This is the first post in a series which will discuss filing and handling a family law appeal in San Bernardino, California. I have decided to write on this topic due the fact that appeals can be a confusing issue for those who have gone through a domestic relations dispute. Many are unsure of their options when it comes to challenging a Trial Court’s ruling. My goal with this series is to provide information which will help residents of our area to better understand their rights. It is important to understand that appeals are a complicated process. It is strongly suggested that you retain an experienced appellate lawyer to assist you.
I will be addressing several topics over my coming articles. Issues which I will analyze include:
- Understanding the difference between trial and an appeal
- The process of filing a family law appeal
- The possible outcomes of an appeal
- Why it may sometimes be in your interest to not file an appeal
There are several reasons why it is important to understand these topics. First, many mistakenly believe that appeals are a “do over” of the Trial Court process. This is not the case. An Appellate Court will not consider new facts or evidence. The higher Court, instead, will only review the Trial Court record to determine if a mistake of law was made. Second, the Appellate Court’s rules are strictly enforced and following the prescribed process is crucial. Failing to do so may result in your appeal being dismissed. Third, appeals have many possible outcomes. The Court may affirm the ruling completely, reverse it outright, or remand the matter for a new trial. Finally, there may be instances in which you do not wish to file an appeal as doing so may “undo” progress which you made in your case.
If you believe that you wish to file an appeal from the Family Court, then it is crucial that you contact an attorney immediately. Many firms do not handle appeals so it is imperative that you find someone who does. Also, if you do not file your Notice of Appeal with the Court within the deadline then you will lose your right to do so. This deadline is unforgiving and it must be met. Counsel will use your initial consultation to help you understand whether you have a legitimate basis for appeal and to help you understand your options as the case moves forward.
I am an experienced San Bernardino family law appeals attorney. Contact my office today to schedule an initial consultation. We also service Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, Ontario, Victorville, Rialto, Hesperia, Chino, Upland, Apple Valley, Redlands, Highland, Colton, Yucaipa, Montclair, elsewhere in the Inland Empire, as well as Los Angeles.