Civil Appeals: How to File One In Florida

Civil appeals are filed to resolve disputes or errors of law. A civil case is resolved when one party is awarded the amount at issue, a court removes a wrongfully imposed regulation, or a determination is made that a statute is unconstitutional.

A person may file an appeal with the court of appeals for any decision with the right to both a trial de novo and review by the Supreme Court. The appellant must show that the decision was made in error or there are grounds for reversal.

How to File For an Appeal

You will need to file a Notice of Appeal in the circuit court where your case was decided. The Notice of Appeal notifies the court that you wish to appeal the decision. In the Notice of Appeal, you state what relief you are seeking.

File a Record Preparation Request

File with the district court clerk a request for Preparation of Record on Appeal. The appeal record, also known as the “common law record,” includes:

  • Pleadings
  • Motions
  • Orders
  • Evidence
  • Any other documents you submit to the circuit court during your case before the judge.

Request a Copy of the Transcript of the Proceedings

A transcript is a typewritten record of a hearing. The court record contains all the testimony and declarations made by the judge, parties, witnesses, and lawyers.  A Bystander’s Report can be used in cases without a court reporter or recording equipment.

Fill Out the Docketing Statement

Docketing Statements are used for civil appeals to inform the court and other parties about the steps you’ve taken to begin the appeal. You fill it with the clerk of the appellate court. Attach complete copies of the two forms above.

Prepare an Appellant’s Brief

Written arguments explaining why a circuit court or jury erred or did not err is known as an appellate brief. The brief outlines why the party who filed it should win the case. The brief:

  • Gives a brief description of the facts,
  • Outlines the party’s arguments regarding the appeal and
  • Provides legal support for those arguments.

Await the Appellee’s Brief

Appellees are not required to respond to the Appellant’s Brief but can do so. It is filed with the appellate clerk and explains why the circuit court’s decision was correct. Appellees cannot take part in the appeal if they don’t file an Appellee’s Brief.

Submit a Response to a Brief Filed by the Appellee

Appellants may file a response brief if the appellee replies. This brief contains only arguments in response to those raised by the appellee.

Oral Argument (If the Court Permits It)

Each party presents their cases orally in front of three appellate court’s justices. Each side will typically have 15-to-20 minutes to explain their position and answer questions. If you want oral arguments, you must request from the appellate court first.

Appellate Court Decides

The appeal process could go for several months to complete. Whenever the court makes a decision, the clerk of the appellate court will notify all parties.

Hunker Appeals is a Florida-based law firm that has handled hundreds of civil appeals. If you live in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Weston, Miami, West Palm Beach, or one of the other surrounding Florida communities and need an appeals attorney, Hunker Appeals is here to provide a smooth path through the appeals process.

Call or email Hunker Appeals now to set up a consultation.

Hunker Appeals, 110 Southeast 6th Street, Suite 2330, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301 877-841-8808.

Email: [email protected]


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