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David D. Diamond State Bar Certified Criminal Law Specialist

Basic Rules for Appeals

The basic appellate procedures can be overwhelming. This blog attempts to cover some basic requirements in the appeals process. The civil appeal fee in California is $655.00. There is no fee for a criminal appeal. In a civil appeal, the opening brief is due 40 days from the filing of the record of the appeal. For Juvenile matter, the opening brief is due within 30 days. However, if the appellant (person making the appeal) elects to proceed without a reporter's transcript, their opening brief is due 70 days from the filing. A civil brief cannot extend beyond 14,000 words, including footnotes. Four copies and the original must be filed with the Court of Appeal. You must also serve the Superior Court where the matter was originally heard. The Supreme Court must also be served with copies.

In a criminal appeal, the opening brief is due 40 days from the filing of the record of the appeal. A criminal brief cannot extend beyond 25,500 words, including footnotes. Four copies and the original must be filed with the Court of Appeal. You must also serve the Superior Court where the matter was originally heard. The Supreme Court must also be served with copies and the District Attorney and Attorney General.

For all appeals, the Respondent has 30 days from the filing of the opening brief to file the response. The same rules of filing apply, four copies plus the original. The Appellant then has 20 days to file the reply brief. The same rules of service apply. The briefs must be bound in an appropriate cover with the correct color. No plastic covers will be permitted. The type style must be roman and no smaller than 13-point font. Attachments cannot exceed 10 pages.

All appeals must also begin with a Certificate of Interested P arties or Entities http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/app008.pdf

There are suggested cover colors that must be used for the brief. Green is for the appellant’s opening brief, yellow is for the Respondent’s Brief, Tan is for the Appellant’s Reply Brief, Gray is for the Amicus Curiae Brief, Orange is for a Petition for Rehearing, Blue is for the Answer to Petition for Rehearing.