The appeal is a request made to a court of law to change a previous decision. The losing party in a decision by a trial court in the federal system normally is entitled to appeal the decision to a federal court of appeals. The results of an appeal may be:
- Affirmed: when the reviewing court agrees with the result of the lower courts ruling;
- Reversed: when the reviewing court disagrees with the result of the lower courts ruling, and overturns their decision;
- Remanded: when the reviewing court sends the case back to the lower court.
Your denial notice will include information about your appeal rights and about which form to use to file your appeal.
A motion to reopen is a request to the original decision maker to review a decision. The motion must be based on factual grounds, such as the discovery of new evidence or changed circumstances.
A motion to reconsider is a request to the original decision maker to review a decision based on new or additional legal arguments.
Civil, criminal, bankruptcy, and immigration cases may be appealed in Federal Court. Annually, the eleven United States Courts of Appeals decide hundreds of cases.
In a civil case either side may appeal the verdict. In a criminal case, the defendant may appeal a guilty verdict, but the government may not appeal if the defendant is not guilty. Federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction over bankruptcy cases. Bankruptcy cases cannot be filed in State Court. The 94 federal judicial districts handle bankruptcy matters, and in almost all districts, bankruptcy cases are filed in the bankruptcy Court.
Appeals are decided by panels of three judges working together. You are the appellant and you must show that the trial court or administrative agency have made a legal mistake that penalized your case. You will file a legal brief, a written document with your arguments, in order to persuade the judges.
The appellee is the party defending against your appeal. Most cases are scheduled for oral arguments before the court.
Oral argument is a structured discussion between the appellate lawyers and the panel of judges focusing on the legal principles in dispute. Each side is given a short time of (about 15 minutes) to present arguments to the court.
New York Appeals
If you are not satisfied with a court’s decision, you will have an opportunity to file an appeal. An appeal is an application to a higher court to review a lower court’s ruling.
In New York, civil and criminal cases are appealed to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court. The Appellate Division hears appeals from the New York Supreme Court, which in New York is the Court of general jurisdiction.
If you or a loved one was convicted unjustly, you can file a Motion to Vacate with the Court and seek his or her immediate release.
An appeal can also be filed when a convicted immigrant was not properly warned of the immigration consequences of criminal convictions.
New Jersey Appeals
In New Jersey, the Appellate Division of the Superior Court hears appeals from the final judgments of the Law Division and the Chancery Division of the Superior Court. The Appellate Division is divided into eight parts of four or five judges each. Judges are rotated among the parts on an annual basis.
If you lost your civil case, an Appeals Lawyer in New Jersey can help you reverse a judgment and defend your rights. To vacate a criminal conviction, a Motion for Post-Conviction Relief must be filed within 5 years of the date of conviction.
Federal and Immigration Appeals
There are many reasons why a Visa or Green Card petition can be denied by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Also, immigrants that are placed in deportation proceedings and are not approved for a Waiver of Inadmissibility can be deported from the United States.
The Immigration Court decisions can be appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals and to the U.S. Appeals Court having jurisdiction over the case. In both instances, you must retain the services of a seasoned Immigration Appeals Lawyer to protect your legal status and avoid being removed from the United States.
The Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) hears cases including employment-based immigrant petitions under INA § 204(b), and non-immigrant worker petitions under INA § 214, denials of re-entry permit applications, or revocation of approvals of immigrant visa petitions as well as some American citizenship matters. The appealability of AAO decisions is determined by federal immigration statutes.
You can challenge an AAO appeal denial in a U.S. District Courts. When you have used up all the administrative remedies, and you have an AAO denial decision, a Federal District Court challenge is your last solution a doctrine known as “exhaustion of administrative remedies”. This doctrine means that a party has to pursue all the available administrative remedies before seeking relief from a Federal Court.
AAO exercise appellate jurisdiction over approximately 50 different immigration case types. Not every type of denied immigration benefit request may be appealed, and some appeals fall under the jurisdiction of the BIA. The BIA reviews decisions by immigration judges and has appellate jurisdiction over family-based immigrant petitions under INA § 204(a) as well as orders of removal and applications for relief from removal, as well as motions for reopening and reconsideration of decisions previously rendered.
The BIA may affirm, reverse, or remand the decision of an Immigration Judge. However, BIA decisions constitute a final administrative action in a given case.
In most cases if the BIA affirms the denial decision. However, you can appeal the BIA ruling in the U.S. Court of Appeals (U.S. Circuit Courts).
An appeal should be filed within 30 days from the date of the decision with no extension to this deadline. Equally, any motion has to be submitted within 30 days of the decision and indicate if the motion seeks to reopen or reconsider. Only a brief to support a filed appeal or motion may be submitted after the deadlines.
Retain an Appeals Lawyer
The appeals process starts with the filing of a notice of appeal with the Court that issued the unfavorable decision. In most cases, the transcripts of the proceedings must be ordered to the Court reporter.
The Court will then provide a brief scheduling, instructing both parties to file a legal memorandum within the time frame specified. After the briefs have been filed, the Court will entertain oral argument.
The appeals process is complicated, and you have little or no chances of prevailing, unless you hire an experienced appeals lawyer.
The are several types of lawsuits and situations that may warrant representation. If there were obvious errors that changed the outcome of the case, you should consult your trial attorney who have expertise in appeals, as you only have between 30 and 60 days to file a motion to appeal.