What Is An Appeal?

An appeal is a legal process through which a judge’s decision is challenged. Appeals are sent to “appellate” or “appeal” courts, which consist of judges tasked with reviewing decisions from the court below it. The court whose decision is being challenged is often referred to as the “lower court.” Many times, the “lower court” is the court in which a lawsuit or criminal case was filed. In such instances, the “lower court” may be referred to as the “trial court.”

What Can Be Appealed?

Not everything can be appealed. There are a ton of rules governing the appeal process. In Connecticut State Court, these rules are known as “The Connecticut Rules of Appellate Procedure.” In Federal Court, these rules are known as “The Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure.” If you are interested, you can find the exact text of the Connecticut Rules here, and the Federal Rules here. Generally, only “final decisions” can be appealed, although there are some exceptions to this (e.g., Interlocutory Appeals).

What Is A Final Decision?

Put simply, a “final decision” is one that ends the case. For instance, a District Court’s granting of a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss would constitute a final decision, because it would be “the end of the case.” Conversely, a District Court’s denial of the same 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss would not be a final decision, because the case would continue (there may however be some instances in which such a decision could be appealed).

What Happens If An Appeal Is Granted?

There are several things that could happen if an appeal is granted. For example, the case could be remanded (“sent back”) to the lower court whose decision was overturned. Alternatively, the lower court’s decisions could simply be reversed. What exactly happens after a successful appeal is largely at the discretion of the appellate judge, and is based heavily on the context of the appeal.

Got An Appeal Question?

Attorney Chris Mutchler may be able to help. Get in touch with The Law Office of Christopher J. Mutchler. If we can’t help you, we’re more than happy point you in the direction of someone who can!

Christopher J Mutchler Esq
Christopher J. Mutchler, Esq.

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