A civil appeal is a request to a higher court—usually a federal court—to review the decision made in a lower court to determine whether any legal errors were made during the original trial.
Types of Civil Appeals in Florida
- Appeal to Circuit Court: County Court cases. Misdemeanors, county civil and traffic infraction cases.
- Appeal to District Court of Appeal or Florida Supreme Court: Circuit Court cases. Felonies, circuit civil, probate, and juvenile cases.
- Appeal to Florida Supreme Court. Death penalty cases are appealed directly from the Circuit Court to the Florida Supreme Court by law
Civil Appeal Process
In a standard civil case, one initiates an appeal by (1) filing a notice of appeal and (2) paying the filing fee. This applies to appeals from both final (see Fla. R. App. P. 9.110) and non-final (see Fla. R. App. P. 9.130(b)) orders. You have 30 days from the date your order is rendered to file your notice. Rule 9.900, Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure provides the timeframe for filing an appeal, as well as the format for a Notice of Appeal. The original Notice and one copy are filed with the clerk’s office in the division where the court rendered the order/judgment you wish to appeal. For example, file in the Felony Division if you are appealing a felony conviction.
- Felony, Juvenile, Probate, and Circuit Civil filing fees require a $100 check made payable to the Clerk of Circuit Court and a separate check for $300 made payable to the Clerk of District Court.
- County Civil, Traffic and Misdemeanor filing fees require a $281 check made payable to the Clerk of Circuit Court.
Writs were developed over time as a way for authorities—legal and otherwise—to direct others to perform specific actions. A modern writ provides an order for action from a higher to a lower court, from a court to an individual or other entity, or from a government agency to another party. It generally remedies procedural missteps. Writs are extraordinary remedies governed by very specific substantive procedural standards. They originate in the appellate court, but though different from appeals they are sometimes used in the appeal process. The Florida Rule of Appellate Procedure Rule 9.100 sets forth their requirements.
Five Types of Writs
- Habeas Corpus. Challenges the legal basis for a prisoner’s detention
- Mandamus. Orders an entity to perform certain required legal duties when it has failed to do so
- Prohibition. Compels or forbids certain actions when a lower court has overstepped the bounds of its authority
- Quo Warranto. Questions the legality of a person holding public office
- Certiorari. A higher court rescinds an order already passed by a lower court
Writs Filing Process
Information on Writs, their filing process, and other information appear in Florida Statutes Title VI. Civil Practice and Procedure §61.11.
Once you have a basic understanding of appeals v. writs, you should know that both should be done by a qualified attorney. Don’t let inexperienced representation impact your chances of acquittal. Our experienced attorneys at Hunker Appeals specialize in the appeals process and have a long list of successful cases to prove it.
If you live in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Weston, Miami, West Palm Beach, or one of the other surrounding Florida communities and find yourself fighting a conviction, we’re here to help you.
Call or email Hunker Appeals now to set up a consultation.
Hunker Appeals, 110 Southeast 6th Street, Suite 2330, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301 877-906-5656.
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