What is an Appeal?
An appeal is a request for review of the trial court's decision by a higher court. A party may appeal certain judgments and orders. Generally, the appeal must be based on an argument that a legal error was made by the trial court.
An appeal is not a retrial. You will not be permitted to introduce new evidence, and the appellate court will not reassess conflicting evidence.
You may not appeal on behalf of a friend, a spouse, a child, or other relative (unless you are a legally appointed guardian).
Filing a Notice of Appeal
The first step in an appeal is filing the written Notice of Appeal. This notice tells the other parties in the case and the court that you are appealing a decision of the trial court.
The Notice of Appeal may be written on pleading paper or can be made by completing the appropriate form for your type of appeal. These are the more commonly used forms:
- Notice of Appeal - Juvenile (JV-800)
- Notice of Intent to File Writ Petition and Request for Record to Review Order Setting a Hearing Under Welfare and Institutions Code Section 366.26 (JV-820)
- Notice of Intent to File Writ Petition and Request for Record to Review Order Designating or Denying Specific Placement of a Dependent Child After Termination of Parental Rights (JV-822)
The Notice of Appeal must be filed within 60 days of the judgment or order being appealed or, in matters heard by a referee or commissioner, within 60 days after the order becomes final under the Welfare and Institutions Code Section 250 and California Rules of Court, Rule 5.540.
The Notice of Appeal must be filed at the court location where your case was heard, not in the Court of Appeal. The notice must be signed by you or your attorney.
If the Notice of Appeal is submitted in letter form, it must contain the following:
- A clear statement that you are appealing
- The judgment or order you are appealing from
- Whether you are appealing the entire judgment or just part of it
- A signature by you or your attorney, with identification of who is signing.