You’ve gone through your divorce, everything has been finalized through the courts, and you have your final order. End of the legal process, right? Not necessarily. If you are unhappy with the Judge’s decision you can appeal the decision to the Court of Appeals. However, appealing is not an easy process and you want to ensure you have a competent Salt Lake City divorce attorney that can guide you through the process and ensure your Appeal is done correctly. If you miss one of the steps you can lose your right to appeal. There are several things you should know before trying to begin the appeal process but below are three major considerations:
- Determine if your case qualifies for an appeal. If you appeal, it is the burden of responsibility for the Appellate (the person requesting the appeal) to show that the court made a legal mistake in the initial case; it’s not about showing new evidence. In fact, the court and parties can only use the transcript from the initial court case as a reference.
“An appellate court does not retry the case, take evidence, or weigh the credibility of witnesses. The appeal must be based on the record created in the trial court, and the person who is appealing must show that the trial court made a mistake. If there was a mistake, it must have been important enough that it could have made a difference in the outcome of the case.” –Guide to Appealing a Case in Utah’s Appellate Courts, p. 4
You ONLY HAVE THIRTY DAYS from the date the final order is signed to file a notice of appeal. If you miss filing the notice you waive your right to appeal forever.
- Get representation. Though you can technically represent yourself as the Appellate, it is highly recommended you get an experienced attorney (or continue to use your previous divorce attorney) to represent you. Besides needing to make a compelling oral argument to the court, the appellate briefs that must be written and submitted are generally dozens of pages long, and they require the legalese and nuanced knowledge of the law to even understand what could qualify as a “legal mistake.”
“The appellant’s brief is what the appellant uses to persuade the appellate court that the trial court made a specific error or errors in law, fact, or procedure that affected the outcome of the case. The brief should focus on the law and the facts, and should explain how the law should apply to the facts.” –Guide to Appealing a Case in Utah’s Appellate Courts, p. 14
- Prepare financially. There are several court fees to be aware of for appeals. Initially, there is a $225 filing fee and $300 cost bond to be paid by the Appellate to the court. (There are occasionally exceptions when you can request a fee waiver.) Also, the official court transcript must be ordered from the court and paid for (plan on about $250 per hour of court time of the trial). There are also the routine filing fees to pay with each document submitted to the court, the cost of having the appellee served said documents, plus your attorney’s cost. Appealing your case is expensive and therefore, you must weigh the cost-benefit of appealing and ensuring it is right for you.
Getting Help with Your Utah Divorce Case
If you are looking into a divorce or appeal and need legal help, we’re here for you. You need to ensure you consult with a competent family law attorney that understands the legalities of divorce and Utah appellate cases and will help put your mind at ease so you don’t get taken advantage of. At CoilLaw, LLC, Provo divorce and family law attorney Jill Coil knows how to advise you during a divorce or appeal to help you achieve the best settlement and/or result possible. At CoilLaw we are ready and available to help you through your legal action. If you need legal advice concerning a Utah family law issue, call Jill Coil at CoilLaw LLC in Utah at (801) 939-6027 today.