When the family court issues a final order or judgment that you believe is legally incorrect, you can file a Notice of Appeal and begin the process of asking an appellate court to reverse the decision and rule in your favor. Appeals are complex and must comply with strict procedural rules. It is important to have the assistance of experienced Palm Beach appellate attorneys to help you through the appellate court maze.
Yaffa & Associates can represent you
Yaffa & Associates, Palm Beach appellate attorneys, have successfully represented family law clients on appeal. Whether you are appealing a judgment or responding to the opposing party’s appeal, we can represent you. Here is an overview of the appellate process.
- Time limits: Your notice of appeal must be filed within 30 days of the final order from which you are appealing. There is no leeway. No matter how legally sound your appellate issue is, if you miss the deadline, you miss the opportunity to appeal. After the notice is filed, there are time schedules established by the appellate court that must be complied with.
- Written appellate briefs: The issues are presented to the appellate in written briefs. The appellant is the one appealing and files the first brief. The appellee is the one that wants the trial court ruling to stand. The appellee files a brief in response to the appellant’s brief. Appellant then has an opportunity to file a reply brief. The court may make its decision based on the briefs or it may schedule an oral argument.
- Issues that can be raised on appeal: The appeal is limited to the transcripts and court record of the family law court proceedings. No new evidence may be presented to the appellate court.
- Oral argument: If oral argument is scheduled, the attorneys for each side present their case to the court. It is primarily a time for the judges to ask the attorneys questions to clarify the law and facts that were presented in the briefs. Although the parties may attend if they choose, they will not be given an opportunity to speak and their presence is not required.
While you are waiting for the completion of the appellate process and the appellate court decision, you must follow the trial court’s order. There is no deadline requiring the court to issue a decision by a certain date and it is possible for it to take several months. If the appellate court upholds the lower court decision, the appellant may ask for a rehearing.