If you have gone through a civil court case and did not get the outcome that you wanted, you may be able to appeal that case. However, the appellate process can be complex and frustrating. There are strict time limits in place, and you need to make sure you don’t miss deadlines. If you do, you could ruin your chance at changing the outcome of your court battle.
In most cases, you have to appeal as soon as possible. The rule in Florida is generally that you have 30 days to make your appeal. If you miss that deadline, then you may find you cannot move forward and lose your right to appeal your case at all.
If you miss the appeals deadline, should you give up on your case?
Not necessarily. In fact, if you miss the appeals deadline, there may be other ways to challenge the judgment besides appealing the case. One that commonly occurs is if you were never properly served notice of the case before the judgment was issued. If so, you may be able to file what’s called a “motion for relief from judgment,” which is also often referred to as a “collateral proceeding” against the judgment.
While getting an attorney before the time to appeal runs out is ideal, if you’ve missed your chance you should still consult with an attorney to determine if you have other options available. There are no guarantees, even if your attorney does present good evidence to the court, but you may be able to overturn a judgment without an appeal in some cases.
How can you avoid missing deadlines with your case?
To avoid missing appeal deadlines that are approaching, the best bet is to talk to your attorney as soon as you receive the initial judgment on your original case. Your attorney will then calendar the applicable deadlines, go over the options for the appeal, and determine if an appeal is in your best interests.
If an appeal is right for you, it’s time to prepare for court
If an appeal is the right path for you, then your attorney will prepare your case for the appeal. This appeal will likely be heard by a panel of three judges, so the case does have to be strong and able to convince them that the initial ruling was unjust or inaccurate.