Appellate law is the body of rules and regulations that governs appeals. It is a highly specialized and technical area of law. If you received an unfavorable order or judgment in a criminal or civil case, you have the right to appeal—but there is only limited time to do so. You must file a proper Notice of Appeal before the deadline expires. 

This raises an important question: What document needs to be filed with a Notice of Appeal? The short answer is that you typically must file Proof of Service along with your Notice of Appeal. Other documents, such as a copy of the appealable order/judgment, may need to be included as well. Here, our appellate lawyers explain the document(s) that should accompany a Notice of Appeal. 

Notice of Appeal: Explained 

Simply defined by US Legal, a Notice of Appeal is a “formal notice” that is the “initial step in the appeals process.” It is a mandatory procedural step in state appeals and federal appeals. An appeal cannot begin until a Notice of Appeal is filed correctly. 

To be clear, a Notice of Appeal is not your entire case. Quite the contrary, if you file an appeal, you will raise grounds and make your argument in an appellate brief. Your appellate brief should be drafted by an attorney. It is not due at the same time that your Notice of Appeal is due. 

Know the Deadline to File a Notice of Appeal

As soon as an adverse order is entered or an adverse judgment is rendered, it is imperative that you know the deadline to file your Notice of Appeal. There are very strict deadlines. If you wait too long to take action, it is likely that the court will simply dismiss the case without you ever having an opportunity to raise your appeal. 

The deadline to file a Notice of Appeal varies based on jurisdiction and the type of case. Parties often have as little as 30 days to file a Notice of Appeal. In some cases, there may even be less time. For example, the Michigan Court of Appeals Office of the Clerk notes that the state’s deadline to file a Notice of Appeal in most civil cases is just 21 days. 

Make Sure that You File the Document(s) With Your Notice of Appeal 

Although the procedural requirements vary somewhat from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, the appellant is required to serve the counterparty. Proof of service of process generally needs to accompany your Notice of Appeal. For example, under Rule 8.817 of the California Rules of Court, you must serve at least one (1) copy of your Notice of Appeal on the counterparty and any other party required by law before you file a Notice of Appeal with the court. Proof of service must accompany your Notice of Appeal. Depending on your jurisdiction and the specific type of appeal that you are filing, you may also need to include one or more of the following types: 

  • Proof that you have paid the required filing fee; and/or
  • A copy of the appealable order or appealable judgment.

You Do Not Have to Figure Out the Procedural Requirements of an Appeal Alone

Appellate law is notoriously complex. If you have any questions about the procedural requirements, you are certainly not alone. The stakes are high in an appeal—even a seemingly minor error could cause serious problems. An experienced appellate lawyer will ensure that your Notice of Appeal and all required accompanying documents are properly filed. 

Of course, the procedural requirements for filing a Notice of Appeal are simply one step in the process. To bring a successful appeal, a party must prepare a well-supported and comprehensive appellate brief that raises viable grounds for appeal and makes a strong argument on the merits of the case. 

Schedule a Confidential Consultation With a Top Appellate Law Attorney

At The Appellate Law Firm, we are devoted advocates for justice. Our law firm is proactive. If you have specific questions about the documents needed to file a Notice of Appeal, we can help. Contact our law firm today to set up your fully confidential case review. We handle criminal and civil appeals in Washington, Oregon, California, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Texas, and Florida.

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