hear the matter all over again. On the other hand, if a matter is brought before the circuit court or appealed to the circuit court, the appeal party must allege an error on the part of the circuit court and request the Court of Appeals hear the matter.
Next, you should discuss your odds of winning the appeal with your attorney. If the trial court’s decision is disappointing but ultimately correct, it may be better to pursue a negotiation or other options.
If you decide to pursue an appeal, it is important that you understand the rules and procedures, as they include some very strict deadlines. Missing a key deadline can mean that you lose your ability to appeal or, at best, will go into an appeal with a disadvantage. Additionally, if you are pursuing an appeal in the Court of Appeals, you will need to submit a brief, or a written document outlining your arguments and be prepared to argue those points before the Court.