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How Can I Appeal the Judgment?

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If you are the defendant, attended the hearing and lost the case, you may appeal the judgment. (Your insurance company can also file an appeal if it is asked to pay more than $2,500.00)

In small claims, an appeal is a hearing of the whole case again, held in Superior Court in front of a different judge. Therefore, the judgment may be very different from the original judgment.

NOTE: You (or your insurance company) must ask for an appeal within 30 days from the date the court mailed out the Notice of Entry of Judgment.


To ask for an appeal of the case


Step 1.
 Get and fill out 1 court form: 

  • Notice of Appeal (Form SC-140) Opens new window

Make at least 2 copies of the form – one to serve on the judgment creditor, and one copy for your own files.


Step 2.
File Opens new window the form at the court and pay the court’s filing fee. 

  • The court clerk will give you a date for the new hearing. 
  • The court clerk will mail a copy of the Notice of Appeal (Form SC-140) to the other party.


Step 3.
Attend the new hearing.

At the appellate hearing, the new judge will hear the case from the beginning.  Each side will be expected to tell his or her side of the story again. 

  • The same documents may be presented. 
  • The same witnesses may be called. 
  • The same arguments may be used. Or, 
  • You may add or change documents, witnesses or arguments.


NOTE 1: Legally, either party may use an attorney during the appeal process.

NOTE 2: If you filed a counterclaim against the plaintiff, your case will also be heard again at the same time.


At the end of the new trial, the new judge will make a decision about the case. 

  • He or she may agree with the decision of the first judge, that the plaintiff should win the case, and the amount of money owed remains the same, OR 
  • He or she may overturn the decision of the first judge, and decide that the defendant owes more, less, or no money to the plaintiff.


Once an appeal has been decided, the parties cannot file a second appeal of
the case.

 

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