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The Appeals Process (Criminal)

Notice of Appeal

The notice of appeal informs the higher court, being the Superior Court and the Court of Appeals that you are challenging the judgment of the trial court. Normally this must be filled within the first 30 to 60 days depending on the type of case and no more than 180 days.

Preparation of Court Transcripts

This is where the court reporters must prepare a report and all the notes from the hearing, which is known as the Clerk's Transcript.

Appellant's Opening Brief

Upon the completion of the transcripts, the appellate attorney will review any legal errors, asking for a specific remedy and submit a written brief to the Court of Appeals.

Respondent's Brief

Then the responding attorney will review the transcripts and opening brief, which then the opposing attorney will submit a brief contesting any errors claimed by the appellant.

Appellant's Reply Brief

The appellant's attorney can make points to the opposing side with a replying brief because the appellant has the burden of persuasion of appeal.

Oral Argument

There are no calling of witnesses or new evidence introduced during this time, as the two appellate attorney's will discuss short legal issues of argument to the three Court of Appeal Justices.

Court Ruling

This is where the Court of Appeal Justices review everything and conduct a written summary with the facts of the case and arguments raised. Then they will decide whether or not the trial court erred in judgment and needs to be corrected.

California Appellate Project:

First District Appellate Project

Second District Appellate Project

Third & Fifth District Appellate Program

Fourth District Appellate Defenders

California Appellate Project – Supreme Court

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