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How do I file a notice of appeal in a family law case?

Van Nuys, CA |

How do I file a notice of appeal in a family law case?

Attorney Answers 5


  1. You file a notice of appeal in the court where you case was heard. For more information consult this California courts webpage: http://www.courts.ca.gov/12428.htm

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  2. While the act of filing an appeal is relatively simple (as long as it it timely) - as my colleague suggests - there are many other important steps that you must take, some even before filing the Notice of Appeal These include determining whether the order/judgment that you are appealing from can actually be appealed; to properly designating the record; to determining whether you need and/or are entitled to stay of enforcement while the appeal is pending; to determining whether your appeal has any merit (it must be based on something substantially more than your disagreement with the outcome), etc. and etc.
    For more information about family law appeals in general, see www.CaliforniaFamilyAppeals.com.
    And consider retaining, or at least consulting with, an experienced appellate specialist who has family law appeals experience.

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  3. An appeal is almost NEVER a do-it-yourself project; even many attorneys can't handle them properly. The requirements for an appeal are complicated, technical, and some of them are absolute; if your notice of appeal is filed even a day beyond the due date, you've lost your right to appeal, and the court can do NOTHING about it, but the court WILL keep your filing fee for the appeal (which, last I checked, was several hundred dollars). If you want to file an appeal, you NEED to speak to an experienced appeals attorney IMMEDIATELY.


  4. A prerequisite to many appeals in Family Law matters is the matter be certified by the trial judge for an Appeal. Filing a Notice of Appeal is easy and is a form that is simple to complete. Thereafter, however, one must designate the record properly and that from may be different depending upon jurisdiction. In addition, the terminology is not intuitive and one must be careful to designate properly or their rights may be prejudiced; As others have indicated, Appeals are tricky and it is best to find somebody with experience in these matters as filing briefs and appearing before an Appellate panel is not easy for the uninitiated.


  5. Filing the Notice of Appeal (form APP-002) is the easy part. You fill out the one page form and file it with the court.
    Then comes the hard part. Within ten days you need to designate a record and file other documents with the court. This is not something I would recommend you do without an attorney's assistance.
    You should consult with an attorney before you file anything. You need to make sure your case is appealable and you have not exceeded any time lines.
    Appeals can be very technical and are dismissed if you miss a deadline or do not follow some rule. Missing a deadline or not following a particular rule can result in sanctions or fines against you.