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What does it mean when the Court of Appeals disposes a case without opinion?

Omaha, NE |

The case was affirmed and listed on the website as "Weekly List of Cases Disposed of Without Opinion".

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Filed under: Appeals
Attorney answers 2

Best Answer

This means that the court determined that there was not an issue that it believed it needed to address through a written and reasoned opinion. Many times these are cases that have been appealed on excessive sentence grounds and a Motion for Summary Affirmance has been filed.
If the opinion will not help to resolve issues or improve the understanding of legal principals, they court may not issue an opinion.


To start, this disposition would have to be in a jurisdiction and of a type of case that does not require a reasoned opinion, as is required for California appellate opinions, for example. Other jurisdictions allow summary opinions, but even those are "opinions." Without further information, I can only offer some possibilities here of the nature of the disposition of this case "without opinion." One possibility is that this is a disposition of a petition for writ of mandate or other form of writ request where a court is not required to issue an opinion in denying relief. Another type of petition that is typically disposed of without an opinion is a petition for review lodged in a supreme court in jurisdictions where this court can simply discretionarily deny granting the case a full hearing. Another possibility is that an appeal is defective and is dismissed for failure to meet procedural requirements. For example, the appeal may have been attempted from a nonappealable order. Most appellate courts' clerk's offices are willing to answer questions of this nature, so I would simply contact that office to find out on what basis the matter was disposed.
Thiese comments are intended for general educational purposes and should not be considered as legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is formed based on this communication.