Appeal

“An appeal is a timely resort by an unsuccessful party in a lawsuit or administrative proceeding to an appropriate superior court empowered to review a final decision on the ground that it was based upon an erroneous application of law.” (Free Legal Dictionary). “An appeal is a  challenge to a previous legal determination. An appeal is directed towards a legal power higher than the power making the challenged determination. In most states and the federal system, trial court determinations can be appealed in appeals courts, and appeals court decisions can be appealed in a supreme court” (Cornell Law).

Example Sentence

The client and his lawyer after knowing  the unfavorable decision on their case, decided to file an appeal.

Case Study

The case Torrie v. Weber County on wrongful death is an example of why the district court’s decision was reversed by the Supreme Court. The higher court found the appeal timely filed and has all the elements necessary for it to be reviewed. In this case, Wayne Torrie was killed in a car accident while being pursued by a Deputy of Weber County Sheriff’s Office. Prior to the accident,  Mrs. Torrie called Cache County Sheriff’s Office to report that her son took the family vehicle and to request that her son be brought into custody. Communication with her son led Mrs. Torrie to call dispatch and inform them that her son is suicidal. As Wayne Torrie had entered Weber County, Cache County Sheriff contacted Weber County and provided them a summary of the situation. Deputy Harper saw Wayne Torrie and pursued him as he refused the request for pull over. In less than a minute of  pursuit and with Wayne traveling 99 miles per hour, Wayne Torrie’s vehicle left the road and rolled over causing him to be ejected from the vehicle. He died from sustained injuries. The Torries filed a case against Weber County alleging various theories of negligence. The Court decided that Weber County has no legal duty to the fleeing suspect. Thus, an appeal plays into this case because Mrs. Torrie, after the verdict had been reached at the lower court, proceeded to file an appeal to the higher court.  She did this is a timely manner, and had the right to do this since the decision had a lot of elements play into it and the Supreme Court or the higher court could also make a judgement upon the case.

Other Important Information

When to File for an Appeal:

  1. When you are dissatisfied with the court’s decision and
  2. You believe that the court committed a legal mistake.

Remember the merit of the appeal will be based on the lower court’s decision. You cannot introduce new documents or witness  or expect that the higher court will retry the case. Appellate Rule 33 The court  can order you to pay a fine or to pay the legal fees of the party you filed the appeal against if found to be filing a frivolous appeal meant to harass the other party . Filing the Notice of Appeal

  • The appeal process begins with the filing of a Notice of Appeal.
  • The person filing the Notice of Appeal is called the Appellant.
  • The person or entity against whom the appeal is taken is called the Appellee.
  • The Appellant must file the Notice of Appeal with the clerk of the trial court within 30 days after the date of entry of the final judgement or order appealed from.

There are two appellate courts in the State of Utah.  These are the  Utah Supreme Court and the Utah Court of Appeals. Each appellate court has its own unique jurisdiction. The Notice of Appeal should designate which court the matter is being appealed to. The Utah Supreme Court has the right to transfer many of its cases to the Utah Court of Appeals for decision.

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Personally reviewed by Attorney Ken Christensen

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