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Appeals

Let Ambrose Family Law Represent you in an Appeal

Judges are not always right. Perhaps the court misapplied the law, came to an incorrect factual finding, acted in excess of their jurisdiction, abused their powers, was biased, considered evidence which should not have considered, or failed to consider evidence that should have considered. An appeal is asking a higher court to review the evidence of a trial/hearing and the ruling of the court. The focus of the appeal is on how the original case was handled and generally, no new evidence or new testimony can be introduced. In the case of a divorce decree, while either spouse has a legal right to request an appeal, it is important to understand that an appeal can be a lengthy and costly endeavor. An appeals attorney must study the transcript of the original trial. The appeals court will also review the initial trial and hear arguments, which must be very compelling in order to overturn the decision of the lower court. The higher court can deny the appeal, which means that the lower court’s judgment remains. Or, if the appeal is granted, the higher court can reverse the judgment or remand the case back to the original trial court for a new trial to convene.\

Timing is Critical when Filing an Appeal

To start the process of an appeal following a divorce, a notice of appeal is filed with the trial court, and a transcript of the trial must be submitted to the appellate court. An appellate court is a court of law that is empowered to hear an appeal of a lower court and direct the lower court to rectify their mistakes if it is determined that error occurred. The notice of appeal must be filed within 30 days of the entry of the final judgment or order entered by the court, so timeliness is critical. Additionally, there is often a requirement that prior to filing the appeal, that the aggrieved party must file a Motion for Rehearing with the judge who conducted a trial. This gives the judge a chance to voluntarily correct his or her mistake before you spend a lot of time and money with an appeal. There are certain specific circumstances when you can file a Motion for Relief from Judgment after the 30 days has expired. The grounds are very limited and specific to just a few issues.

Whether you file an appeal or file a motion for the court to reconsider the order, timing is critical! If you think that you may wish to appeal your case, talk to your trial attorney as soon as you have received the court’s ruling. If that attorney does not represent litigants in appeals, contact Ambrose Family Law for an expedited appointment. Call today at (407) 388- 8740.