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How to Appeal a New Jersey Superior Court Criminal Conviction

A conviction in Superior Court (Law Division) is appealed to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court. (This is different than Municipal Court Appeals).

Time Limits. You must start your appeal within 45 of the entry of the judgment you are appealing. That time can be extended, but for no more that 30 days, and only by order of the Appellate Division. [1]

How to Start the Appeal. You start the appeal by serving and filing a Notice of Appeal. As with much of the appeal process, that sounds simpler than it is. The Notice of Appeal includes the following:

  1. A notice in the form of Appendix IV to the Rules of Court ( www.judiciary.state.nj.us – Under the “General Information" Menu, to the item “Rules of Court").

  2. Case Information Statement in the form of Appendix VIII to the Rules of Court ( www.judiciary.state.nj.us – Under the “General Information" Menu, to the item “Rules of Court").

  3. A copy of a request for a Transcript. (See our requesting a transcript page).

Service and Filing requires the following:

  1. Filing the original with the Appellate Division,

  2. Filing a copy with the trial court where you were convicted,

  3. Serving a copy upon the office of the district attorney that was prosecuted the case at the trial level,

  4. Serving a copy upon the Appellate Section of the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice,

  5. Mailing a copy to the trial judge.

Fees. In addition to serving and filing, there are fees to pay. The amount of the filing fee is $200.00, paid by check payable to “Treasurer, State of New Jersey," and included with your filing in the Appellate Division. A $10.00 fee is paid with the filing at the trial court.

You must send a deposit with your request for the transcript. The amount of the deposit required under the court rules is either the estimated cost of the transcript as determined by the court reporter, clerk or agency, or the sum of $500.00 for each day or fraction of a day of trial or hearing. You should call the court reporter to confirm the amount.

The fees are waived if you are indigent. If you were found to be indigent for the trial court, all that is required for the appellate court is filing of the trial court’s order or a sworn statement that the trial court did so, and an affidavit that your financial circumstances have not changed significantly.

Appeals are complex and inherently require one court to rule against what another court has already decided. To avoid the procedural difficulties and to have substance of your case presented in a way that might convince the appellate court to rule in your favor, you should retain an attorney. Because the deadlines are short and strictly enforced, you should consult with an attorney for your appeal as soon as possible.

Our appeals team has over 35 years combined experience in the law. We will use that experience to find the errors that merit an appeal or other challenge, and to present them to the court effectively. Call us for a free consultation.

[1] The time is also extended if a motion has been filed for a new trial under Rule 3:20, or similar motions. See Rule 2:4-4(c).

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