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Appeals, Writs, and Complex Motions Practice

Required Steps for Filing an Appeal

I recommend consulting with a Certified Appellate Specialist before filing an appeal because any missteps can result in your notice of appeal being rejected and dismissal of the appeal without further recourse. The following steps are not dispositive and may change depending on your particular circumstances.

The time for filing an appeal on time can be complicated and is beyond the scope of this general information about the steps for filing an appeal. Generally, the notice of appeal must be served and filed 60 days after "notice of entry" of judgment or appealable order, or in certain circumstances, such as where there is a motion to vacate the judgment or you have moved for a new trial, 30 days after the denial of the motion to vacate the judgment or for a new trial, either by order or by operation of law. It is crucial to the validity of your notice of appeal that it is timely filed. Since every appeal presents unique situations, no treatise can cover each and every situation. Therefore, I recommend that you consult with a certified appellate specialist to ensure you file your appeal on time.

To file your notice of appeal, you can use an attorney drafted form or a judicial counsel form: see APP-002 ( Any document, including a notice of appeal, may be deposited in a court's drop box up to and including 4:00 p.m. on a court day and it will be deemed to have been deposited for filing on that day. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 2.210.)

The current filing fee for a notice of appeal is $775 (check online or with the trial court to make sure the fees have not increased), together with a $100 transcript deposit, as required by Gov't Code sections 68926 & 68926.1. The check for the filing fee is made payable to the Clerk, Court of Appeal, and the transcript deposit is made payable to the Clerk of the Superior Court. If you fail to pay the filing fees with the notice of appeal, then the clerk will send a letter and state that the appeal will be dismissed if you don't pay the filing fee within a certain period of time. (Rule 8.100.)

Within 10 days of the filing of the notice of appeal, the Designation of Record and a notice designating reporter's transcripts must be served and filed. (In the Third District Court of Appeal, a local rule suspends the due date for the designation of record pending a determination whether to order the case to mediation.) You can make your own form to designate the record, or use Judicial Council form APP-003. Alternatively, you can elect to use an appendix instead of a clerk's transcript.

The designation of reporters' transcripts must designate the date of each proceeding and must be served on each known court reporter. You must deposit the approximate cost of transcribing the proceedings in the amount of $650/day and $325 per fraction of day (less than 3 hours) or by obtaining an estimate from the court reporter.

After the appeal is filed, the clerk will mail a Civil Case Information Statement (form APP-004) to the appealing party or their attorney, with a notice that the statement must be filed within 10 days.


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