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To begin the process, a party must file a “Notice of Appeal.” Notices of Appeal are filed in the office of the clerk where the order/judgment of the court of original instance is entered. In California state courts, in unlimited appeals (unless a statute, California Rule of Court 8.108, or Rule 8.702 provides otherwise), a notice of appeal must be filed on or before the earliest of 60 days after the superior court clerk or a party serves on the party filing the notice of appeal a document entitled “Notice of Entry” of judgment or a filed-endorsed copy of the judgment, showing the date either was served or 180 days after entry of judgment. If your notice of appeal is filed late, your appeal will be dismissed. (References to the California Rules of Court will be abbreviated “CRC”.)
After a notice of appeal is filed, any other party in the case may file their notice of appeal from the same order or judgment. This is called a cross-appeal. The notice is due within the same time required for the original notice of appeal or within 20 days of the date that the superior court clerk mails notice of the first appeal. You may use Judicial Council Form APP-002 for the notice of appeal or cross-appeal filing.
The filing fee for unlimited civil appeals is $775, made payable to the “Clerk of the Court of Appeal,” and a deposit payment of $100, made payable to the “Clerk of the Superior Court”. These are to be presented with the notice of appeal or cross-appeal in the superior court. (Exceptions are juvenile and criminal appeals.) If you cannot afford the filing fees, you may file a fee waiver request. See Judicial Council Forms APP-015 and APP-016.
Parties other than appellants need to pay a first appearance fee of $390 when filing their first document in the Court of Appeal. (Exceptions are worker’s compensation, juvenile and criminal cases.)
The record on appeal is the official written record of the relevant proceedings in the superior court that need to be prepared and submitted to the court of appeal. Within 10 days of filing the notice of appeal, the appellant must file and serve a Notice of Designation of Record on Appeal. The designation must identify what is to be included in the record, and the form of its preparation. The notice of designation is filed in the superior court with the payment of the fees for the cost of the preparation. Use Form APP-003. CRC 8.120 and 8.121.
The appellant can designate the written documents from the superior court proceedings in one of the following forms: a clerk’s transcript under CRC 8.122; an appendix under CRC 8.124; the original superior court file under CRC 8.128 (if a local rule of the reviewing court permits this form); an agreed statement under CRC 8.134(a)(2); or a settled statement under CRC 8.137. If a clerk’s transcript is selected, the designation notice must identify all documents by title and date filed. When an appendix is selected, the documents do not need to be identified on the form.
If an appellant intends to raise any issue that requires consideration of the oral proceedings in the superior court, the record on appeal must include a record of those oral proceedings in one of the following forms: a reporter’s transcript under CRC 8.130; an agreed statement under CRC 8.134; or a settled statement under CRC 8.137. Not all of the appellate districts will accept the last three options.
There are several preliminary items that need to be filed before briefing. Failure to file in a timely manner will result in a default. If a default is not cured, the appeal will be dismissed.
Designation of Record on Appeal. Within 10 days after filing the notice of appeal, the appellant must serve and file a notice in the superior court designating the record on appeal.
Civil Case Information Statement. Within 15 days after filing the notice of appeal, the appellant/cross-appellant must file and serve the CCIS in the Court of Appeal with the entered judgment or order attached. Form APP-004. CRC 8.100(g).
Certificate of Interested Entities or Persons. Time to file depends on local district rules. It must be included as the first item after the cover in the appellant’s opening brief and in the respondent’s brief. The Second Appellate District requires it to be included in the first motion filed before the opening brief is filed. See Form APP-008. CRC 8.108.
Mediation Questionnaire or Statement. Time to file varies based on local district rules.
An appeal is “perfected” by filing and serving (where required) a record or an appendix with the appellate court, along with an Appellant’s Brief.
The opening brief and appendix are due within 40 days from filing of record (reporter’s transcript) on appeal, or 70 days from date of rule 8.124 election for cases without a reporter’s transcript. The respondent’s brief is due 30 days from filing of the appellant’s opening brief. The reply brief is due 20 days from filing of the respondent’s brief.
In Federal Court, the timing for perfecting an appeal varies from court to court. Please contact AppealTech for specifics on the timing of perfecting your appeal.
Per CRC 8.122 and 8.124, the clerk’s transcript or appendix must include conformed copies of the following:
The appendix must also include:
The record or appendix may also include the following:
The clerk’s transcript or appendix must not include:
No. Discovery or deposition transcripts are not a proper part of a record/appendix unless the discovery item or transcript was attached as an exhibit to moving or opposition papers.
No, the appellate courts only review materials that were before the lower court that led to the order or judgment being appealed.
If the record is missing items that were previously designated, you will need to file and serve a record omission letter with the Superior Court pursuant to CRC 8.155(b) and serve a copy on the appellate court.
If the missing item or items were not included in the designation of record, you will need to file a motion to augment the record per CRC 8.155(a). A party must attach to its motion a copy, if available, of any document or transcript that it wants added to the record. The pages of the attachments must be consecutively numbered, beginning with the number “1”. If the reviewing court grants the motion, it may augment the record with the copy. Additional requirements apply as governed by local rules in each appellate district.
The rules in federal court vary by circuit. If you have questions about a specific court, please contact AppealTech.
Generally, the contents of the appellant’s opening brief require the following:
The brief margins must be 1.5 inches on left and right, and 1 inch on top and bottom. Line spacing needs to be at least 1.5 lines (so double line spacing is acceptable).
Respondent’s briefs need to follow the same requirements for the appellant’s opening brief, except for the statements of the nature of the action and appealability. Any optional counter statement of facts must include citations to the record.
It is always a good idea to check the specific local rules of each court.
California state appellate rules require a minimum of 13 point font size. The font style may be any conventional Roman font. Times New Roman, Georgia and Century Schoolbook are commonly used.
Federal court requirements vary by circuit. However, most prefer the use of Times New Roman 14 point font.
The rules are extremely court-specific, complex and detailed. It is always a good idea to review the rules of each specific court regarding formatting.
Yes. Please note that the California appellate justices do not want your citations to the record in footnotes, and prefer record citations in the body of the brief. Some courts mandate this by local rule.