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What Are the Decisions an Appellate Court Can Make?

What Are the Decisions an Appellate Court Can Make?

Indiana provides parties involved in legal disputes, whether it be criminal or civil in nature, with the opportunity to appeal the outcome of the case, albeit, with some exceptions. While the right to appeal is a cherished tradition, it can also cause headaches due to the extremely technical nature of the appellate process. This can leave many with a multitude of questions and concerns, which is normal, but some of those concerns may be able to be relieved by having a better understanding of the appellate process. In this blog, we look at the decisions an appellate court can make when deciding your case.

According to the Indiana Rules of Appellate Procedure1 (which govern the appellate process in Indiana), an appellate court can make any of the following decisions when deciding a case:

  1. affirm the decision of the trial court or Administrative Agency;
  2. reverse the decision of the trial court or Administrative Agency;
  3. order a new trial or hearing;
  4. if damages are excessive or inadequate, order entry of judgment of damages in the amount supported by the evidence;
  5. if damages are excessive or inadequate, order a new trial or hearing subject to additur or remittitur;
  6. order entry of Final Judgment;
  7. order correction of a judgment or order;
  8. order findings or a judgment be modified under Ind. Trial Rule 52(B);
  9. make any relief granted subject to conditions; and
  10. grant any other appropriate relief.

While the rules provide the appellate courts with quite a few options when it comes to deciding a case, many of these are inapplicable to the majority of appeals. Generally, there are three (3) different decisions an appellate court will make in deciding a case. First, the appellate court may affirm (or uphold) the lower court’s decision. Second, the appellate court may reverse the trial court’s decision and remand (send back) with specific instructions to the trial court. Third, the appellate court may reverse and order a new trial.

It is important to note that the above information is general in nature, and know that there are exceptions to almost every rule.  Appeals are complex matters, oftentimes turning on the specific facts of each case. This area of practice is extremely technical, and obtaining skilled counsel is often 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.


  1. Rule App. Procedure 66
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Ciyou & Dixon, P.C., is a law firm located in Indianapolis, Indiana. We serve clients in six core practice areas: family lawappellate practicefirearms lawgeneral practicepersonal injury and criminal law.

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Based in Indianapolis and founded in 1995, Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. is a niche law firm focused on successfully dealing with the complexities of divorce, high-conflict child custody and family law. Known for their ability to solve extremely complex situations with high quality work and responsiveness, Ciyou & Dixon will guide you every step of the way. The family law attorneys at Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. will help you precisely identify your objectives and the means to reach your desired result. In addition, this practice focus is augmented by the firm's other three core areas, namely appellate advocacy, civil practice, and firearms law. Life is uncertain. Be certain of your counselSM.

Indianapolis Divorce Attorneys, Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. of Indianapolis, Indiana, offers legal services for Indianapolis, Zionsville, Noblesville, Carmel, Avon, Anderson, Danville, Greenwood, Brownsburg, Geist, Fortville, McCordsville, Muncie, Greenfield, Westfield, Fort Wayne, Fishers, Bloomington, Lafayette, Marion County, Hamilton County, Hendricks County, Allen County, Delaware County, Morgan County, Hendricks County, Boone County, Vigo County, Johnson County, Hancock County, and Tippecanoe County, Indiana.