This is the next post in my series on handling family law appeals in San Bernardino, California. My last article discussed the process one faces in an appeal. It is important to understand that the Court will strictly enforce its deadlines and failing to properly handle the matter may result in dismissal. In this post, I will be discussing the possible outcomes of an appeal. If you have questions about the process, then contact my office today to speak with an attorney.
An Appellate Court will generally reach one of three outcomes. First, the Court may affirm the decision. This simply means that the Appellant Court agreed with the Trial Judge and that the Lower Court’s decision will stand. Second, the matter may be reversed and remanded for a new trial. Finally, the Lower Court’s decision may be reversed outright. I will discuss the second and third of these possibilities in turn.
The Appellate Court may reverse the Lower Court’s decision and remand the case for a new trial. This will essentially result in a “do over” of the trial process. The Trial Court will hear the matter again and will correct the mistakes which led to the reversal. If, for example, the matter was reversed because a certain witness should not have been allowed to testify then the second trial will be held without that witness’ testimony. How the subsequent trial is conducted will, in a large part, depend on the reasons for which the case was reversed.
It is also possible that the Lower Court’s decision will be reversed outright. This is when the Appellant Court declares the Appellee the winner of the case. Say, for example, that a trial was held where each party was requesting primary custody of a child. Now say that the Trial Court awarded custody to the father. An outright reversal would mean that the Appellate Court would issue an Order reversing the decision and directing the Trial Court to grant custody to the mother instead. No new trial would be held. The only hearing which would be necessary would be one where the Trial Judge puts the Appellate Court’s Order in place. Outright reversals are less common than remands for a new trial but they do happen.
Before filing an appeal, it is important that you understand each of the possible outcomes. Knowing the potential results is, after all, crucial to deciding as to whether you wish to go forward with an appeal. Contact my office today to speak with a San Bernardino attorney. 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.