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The Appeals Process in Michigan: the Most Common Questions

There’s no way to foretell the outcome when you enter into litigation. Just because something seems right to you doesn’t mean the law supports it, or that a judge will interpret the law the same way you do.

The good news is that unfavorable outcomes in court cases aren’t necessarily final. Michigan courts allow for an appeals process that means you have another crack at securing a favorable outcome. Of course, it helps if you go into the process with reasonable expectations and a good understanding of how appeals work. Here are a few common questions that will help you understand Michigan appeals.

When Can I File an Appeal?
You may be able to file an appeal with a higher court any time you are unsatisfied with a court decision following litigation. However, the courts must first decide whether you will be granted an appeal or not, and even if you are granted one, the process of appealing is very complex.

That said, if you feel that you have a compelling legal argument, such that you feel a legal error was made, you should certainly consider filing an appeal. You should hire an appellate lawyer that is well-versed in the process to help you decide if you have a case for appeal and how best to proceed.

Can I Present New Evidence During Appeal?
Unfortunately, no. The court of appeals reviews only the evidence presented in the original litigation to determine if the lower court made an error.

Is There a Deadline to File?
You have a finite amount of time to file an appeal following the ruling in your case. In the state of Michigan, you have only 21 days from the date a lower court issues an order to the deadline for filing a notice of appeal.

This means you have only 21 days to find a suitable lawyer, determine whether or not an appeal is advisable, and file your notice of appeal with the courts. This isn’t much time, so you’ll need to meet with a qualified attorney immediately if you’re unsatisfied with a ruling.

How Long Will the Appeal Take?
There is no set length of time for an appeal to proceed, but you can reasonably anticipate several months between filing a notice of appeal and receiving judgment. Once you file your notice of appeal, you must request transcripts from the lower court, and this alone could take several weeks. The court of appeals will then set a briefing schedule, all involved parties will have a chance to file a brief, and the court will review all evidence presented before finally making a ruling.

What are My Chances of Winning on Appeal?
While lower court decisions are respected and treated with deference, the Court of Appeals will exercise all due diligence in the review process to ensure that proper procedure is followed. Your best bet is to seek the services of qualified legal professionals like those at The Gucciardo Law Firm. If a lawyer believes you have a case for appeal, you have a much better chance of success. Contact us now at 248-723-5190 to discuss your imminent appeal.

Too much information?

We focus exclusively on family law matters so we are always available to answer your questions and help.

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