December 27, 2015
If you have received a verdict by a Florida court of law, and you believe an error was made in presenting your case, you have a right to appeal the decision to a higher court. A panel of judges from a higher court will consider the appeal and decide if a new hearing should be held. The type of case determines which jurisdictional court should review your appeal. There are four levels of jurisdiction.
A County Court exists within each Florida county. The county court handles misdemeanor cases, traffic violations, small claims up to $5,000 and civil cases up to $15,000. This is the lowest level court in the state, and their decisions are usually appealed to a circuit court.
Circuit Courts handle felony trials, family law matters, civil cases over $15,000, juvenile matters, probate and guardianship matters, and appeals from county courts. An appeal from a circuit court case is usually filed with a District Court of Appeals. However, appeals can be filed with the Florida Supreme Court, which is the highest level court in the state.
District Court of Appeals
A District Court of Appeals handles all appeals and matters that have not been directly appealed to the Supreme Court. In Florida, there are five district courts of appeal located throughout the state. A decision by a District Court of Appeals may be appealed to the Florida Supreme Court or even the United States Supreme Court.
Florida Supreme Court
The Florida Supreme Court may review appeals that are directly filed with them, but they do not have to accept them; a majority of appeals are denied, upholding the decision of the District Court of Appeals as a final judgment.
Timeliness of Filing an Appeal
Often, a Notice of Appeal must be filed within 30 days of the final decision. There is also a timeline after the Notice of Appeal is filed with briefs and other documentation to be filed. Timelines and rules for record preparation will vary depending on the jurisdiction.
Contact the Khonsari Law Group for Legal Representation
You will need an attorney you can strongly rely on to litigate your appeal. At the Khonsari Law Group, our team is experienced in the appeals process and knows what is necessary to get your appeal prepared and your record developed for the decision makers. Timeliness in filing is important, so contact our office as soon as possible at (727) 269-5300 or online.