If a civil case does not conclude favorably due to mistakes in law by the judge or other valid legal reasons, it is possible to appeal the judgment. However, this does not mean that enforcement of the trial court’s judgment will wait until the appellate court makes its decision.
The judgment is still enforceable. It remains so unless and until the appellate court overturns it.
How can an appellant stay the initial judgment?
Filing an appeal is not enough to stay a judgment. This can only be done by filing a post-trial motion known as a motion to stay. The court may then grant the stay, thereby preventing the enforcement of the judgment until the matter is determined.
To obtain a stay, an appellant must show that the appeal is likely to succeed and that enforcement of the trial court’s judgment will cause irreparable harm or damage.
Filing a motion to stay
A motion to stay should be first filed with the trial court. The motion should contain, among other things, notice of an intent to appeal and a summary of the legal and factual basis of the appeal.
A brief on the harm that will befall the appellant if the stay is rejected and a demonstration that the stay will not harm the respondent is also necessary. If the trial court denies the motion, they can ask the appellate court to review the ruling.
Other important considerations
When filing a motion to stay, it is crucial to do that as soon as possible. Otherwise, the motion may not serve the interests of justice.
It is advisable to learn more about the steps to take, the timelines to adhere to, and other specifics when filing a motion to stay.