Like everyone and everything in life, the judicial system isn’t perfect. Mistakes are made. Sometimes, these mistakes can result in an improper verdict or decision. Fortunately, our judicial system provides individuals with the opportunity to appeal certain rulings or decisions believed to be wrongly decided. Whether an individual should appeal is a decision ultimately left up to that individual. However, there are some considerations a person can keep in mind that may help make that decision easier. In this blog, we provide some general considerations for you to keep in mind when deciding whether to appeal.
Is This An Appealable Order?
The first thing you should consider in deciding whether to appeal is whether you have an appealable order. You may be thinking to yourself, “but aren’t all orders appealable?” Unfortunately, no, and before you can begin the appeals process, you must have an appealable order. The importance of having an appealable order is that the Court of Appeals will not have jurisdiction to rule unless the order is appealable. There are two basic scenarios giving the Court of Appeals jurisdiction to rule1 (meaning you will have an appealable order). First, you will have an appealable order if your order is considered to be a final judgement. Second, you will have an appealable order if your order is an interlocutory order. If your order meets either of these requirements, you have an appealable order. However, your inquiry is not done there.
Is My Appeal Timely?
Another consideration in deciding whether to appeal is whether your appeal is timely. The timing of appeals is very important, and unfortunately, is something that many individuals miss out on. In order to preserve your right to appeal, remember a general rule that you must file your notice of appeal within 30 days of the court’s entry of your appealable order. For example, if the court enters a final order on March 1, you would have until have until March 31 to file your notice of appeal. There are exceptions and filings that can be made that toll the general thirty-day time limit, but those are fact sensitive scenarios. What is important at this time is to remember that you have 30 days from the entry of an order to appeal, and failure to file a notice of appeal in those thirty days can constitute a waiver of your right to appeal.
Limited To The Record.
A final thing to consider in deciding whether to appeal is that your argument on appeal is “limited to the record.” That is, all evidence and testimony presented in the case at the trial court level. Any evidence or facts that are not contained in the record are off-limits in the appeal. Furthermore, the Court of Appeals can only consider the facts and circumstances as they existed during the hearing, not issues that have arisen since. Thus, remember that in order to use certain evidence on appeal, it must be in the record.
Appeals are complex matters, and this area of law is extremely technical. The above information is general in nature, and know that there are exceptions to almost every rule. Obtaining skilled counsel is key to navigating the complex waters of appeals. This blog post was written by attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. who handle all types of appeals, be it civil or criminal, throughout Indiana. This blog is intended for general educational purposes only. It is not intended as legal advice or a solicitation for services. It is an advertisement.