What Are the Three Types of Appeals in Georgia?
What are the three types of appeals in Georgia? Unravel the complex world of Georgia’s legal system with our detailed guide. Learn more from legal experts.
Three types of appeals are commonly found in Georgia. These include direct appeals, interlocutory appeals, and discretionary appeals.
If you have grounds for an appeal and decide to file one, you must determine which appellate court has jurisdiction over your case and what type of appeal you seek. Read on as we answer some questions regarding these three types of appeals.
What Is a Direct Appeal?
A direct appeal is a legal process in which a higher court reviews a decision from a lower court. A party unsatisfied with the outcome of a trial or certain rulings made during the trial can file an appeal to have the decision reversed or reconsidered.
With a direct appeal, you essentially request the appellate court to:
- Concur that errors were made, and
- Order the lower court to offer you a “do-over.”
Direct appeals are typically filed “as a matter of right,” the first time, but subsequent appeals are generally discretionary.
Generally, a notice of direct appeal must be submitted to the trial court clerk within thirty days after the issuance of the final ruling.
What Is an Interlocutory Appeal?
The word interlocutory typically translates as “interrupt.” So, an interlocutory appeal is an appeal that can “interrupt” a court proceeding before its conclusion. This sort of appeal is ideal for challenging pre-trial court orders.
For instance, if a trial court issues an order against you before the trial commences and you have reason to believe the decision is crucial to the case. In that case, you may apply for an interlocutory appeal against the order at the appropriate appellate court.
What Is a Discretionary Appeal?
Unlike direct appeals, discretionary appeals are not submitted as a matter of right. Nor are they filed while the case is still pending in the lower court, as in the case of interlocutory appeals.
Discretionary appeals, instead, include appeals to the Georgia Supreme Court from a Georgia Court of Appeals decision. They need a petition to the proper appellate court and can only proceed if the petition is granted.
This error is a mistake in legal or court procedures that causes significant injury to the appellant. Prejudicial errors might include a judge’s mistaken interpretation of the law, improper jury instructions, and mistakes or misbehavior by the attorneys or the jury.
No Substantial Evidence
The appellant may seek the appellate court to evaluate if there was a lack of substantial evidence to support the trial court’s decision. Also, such judgment must have caused substantial injury to the appellant.
An appellate court is not a place for new trials. As such, the presiding appellate judges will not consider new shreds of evidence. Instead, the court will consider the facts and evidence presented at the lower court to see if any mistakes require correction.
The appeals procedure can last up to one year. However, some appeals may be expedited based on the nature of the lower court’s final judgment.
After all the proceedings have concluded, the appellate court will decide whether to reverse or affirm the lower court’s decision. It could also order a new trial if necessary. If there are no further appeals, the case is considered legally concluded. However, it should be noted that this process may vary depending on the type of appeal being filed and the case’s particular circumstances.