Appeals as of Right01
Appeals as of right describe the ability to appeal a case ruling as guaranteed by a statute or underlying constitutional principle. If the losing party demands an appeal as of right, the appellate court cannot refuse to hear the appeal. This applies only to certain ruling parties to ensure fair trials without overwhelming higher courts. For example, appeals as of right do not apply from the Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court, which only takes cases at their discretion.
Discretionary appeals are when an appellate court determines whether an appeal will be reviewed by its court. A higher court will look over the trial, and if they refrain from commenting, it will not be put to trial again. This, in essence, agrees with the original lower court rulings and provides a metaphorical “seal of approval” without requiring a full blown trial. A higher court may, but is not required to, reconsider the case.
Collateral appeals are post-conviction petitions. In these appeals, a plaintiff refiles the case with the court that originally tried the case. The intention of collateral appeals is to receive a different trial outcome on the basis that you were denied due process, or had a court system act illegally while handling your case. These post-trial motions made with the original court allow for re-evaluation of the conviction or sentence's legality, though they're only reviewed at the court's discretion.
Direct appeal is the standard process for appealing a crime’s conviction or trial's outcome. You have the legal right to appeal a case to a higher court if you disagree with jury verdict or court’s decision. If the appeals court agrees with the lower court, that tends to be the final word on the matter unless the case raises a constitutional question. In the event of constitutional questions, the Supreme Court is involved.
What is the difference between filing an appeal and a motion?
A motion requests a new trial with a different jury, typically used in cases of juror misconduct or discovery of new evidence. An appeal is the reexamination of your case by the appellate court. Appeals have no new trial, new jury, nor new facts. They simply check to see if fair legal processes were broken.
How do I file an appeal?
Consult with an attorney first. Lawyers will make sure that your case possesses grounds for an appeal. Appeals are primarily paperwork, and an attorney will help file the request within appellate deadlines as well as serve notices of the appeal.
What are the stages of the appeal process?
The appeals process begins with the losing party filing a claim. The winning party files their own brief showing that the original court decision was correct. No additional evidence is presented. The statements are typically sufficient for a court decision, but sometimes require oral arguments before a judge.
If my appeal is dismissed, what are my next steps?
A dismissal of an appeal means the district court’s judgement stands. The court of appeals refuses to hear and try the care. However, the dismissal itself may also be appealed. If dismissed “without prejudice,” (i.e. not permanently), the lawsuit may be refiled by the plaintiff.