How to Appeal a Court’s Decision in Florida?
Florida did not even have district courts of appeal until 1957. Until then the Supreme Court had to shoulder the burden of reviewing all appeal cases. The process for filing an appeal is similar to other states with a few differences.
Notice of Appeal
You have only 30 days after the final ruling to file an appeal. You must first file a notice of appeal with the Clerk of the trial court where the case took place. You will also need to obtain a copy of the transcripts of the trial within 14 days. Included in your notice of appeal you must provide a list of all persons involved in the case and contact information including name, address and phone numbers for all the attorneys as well.
Since the three-judge panel bases, their decision on only paperwork, no trial, preparation of your brief is a critical part of the process. Be sure to be clear, present all the facts, support your arguments with citations (from the original case) and precedent cases as to why you think there was an error. You must also stipulate what you want the court to do to rectify the situation.
After you prepare your brief, the appellee has to prepare theirs and then after you review it, you have the option to submit a reply brief, addressing points in the appellee brief.
In Florida, either side has the option of requesting permission to address the court with a prepared statement called an oral argument. You have only thirty minutes to appear in the front of the judges, so make every word count!
The appellate court in Florida issues its final decisions in writing somewhere between six months and a year. Each case differs in complexity, and the timeframe will adjust accordingly.
If the party who loses is dissatisfied with the result, they can request a rehearing with the same panel of judges or ask that it be taken to the Supreme Court and reviewed by all nine judges.