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I just got my judgment in my case last week. Is it mandatory that I file a motion to reconsider before filing an appeal?

Westminster, MD |

I had a dismissal hearing last week and the judge dismissed my case. I believe the judge made several errors in his opinion. I want to appeal the case, but need to know if I should first try a motion to reconsider in the circuit courtor should I file an appeal, with the court of special appeals?

The judge also missed many facts in my complaint that prove his decision was wrong. I am representing myself in MD and am just wondering if I MUST do a motion for reconsideration before filing an appeal.

Attorney Answers 1

Posted

You do not need to file a motion to reconsider before filing an appeal. The issue is this: if you file a motion to reconsider, alter or amend a judgment within 10 days of the judgment, then the 30 day time to file an appeal is extended until 30 days after the court rules on your motion. If you wait more than 10 days after the judgment to file a motion to reconsider, then the 30 day appeal time continues to run, so you would have to file an appeal before the motion is decided or you will lose the right to appeal.

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Asker

Posted

So you are saying that all appeals (throughtout the nation) have 30 days to file an appeal, no matter what state you are in? I know many states have different rules, but Is that a universal time limit for all states? I thought I saw that I had 10 days to appeal and just want to make sure.

Mark William Oakley

Mark William Oakley

Posted

You posted this on avvo.com in Maryland, from Westminster, MD. My answer pertains to the state of Maryland, not nationwide. The procedural rules in every state are specific to each state. What is applicable in Maryland is just that: applicable in Maryland. Your appeal, assuming your judgment was rendered in a state circuit court in Maryland, is appealable only in Maryland to the Court of Special Appeals or to the Court of Appeals, according to the Maryland rules. If your case was in federal district court in Maryland, your appeal is to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. You cannot appeal to a different state or federal court if your judgment was rendered in Maryland.

Asker

Posted

My bad, I hadn't even looked at where you were from. I get a lot of answers from people all over the country and didn't even realize. Thanks for letting me know...Yes, I know all that, that you explained. My original case was in the Circuit Court, so would you happen to know if I go to the Court of Special Appeals or the Court of Appeals?

Asker

Posted

Ok, so if I want to appeal and I found the appeal guide on the Court of Appeals website and see all the steps and that it needs to be done exactly like that, but could you help me with the process? I see that you have to file the notice of appeal within 10 days of the judgment, could to tell me if that is free, I think I saw that...and is that filed with the Appeals Court or the Circuit Court? And also, I think it sais I have 30 days to file the appeal, once the notice has been filed...is this correct?

Mark William Oakley

Mark William Oakley

Posted

No. You file a one page "Notice of Appeal" and you do that within 30 days of the date that the judgment was entered in the circuit court. Your appeal is to the Court of Special Appeals (the intermediary appellate court). The Court of Appeals only hears direct appeals in very specific cases, governed by the Maryland Constitution. Otherwise, you obtain the right to have your case heard by the CofA by "writ of certiorari" (it's basically a grant of "permission" to appeal before them). The CofA can elect to hear your case on its own once you appeal to the Court of Special Appeals (CSA), or wait until the CSA decides your case, and if the losing party files a "Petition for Write of Certiorari" and the CofA grants it, then the appeal goes one step further to the CofA. That's the end of the line for appeals in Maryland, absent federal constitutional questions. Once you pay the filing fees for noting your appeal to the CSA in circuit court, you will receive a "briefing order" from the CSA (it could be several months) stating theb date your appellate brief is due. You are the "appellant", and the rules on the brief formats as well as the "record extract" are very detailed and must be complied with meticulously. You must file 15 bound copies of your brief with the CSA, plus pay for and file the transcript of the motions hearing, and include that in your record transcript if you are arguing anything from that on appeal. You must also include in your record extract or appendix to your brief the final written order of the circuit court disposing of your case. An appeal is a hyper-technical effort and any failure on your part to follow the exact requirements (including font size, line spacing, brief length, covers, binding on one side, etc., etc.) can get your appeal dismissed. The CofA is working on a pro se (self-represented) appeal handbook, but I do not believe it is available at this time.

Asker

Posted

Great, this really helps... Yes, I saw that you must follow to the tee or it can be dismissed. I have the guidelines for going step by step with all the fonts and everything and hopefully I can get it together... Any clue how much 1 of these 15 copies COULD COST? Doesn't it depend also on the number of pages?

Mark William Oakley

Mark William Oakley

Posted

One to two hundred. Call Kinko's, Sir Speedy Printing, one of those. You can save money by printing on both sides of the page (page one and two back-to-back, etc.). You need the court's 15 copies, plus two copies for each other party to the appeal (usually there is only one, but I have no idea how many you sued); and you will want one or two copies for yourself. I always order one extra. So figure 19-20 copies. The record extract can either be an appendix to your brief, or a separate volume. A different number of copies, so do the math (the rules require fewer copies if separate "extract" from the brief, or if an appendix, it will be copied into every brief). Of course, cost depends on how long the brief ends up running. As lomng as your brief appears mostly within the guidelines, and you are acting in good faith, then the CSA and CofA will overlook technical faults.

Asker

Posted

One last thing, because of the judges decision, I have new facts that are not in my amended complaint that prove he is wrong and I read that anything in you appeal brief, must be in your original complaint. Is there any way to add this evidence in, if it wasn't already in the complaint? There is new evidence coming out regarding this case, on a daily basis, how do I go about adding anything new?

Asker

Posted

Oh, I thought you HAD to get the copies from the court? Can I print myself at home? Like get one copy and then I can print the other 14? Printing is my job, I make party invitations and things of that nature and, so I could easily do that...

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