Questions Answered About Your Potential Appeal
Can I Appeal My Case?
If you lost your case at the trial level, you may want to consider filing an appeal. There are strict time periods that apply to appeals. If you do not file your appeal on time, you will be forever barred from appealing your case. You should immediately call Mario, Gunde, Peters, Rhoden & Kelley to discuss a possible appeal in your case. Our attorneys have decades of experience handling appeals.
Once I Decide To Appeal, How Do I Appeal My Case?
Case appeals are started by timely filing of a Notice of Appeal or Cross-Notice of Appeal in the lower tribunal (court), accompanied by the timely payment of any filing fees. The Notice should be substantially in the form required by Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure 9.900(a). This form requires that the notice state the name of the court to which the appeal is taken, the date of rendition of the order to be reviewed, and the nature of the order to be reviewed. Additionally, except in criminal cases, a conformed copy of the order or orders to be reviewed must be attached to the notice together with any order entered on a timely motion postponing rendition of the order or orders for appellate review.
Once an appeal has commenced in a district court of appeal, the appellant and cross-appellant, if any, will need to perfect the record on appeal by preparing and filing all relevant transcripts via a designation to the court reporter to prepare such transcripts and to file them with the clerk of the lower court . Further, the appellant and cross-appellant, if any, must transfer the record from the lower court to the district court for review via directions to the clerk.
Along with the duty to perfect the record on appeal, the appellant and cross-appellant, if any, have the burden of proving their case on appeal, which is accomplished through briefs and oral argument. The appellant and cross-appellant have the opportunity to file an initial brief raising and arguing the issues for review. The appellee and cross-appellee, if any, may file an answer brief responding to the issues raised and argued in the initial brief. Thereafter, the appellant and cross-appellant, if any, will have the opportunity to file a reply brief to rebut arguments made in the answer brief. Any party may request oral argument.
When all of the briefs have been filed or the time has expired for the filing of the briefs, then the case is considered “at issue” and therefore ready to be assigned to a panel of appellate judges. The judges are deemed the appellate court for the case, which consists of three appellate judges who will determine the merits of the issues raised and argued on appeal. If the appellate court has granted oral argument or has ordered oral argument be had, then it will issue a notice and oral argument calendar scheduling oral argument whereby the parties will have the opportunity to appear before the appellate court to argue the issues raised in the briefs.
Notably, an appeal is not a re-trial of the case before a different court. In appeals, no evidence is submitted before the appellate court and it is not conducted in the same manner as a trial court. Instead, the appellate court will review the record on appeal and the issues and arguments raised by the parties to determine whether the lower court committed an error of law that requires reversal and/or remand. In the event the appellate court determines that an error occurred, it will enter a decision with an opinion explaining its determination. If no error is found, the appellate court will usually issue an order simply affirming the lower court.
When the appellate court renders its decision, the parties will have the opportunity to file post-judgment motions and responses and have any further proceedings, which may be necessary to dispose of those motions. Thereafter, the appellate court will issue a mandate, thereby concluding the appeal and the appellate court’s jurisdiction in the case.
Appeals are very complex. You need to hire an experienced and aggressive appeal attorney. Call Mario, Gunde, Peters, Rhoden & Kelley today for a free consultation with an attorney who is experienced in handling appeals. We serve all of Brevard County, including Viera, Melbourne, Cocoa, Titusville, Suntree, West Melbourne, Indialantic, Palm Bay, and all other municipalities on the Space Coast of Florida. Initial consultations with an attorney are always available – call today, 321-631-0506, or use the contact form at the top of this page.