An unfavorable ruling on the trial court level is not necessarily the end of the case. Fortunately, the Michigan court system is designed to allow for judicial review of lower court orders, and reversal is possible under certain circumstances. The following discusses some of the broader points concerning the appeals process, and we encourage you to meet with a reputable Michigan appeals attorney immediately if you are considering this course of action.
FAQ #1: How long do I have to file an appeal?
Not long at all. In fact, Michigan Rules of Appellate Procedure provide that a notice of appeal must be filed within 21 days from the date of the lower court's final order. Generally speaking, absent proof of an extreme circumstances preventing timely filing, missing this deadline will prove fatal to the opportunity to appeal. If you recently received an unsatisfactory ruling, be sure to meet with an appeals attorney to file your notice immediately.
FAQ #2: How long does the appeals process take?
The appeals process can be extremely lengthy. Once a notice of appeal is filed, the appealing party must request transcripts from the trial court – which can take a month or longer to prepare. Then, the Court of Appeals will set a briefing schedule, which will allow all parties the opportunity to file a full brief on the issue, along with appendices citing to the relevant portions of the transcript. All in all, receiving an Order from the Court of Appeals could take several months from the date of the Notice of Appeal.
FAQ #3: Can I introduce new evidence if the situation has changed?
No. On appeal, the court is limited to a review of the facts as presented at trial, which is why the court relies on the content of the transcripts to issue its decision.
FAQ #4: Am I likely to prevail?
It depends. The Court of Appeals gives great deference to the trial court on issues of fact and credibility. In other words, the Court of Appeals will not disturb the trial courts factual determinations unless clear error is apparent. The court will review issues of law with a fresh eye, however – a standard which is known as de novo review. If the trial court incorrectly applied or interpreted the law, a reversal or remand may be possible.
Contact an experienced appeals attorney today!
To learn more about this process, or if you are considering an appeal, contact our office immediately to set up an consultation – we look forward to working with you: 248-608-4123.