What is an Appeal?
An appeal is a review of the trial court's decision by another court. A party may appeal an unfavorable judgment and certain orders. Generally, the appeal must be based on an argument that a legal error was made by the trial court.
An appeal is not a retrial. You will not be permitted to introduce new evidence, and the appellate court will not reassess conflicting evidence.
You may not appeal on behalf of a friend, a spouse, a child, or other relative (unless you are a legally appointed guardian).
The party who files the appeal is called the appellant. The opposing parties are the respondents.
Filing a Notice of Appeal
The first step in an appeal is filing the written Notice of Appeal. This notice tells the other parties in the case and the court that you are appealing a decision of the trial court.
The Notice of Appeal must be filed with the Appeals Unit before the filing
deadline. For example, the Notice of Appeal in a felony case must be filed
within 60 calendar days after sentencing [CRC 8.308].
To find the filing deadline for your case, see the
California Rules of Court
, Rules 8.1-8.793.
The Notice of Appeal may be written on pleading paper or
can be made by completing the form specific to your type
of appeal. Below are links to the more commonly used forms.
Other forms can be found on the
Judicial Council's web site
There are other time limits and regulations in proceeding with an appeal. Read the California Rules of Court to verify that you are meeting the timelines for every step. Failure to meet deadlines may result in dismissal of your appeal.
Time Lines for Filing an Appeal
|Criminal Appeal - Felony
||60 days from the date of sentence
||30 days from the date of sentence
||60 days from the date of disposition
|Traffic – Infraction
||30 days from the date of sentence
|Civil – Unlimited
||60 days from the date of mailing of the Notice of Entry of Judgment or if notice is not mailed, 180 days from the date of entry of judgment [Reference California Rules of Court 8.100; 8.104]
|Civil – Limited
||30 days from the date of mailing of the Notice of Entry of Judgment or if notice is not mailed, 90 days from the entry of judgment [Reference California Rules of Court 8.751; 8.752]
||60 days from the date of mailing of the Notice of Entry of Judgment or if notice is not mailed, 180 days from the date of entry of judgment [Reference CRC 8.100; 8.104]
|Small Claims (Rehearing)
||15 days from the date of entry of judgment [Reference CRC 8.708(c)]
Fees & Fee Waivers
The filing fees for the Notice of Appeal can be found on the court's
. Checks or money orders should be made payable to Superior Court of California, County of Monterey.
Note: There is a separate filing fee of $655 to be paid to the Court of Appeal.
If you cannot afford to pay the filing fees and other court costs, you may qualify for a waiver of those costs
Failure to pay the filing fee or obtain a waiver may result in dismissal of your appeal.
Designation of Transcripts
Since the appellate court was not present at the trial or other proceedings, there must be an official record of the proceedings for the court to review in assessing the appeal. In criminal appeals, the court will prepare the standard record as specified in the California Rules of Court, unless the trial judge has granted a request for additional items.
In civil appeals, the appellant must tell the trial court what documents and oral proceedings, if any, to include in the record that will be sent to the appellate court. This is done by filing a Judicial Council
Notice Designating the Record on Appeal
. The appellant's failure to file this notice may result in dismissal of the appeal. The respondent may also request documents by filing a Notice Designating the Record on Appeal; however, failure to do so will not affect the appeal.
The Clerk's Transcript is a compilation of the documents filed in the trial court. In criminal appeals, the Clerk's Transcript will include those documents required by the California Rules of Court. In civil appeals, you must designate each document you want included by its title and filing date. If the filing date is not known, the date the document was signed may be used instead.
The superior court clerk will send the parties a bill for the cost of preparing the Clerk's Transcript. The appellant is responsible for paying for the appellate court's copy as well as his own copy. The respondent may buy a copy of the transcript, but is not obligated to do so. Costs must be paid within 10 days or the appeal may be dismissed. (There is no charge for preparing the Clerk's Transcript in felony and death penalty appeals.)
A Reporter's Transcript is a written record (often called the "verbatim" record) of the oral proceedings in the trial court. A reporter's transcript is not required but is usually necessary. In felony and death penalty appeals, the Reporter's Transcript will include those hearing dates required by the California Rules of Court. In all other appeals, you must designate each date to be included.
With the notice designating the Reporter's Transcript, you must deposit the approximate cost of transcribing the proceedings designated. The cost of the Reporter’s Transcript is $325 per fraction of a day for less than three hours of court time or $655 per day for more than three hours of court time.
A brief is a party's written description of the facts in the case, the relevant law, and the party's argument. The brief must clearly explain, using references to the Clerk's and Reporter's Transcripts, the claimed legal errors in the trial court proceedings.
After the record is filed in the appellate court, you will receive a notice telling you when to file your brief. Read the notice carefully for directions on length and service. The appellant's failure to file an opening brief may result in dismissal of the appeal.
When the record is filed in the appellate court, you will receive notice of the time and location for oral argument. This hearing will be set far enough in advance to allow time to get all briefs filed.
You may appear at oral argument or give up your right to argue your case at a hearing. If you give up that right, you should contact the Appeals Clerk in writing and tell the court you are submitting the appeal on the briefs and the record. If you attend the hearing, you cannot present witnesses or evidence. The judges will have read your briefs and the record, so try to stress the important points rather than reading your brief to the court. After the hearing, you will be informed by mail of the decision
Felony, Misdemeanor, Juvenile Dependency and Juvenile Delinquency
The Appeals Unit responsible for the filing of appeals in Felony, Misdemeanor, Traffic Juvenile Dependency and Delinquency matters is
located on the First Floor of the Courthouse at 240 Church Street, Salinas, CA 93901.
The telephone number is 831-775-5400.
Office hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.
Traffic, and Juvenile Traffic
The Appeals Unit responsible for the filing of Traffic and Juvenile Traffic appeals is located at the Clerk’s Office of the Courthouse located at 3180 Del Monte Blvd., Marina, CA. 93933. The telephone number is 831-883-5800. Office hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.
Parking Ticket Appeal
After the Administrative hearing that is heard by the issuing agency, you have 30 calendar days after the mailing or personal delivery of the final decision from that agency, to seek review by filing an appeal with the Superior Court. An appeal under this circumstance is filed at the Clerk’s Office of the Courthouse located at 3180 Del Monte Blvd., Marina, CA. 93933. The telephone number is 831-883-5300. Office hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.
Civil, Family Law, Adoption, Probate, Small Claims and Unlawful Detainer
The Appeals Unit responsible for the filing of appeals in Civil, Family Law, Adoption, Probate, Small Claims and Unlawful Detainer matters is located on the First Floor Clerk’s Office of the Courthouse at 1200 Aguajito Road, Monterey, CA 93940. The telephone number is 831-647-5800. Office hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.
Who hears an Appeal?
Superior Court Judge
Limited Civil, Infractions and Misdemeanor
Superior Court Appellate Division
Juvenile Dependency and Delinquency
Sixth District Court of Appeal
Unlimited Civil and Felony
Sixth District Court of Appeal
California State Supreme Court
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