Interlocutory Appeals in Georgia
Dive deep into the realm of interlocutory appeals in Georgia, learn its procedures, and how Strickland Webster, LLC can guide you through the appeals process. Give us a call today.
Interlocutory appeals address decisions made by the trial court before the final judgment. Unlike direct appeals, which target the trial court’s final judgment, interlocutory appeals enable parties to challenge decisions made before the trial concludes.
Interlocutory appeals are appropriate for appealing the orders the trial court issues before the trial. They are usually pursued when pretrial motions are denied, and one of the parties wants the appellate court to consider the issue before the matter proceeds to trial.
Finally, unlike interlocutory appeals filed while a matter is still pending with the trial court, discretionary appeals are appeals to the Supreme Court from Georgia Court of Appeals’ decisions.
Criteria for Filing Interlocutory Appeals in Georgia
Understanding when the appellate courts may grant interlocutory appeals is crucial. Such appeals may be granted under the following circumstances:
- When the issue to be decided is critical to the case’s outcome.
- When the appealed order appears erroneous, and could lead to a substantial error during the trial or adversely affect the defendant’s rights.
- When there is a need for clarification on past precedent or establishment of new precedent.
Process and Procedures
According to OCGA § 5-6-34(b), the initial step in the interlocutory appeal process involves obtaining certification from the trial judge that the order merits immediate review. The judge issues a certificate of immediate review within ten days of the order entry.
Afterward, you must file a notice of appeal against the order at the appropriate appellate court within ten days after the certificate is granted. Your application, presented in petition form, should articulate the reasons for the appeal and outline the pertinent case issues.
Rule 30 of Georgia Court of Appeals Rules details interlocutory applications. Applications must meet the following requirements:
- The appeal must be filed within ten days of entry of the trial court’s order granting the certificate of immediate review.
- The burden is on the appealing party to persuade the court of the appeal’s merit.
- The application must include a copy of the motion that led to the appealed order.
- The filing fee must be paid to the clerk or an exception that allows non-payment of the filing fee must be met before the clerk will accept the application.
After successfully filing your application for interlocutory appeal, the court has 45 days to grant or deny the application. The appeal must persuade the appellate court that the trial court erred and that the error could cause injustice.
If the appeal is being made to the Georgia Supreme Court, it is important to note that it must also contain an enumeration of errors. This brief will explain why the Supreme Court and not the Court of Appeals has jurisdiction.
Contacting an experienced attorney to prepare a solid application and meet the stringent timelines for filing an appeal can be beneficial. Our appeals lawyer at Strickland Webster, LLC can effectively guide you through your interlocutory application and the appeal process.
Importance of Legal Representation in Interlocutory Appeals
Some common types of situations in criminal matters that give occasion for interlocutory appeals include:
- Denial of motion to suppress statements or confessions.
- Denial of motion to recuse the trial judge.
- Denial of motion to suppress evidence.
Where any of the above situations exist in your case, there may be sufficient grounds to file an interlocutory appeal.
Understanding what issues are appealable, how to pursue an appeal, and how to successfully argue an appeal can be challenging. Moreover, not understanding how to navigate the complex interlocutory appeals process can expose you to risks that may negatively impact your appeal.
The guidance of legal counsel can help you navigate an interlocutory appeal. A skilled appellate attorney will review your case and the trial court’s order to determine what issues can be appealed. They will also use their knowledge and experience to craft the application.