An appeal is when someone who lost a case, or part of a case, asks a higher court to decide if the lower court made a legal mistake.
An appeal is not a new trial. In appeals, the parties cannot present new evidence or new witnesses. The appellate court only reviews the record from the lower court to decide if a legal mistake was made in the original trial.
In an appellate case, the arguments are about the law, not the facts of a case.
For additional information or assistance in finding the proper paperwork to file your appeal, you can visit the California Appellate Courts Self-Help Resource Center website.
Frequently Asked Questions
Only a person or entity that was a party in the trial court proceeding can appeal a decision in that proceeding. You may not appeal on behalf of a friend, a spouse, a child, or another relative unless you are a legally appointed representative for that person (such as a guardian or conservator).
Not generally. But appeals are very complicated, and take a lot of time, effort and money. You have to do all the paperwork correctly, meet the deadlines, and follow all the court's rules and procedures. If you make mistakes, your case may be dismissed and you may have to pay the appeal costs of the other side.
Also, a lawyer can help you decide if you can or should file an appeal. A lawyer might know how to get what you want faster and cheaper by using a different legal process. Many lawyers do not do appeals, so make sure you talk to a lawyer who specializes in appeals. A lawyer who has done some appeals and knows how to handle them will know what to do when, and can guide your case through the appeal process.
You can proceed with your appeal on your own, but given the particular nature of your case, you may want to consult with a lawyer.
The first step in an appeal is filing the written Notice of Appeal. This notice tells the other parties in the case and the court that you are appealing a decision of the trial court.
The Notice of Appeal must be filed with the Appeals Unit before the filing deadline. The filing deadlines are dependent on the case type that you are filing your Appeal in. To find the filing deadline for your case, see the California Rules of Court, Rules 8.1-8.1125. Failure to meet deadlines may result in dismissal of your appeal.
The Notice of Appeal may be written on pleading paper or can be made by completing the form specific to your type of appeal. Below are links to information on the more commonly used forms. Other forms can be found on the Judicial Council's website.
Civil Appeal - Limited Civil (Under $25,000)
Civil Appeal - Unlimited Civil (Over $25,000)
Small Claims Appeal (Trial de Novo)
Appeal documents should be mailed to Inyo Superior Court, P.O. Box 1508, Bishop, CA 93515. Documents may also be filed in-person at the Clerk’s office in Bishop or Independence during normal business hours.
For fees relating to civil appeals, please see the current fee schedule for Inyo County Superior Court.
If you are low-income, you may be able to qualify for a fee waiver and not have to pay a filing fee.
Appeals of Limited Civil, Infraction (Traffic) and Misdemeanors are heard in the Appellate Division of the Superior Court.
Appeals of Unlimited Civil, Felony, Family Law, Probate, Juvenile Dependency and Juvenile Delinquency are heard in one of the six California Courts of Appeal. The Fourth District Court of Appeal is in San Diego and hears appeals in unlimited civil cases from San Diego, Imperial, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside and Inyo Counties
Rules of court, statutes, case law, and other materials that may be useful to understanding the procedures for prosecuting or defending an appeal are available at the Inyo County Law Library on the ground floor of the Independence Courthouse. The phone number for the Library is (760) 878-0260. Please note that the law librarians can only direct you to helpful books and other materials. They cannot answer legal questions or assist you in preparing your case.
You can also find more information on California Appellate Courts Self-Help Resource Center website.