Litigation is complicated. Reaching the end of a case can bring a great sense of relief—unless of course, you receive an unfavorable verdict. In Michigan, you have the right to challenge an improper verdict in a criminal or civil case. That being said, an appeal is not a re-trial. There are specific rules and procedures that apply. It is crucial that you understand how the system works. Here, our Michigan appeal lawyers provide an overview of how appellate courts work in Michigan.
An Overview of the Appellate Court System in Michigan
An appellate court is a higher-level court that reviews the process used and decision rendered by a lower court. The State of Michigan has a traditional, multi-tiered appellate court system. To start, there are four appellate court districts in Michigan:
- District I: Detroit
- District II: Troy
- District III: Grand Rapids
- District IV: Lansing
The highest court in the state is the Michigan Supreme Court, which has the power to hear cases originating out of all four appellate districts. Under Mich. Ct. R. 7.203, appellate courts mandatory jurisdiction over many final judgments. They have discretionary jurisdiction over some matters.
Strict Procedures for Initiating an Appeal in Michigan
You have the right to initiate an appeal after receiving an adverse judgment in Michigan. In many circumstances, an appellate court must hear your appeal. In some situations, the appellate court may decline to do so. In order to appeal a criminal conviction or adverse civil verdict in Michigan, you must initiate the appeal in a timely manner. Under M.C.R. 7.204(A)(1), you may only have 21 days to file a notice of appeal. Failure to do so could result in a court refusing to hear an appeal.
Appellate Courts in Michigan Review the Case for Material Errors
When an appeal is granted, it would be a major mistake to view it as an opportunity to restart your case. An appellate court in Michigan is tasked with reviewing cases for material errors—such as an abuse of judicial discretion or a misapplication of law. When you appeal a criminal case or a civil case in Michigan, you must have specific grounds to challenge the decision. A Michigan appellate law attorney can review your case and help you determine what, if any, grounds exist for appeal.
Michigan Law: A Successful Appeal Could Mean Many Different Things
What happens when you prevail on appeal in Michigan depends on several different factors. Most often, the court will remand the case back to a lower court with instructions to fix the error in question. A successful appeal could potentially result in a reversal, a new trial, or another form of relief.
Get Help From Our Michigan Appellate Law Attorneys
At The Appellate Law Firm, our Michigan appellate lawyers have the skills, knowledge, and experience to handle criminal, civil, and family appeals. If you have any questions about your rights, we can help. Call us now or contact us online for a strictly confidential case evaluation. We provide appellate law representation throughout Michigan, including in Detroit, Warren, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Sterling Heights, Flint, Dearborn, Troy, Farmington Hills, and Kalamazoo.