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District Court Family Law Appeals

Sometimes the trial court doesn’t get it right. Fortunately, if you think that there is an error in fact or law, there is a second level of review. You can appeal a trial court decision. The court of appeals generally has jurisdiction over final judgments. There are some cases where an appeal can be made during the course of proceedings. Appellate courts review legal issues and determine whether the trial court relied on facts in the record. Factual findings are reviewed for support in the record. Legal issues are reviewed “de novo”, meaning as if considered for the first time. It is necessary to purchase a transcript of the proceedings to include with the record. There are a number of procedures associated with appeals and specific formats and timelines for filings.

Timing and Preserving Issues

A final order must be appealed within 49 days from entry. An appellant must have raised claims, defenses and legal theories in the trial court. An issue can be preserved in a joint trail management certificate or pretrial motion as well. A Notice of Appeal is what gives the appellate court jurisdiction to hear the appeal. The notice must identify the order appealed from and indicate whether the appeal is timely as well as attach a copy of the order. The first step to appeal is to file a notice of appeal and designation of the record in both the court of appeals and the district court. The docket fee is $223.00 along with a cost bond of $250.00.

Appellate Briefs

There is a prescribed format for appellate briefs which must include:

  • Caption
  • Certificate of compliance
  • Table of contents
  • Table of authorities
  • Issues presented
  • Statement of the case
  • Summary of the argument
  • Argument
  • Conclusion
Colorado Supreme Court Review

There is one additional level of review after the Court of Appeals – The Colorado Supreme Court. Appeal to the Supreme Court is not a right, however. The Court can accept or decline a request to hear a case. The request is made by means of a Petition For Certiorari, much the same way as with the United States Supreme Court. The Colorado Supreme Court usually approves less than 100 petitions for review per year. A Petition For Certiorari must be filed within 42 days of the lower appellate decision.

Remand

If a party prevails on appeal, the appellate Court often remands the case back to the trial court for the trial court to review the evidence or reconsider the decision based on guidance from the appellate court.

Is it time to turn change into opportunity? At Janko Law and Mediation, LLC we know how to work with you to reach your transition goals. We are committed to pursuing settlement to preserve family relations to the maximum extent possible, however also zealously represent your interests in contested litigation if desired or necessary. We can also handle appeals if the event that the trial court errors in fact or law. Give us a call for a complimentary case assessment at 303-210-4204, or fill out our confidential online intake form.

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