How to Appeal a Court’s Decision in California?
In the state of California, you can file an appeal as soon as the final judgment has been signed by the judge and entered (stamped filed).
There are two different types of civil cases, each with different timelines. In small civil cases where the amount is less than $25,000, you must file either within 30 days of being notified of the judgment or 90 days after the ruling has been entered.
For more significant cases, you must file your notice of appeal within sixty days of being notified of the ruling or 180 days after the judgment has been recorded.
Notice of Appeal
Be sure to respect the deadlines or your appeal will be dismissed.
You must provide two copies of the notice of appeal with the Clerk of Courts. One is for the court and the other for the appellee. You will have to pay a filing fee when you file your notice of appeal. You must also fill out and file a “Proof of Service” form which you can obtain online. Within ten days of filing your notice of appeal, you must let the court know what documents and oral arguments you will be presenting to support your case, "designating the record."
The appellant and appellee briefs are the most critical documents in the appeal process.
The appellants brief must include the following information:
- Identify the case you are appealing.
- Specify the ruling you want to be overturned.
- State that the judgment is final or explain why the order is appealable.
- A summary of all the facts in the case.
- Link each reference to facts within the documents citing page and where it appears.
- Support each point in the brief with an argument supported by precedent cases.
- Indicate what you want the court to do.
You also have the option to present an oral account of your appeal in front of the court. In the Supreme Court, you have only ten minutes to give your argument, in the Appellate Court, you have thirty minutes.