San Jose Family Law Appeals Attorney
Experienced Representation Guiding Santa Clara County Clients Through Family Law Appeals
In Family Law cases, one side or the other is often unhappy with the court’s decision and believes the judge made an error. The most common remedy for correcting such an error is an appeal. An appeal is a request made to a higher court to review the Family Court’s decision. In the usual case this higher court is the District Court of Appeal.
This court will not rehear the case or take new testimony or evidence, but will decide whether the Family Court made an error of sufficient importance to require a “reversal,” which sends the case back to the Family Court with directions to make a new decision based on the Court of Appeal’s directions.
Am I Eligible for an Appeal?
Not every error by the Family Court merits an appeal, because the appellate court will only reverse if there is clear legal or factual error made by the Family Court, or if it determines that the Family Court abused its discretion. The appellate court will rarely decide whether the Family Court should have believed one party or witness over another, taking the position that the judge who tried the case and observed the testimony was in a better position to assess credibility.
The appellate court will be more interested in whether the Family Court followed the law in making its decision. To cite just one of many examples, if the Family Court sets permanent spousal support without considering all of the many factors required by statute in support of a spousal support award.
What is the Deadline to File a Notice of Appeal?
If you are unhappy with the court's decision, you may file for a notice of appeal once it is signed by the superior court judge and stamped by the court clerk.
The following deadlines apply for anyone who wishes to appeal the initial ruling:
- For a civil case involving any amountunder $25,000, you must file your notice of appeal on or before the earliest of:
- 30 days after either the court clerk or the other side mails you notice that the judgment has been entered in your case; or
- 90 days after the judgement has been entered and filed
- For any civil case that is over $25,000, it will be labeled as an unlimited case and the following will apply:
- You must file on or before the earliest of 60 days after the court clerk or the other side serves you notice that the judgment has been entered in your case; or
- 180 days after the judgement has been entered and filed
Our firm can represent either side in an appeal. There are usually two parties to an appeal:
- The Appellant - The party that is seeking to have the Family Court’s decision reversed.
- The Respondent - The party that is satisfied with the decision and is seeking to have the appellate court confirm that the lower court’s decision was correct or that any error made by the lower court was not prejudicial.
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