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Appeals, Writs, and Complex Motions Practice

What is the deadline for filing my appeal?

The deadline for filing an appeal can be complicated and depends on several factors. I strongly recommend you consult with a certified appellate specialist to preserve your appeal by filing on time.

The question of the time period for filing a notice of appeal from a judgment or appealable order rendered in the Superior Court often seems simple, but the answer under California law can be very complicated. On this question, above all others, we strongly recommend you consult with an appellate practitioner to avoid losing your case due to a late-filed appeal.

California Rules of Court, rule 8-104, deals with the time for filing notice of appeal in civil cases. Subdivision (a) [Normal time] provides:

"(1) Unless a statute or rule 8.108 provides otherwise, a notice of appeal must be filed on or before the earliest of:

(A) 60 days after the superior court clerk serves on the party filing the notice of appeal a document entitled “Notice of Entry” of judgment or a file-stamped copy of the judgment, showing the date either was served;

(B) 60 days after the party filing the notice of appeal serves or is served by a party with a document entitled “Notice of Entry” of judgment or a file-stamped copy of the judgment, accompanied by proof of service; or

(C) 180 days after entry of judgment.

(2) Service under (1)(A) and (B) may be by any method permitted by the Code of Civil Procedure, including electronic service when permitted under Code of Civil Procedure section 1010.6 and rules 2.250-2.261.

(3) If the parties stipulated in the trial court under Code of Civil Procedure section 1019.5 to waive notice of the court order being appealed, the time to appeal under (1)(C) applies unless the court or a party serves notice of entry of judgment or a file-stamped copy of the judgment to start the time period under (1)(A) or (B)."

Complications arise in determining, for example, what constitutes the appealable order or judgment: Is it a minute order reflecting the judge's determination of the issues, or should the appeal be taken from a formal, signed order? When is the order or judgment considered "entered?" What is the consequence of filing a notice of appeal prior to entry of the judgment, but after its rendition, or even one filing a notice before rendition of the judgment? The time for filing a notice of appeal may be extended by filing certain motions in the trial court, for example, a motion for new trial. (See rule 8.108.) Does a motion to reconsider an appealable order equate to a motion for new trial for purposes of extending time? Answering such questions involves rendering legal advice based on your specific situation and is therefore beyond the scope of the basic information provided here.

I recommend you seek the advice of an experienced appellate attorney to assist you in deciding when you must file a notice of appeal. An immediate consultation is crucial because Rule 8.104, subdivision (b), provides:

"Except as provided in rule 8.66, no court may extend the time to file a notice of appeal. If a notice of appeal is filed late, the reviewing court must dismiss the appeal."

In other words, if you miss the deadline, the appellate court has no jurisdiction to hear your case.

Please contact us for a consultation so you do not miss the crucial filing deadlines to preserve your appeal.



By providing this information, we do not establish a lawyer-client relationship as this may not be proper in the internet environment. We have attempted to employ our best efforts to present and maintain the information provided herein but do not warrant that the information is complete or accurate. We do not assume, and hereby disclaim, any liability to any person for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident or any other cause. The information contained herein is not to be used as a basis for advice to clients or applied to any particular matters. Counsel should be consulted directly as to the current law applicable to particular situations. We therefore issue a general disclaimer but encourage you to seek direct legal advice.