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My question is regarding the "record extract" when filing an appeal in the MD Court of Special Appeals.

Baltimore, MD |

I understand the outline of the record extract and that the brief contents must be in the extract. I also know that you should omit parts that aren't relevant to the appeal. But one thing I am having a problem with...

Do I choose the items from the record of proceedings and include that full document (amended complaint, summons, etc.), or do I have to go through each document (amended complaint, opposition to dismissal, etc) and pull out the pages that contain the info I want to include in the brief.

I hope that makes sense. I just need to know that if I need something from one of the items listen in the record of proceedings, do I include that full document, or do I just extract the certain pages from that document, that contain the info that is relevant to the appeal???

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Attorney answers 3

Posted

You really should hire an attorney. Appeals concern legal issues and not issues of fact, so if you're attempting to re-argue the case, then you'll find the Court of Special Appeals is not the place for a "do over." The lower court already through a judge or jury made findings of fact, and those won't be disturbed by an appellate court unless certain circumstances exist, i.e. the findings were clearly erroneous, against the weight of the evidence, or an abuse of judicial discretion. The record extract is not for introducing evidence and other copies of documents.

Rule 8-501(c) provides:(c) Contents. The record extract shall contain all parts of the record that are reasonably necessary for the determination of the questions presented by the appeal and any cross-appeal. It shall include the circuit court docket entries, the judgment appealed from, and such other parts of the record as are designated by the parties pursuant to section (d) of this Rule. In agreeing on or designating parts of the record for inclusion in the record extract, the parties shall refrain from unnecessary designation. The record extract shall not include those parts of the record that support facts set forth in an agreed statement of facts or stipulation made pursuant to section (g) of this Rule nor any part of a memorandum of law in the trial court, unless it has independent relevance. The fact that a part of the record is not included in the record extract or an appendix to a brief shall not preclude an appellate court from considering it.

Thus, any pleading, transcript, etc. or portion of a transcript relevant addressing the error of law the lower court made should be relevant. If it were me, I'd Include the full pleading and/or portion of the court transcript relevant to your case.

DISCLAIMER: Brandy A. Peeples is licensed to practice law in the State of Maryland. This answer is being provided for informational purposes only and the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice relating to your specific situation, I strongly urge you to consult with an attorney in your area. NO COMMUNICATIONS WITH ME ARE TO BE CONSTRUED AS ARISING FROM AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP AND NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP WILL BE ESTABLISHED WITH ME UNLESS I HAVE EXPRESSLY AGREED TO UNDERTAKE YOUR REPRESENTATION, WHICH INCLUDES THE EXECUTION OF A WRITTEN AGREEMENT OF RETAINER.

Asker

Posted

I am not attempting to re-argue the case, I believe the decision is clearly erroneous and have the evidence to prove it, which was completely ignored by the court. The judge cited a case as his decision, which does not even relate to the issue at hand and states that for me to win, I need another case of equal weight, to outweigh...I have MANY, which were in my complaint, but he ignored them. I have in the record, proof that the judges decision is clearly wrong, so I need to use that evidence, that I originally included, that he ignored, to prove his decision wrong and if I want to cite that evidence, it needs to be in the extract, no?

Brandy Ann Peeples

Brandy Ann Peeples

Posted

When you say evidence was completely ignored by the court...was this evidence properly introduced and admitted at a hearing or trial? Was this a hearing or was it a trial? Was it properly authenticated? Even if you have evidence, if you don't affirmatively admit it into evidence, it is not considered by the court. And, as for cases being in a Complaint...that's highly unusual. For me to even speculate as to what happened...to then advise you what you would need in your record extract is impossible with the lack of information provided.

Asker

Posted

Well, after doing a lot of reading and some bad advice, I was told that I could not bring my evidence during my dismissal hearing and that I was there to get past the standing, jurisdiction and laches and that if I was able to do that, that the case would move to the merits. All the evidence/facts were in my complaint and very few were brought up at the hearing, because I had to go through the dismissal points and only had 15-20 minutes. The judge said in his decision that another SCOTUS case, if I had one, would outweigh the case they used and I had several in my complaint. He also said that I needed proof of a forged document that I referred to, and I thought I included that, but it too was ignored in the decision. So if I wasn't allowed to bring these facts at the dismissal hearing, how/when was I supposed to include these facts? Also, for the appellate brief, the clerk says I can include all these facts from the record, to prove the judge was wrong, so that is why I am asking about including the cases and laws that are in my complaint. The cases I am talking about are SCOTUS precedent that back up my claims, along with many congressional records, laws and the founders writings!

Posted

A civil appeal is complicated, as you are discovering. The record extract and the contents of the record define the set off "fact" from which the legal issues derive. The record extract is often negotiated among counsel to assure both brevity and completeness. Your question highlights, perfectly, where a pro se litigant gets tripped up in the process.

Asker

Posted

I don't believe that I am tripped up? I've had no problem so far in my appeal and it was accepted and is being argued in September. I was just trying to find out when making the record extract, that if I'm using some pages from a certain item, do I include the whole pleading in the extract or do I just include those certain pages that I need. But I talked to the clerk today and she says "pull in cronological order, every page that is needed from all your pleadings/filings and put them in a stack in that same order and renumber them as E1 E2 and so on... Does that sound like I am understading the clerk right? I just want to be sure...

Thomas C Valkenet

Thomas C Valkenet

Posted

You use the entire item.

Posted

In the first place, you don't say whether you are the appellant or the appellee. As an appellant you are required to include in the record extract all that the appellee designates for inclusion. It is to be a cooperative effort. Without knowing the case, its not possible to say what is pertinent and therefore should be included. Almost without fail the complaint and answer would be pertinent. Err on the side of inclusion. There can be serious consequences for an inadequate joint record extract. See Rule 8-501

Asker

Posted

Yes, I plan on contacting them to let him know what I plan to include, but to do that, I first need to know what I want to include, so that I can tell him, right? I mean I can't just call him to collaborate on the contents, if I don't have an outline/table of contents of what I want to use, in front of me...which is why I am putting it together first and then I will go through it with them. If he wants things removed, they can be deleted/removed, but is he allow to deny things, that I believe are important to the case?