My name is Brian L. Jackson, and I’m a Tulsa father’s rights attorney. Today, I’d like to talk to you about appeals. What are appeals? What do they do for you? What do they not do for you? You hear the word thrown around a lot in the news. Somebody doesn’t like a court ruling, so they’re going to appeal. What actually is an appeal? Well, it’s an important part of the legal process. Appeals are normally initiated following a trial court’s final decision on the merits of the case. In other words, if the court either makes a ruling based on emotion or makes a ruling coming out of the trial that is basically disposed of the case, that is whatever your issues are that you’re fighting over, then once that final order is entered, it becomes appealable.
The way appeals are initiated is you file a petition in error in Oklahoma with the state supreme court. There are some other things you have to file along with it, including things like court records and trial transcript, so that you can create a complete picture for the appellate court, so that the court knows what happened in the case, what it is you’re saying that the trial court did wrong. And then, of course, obviously you’re going to want to tell the appellate court what relief you’re looking for. Which typically, the relief you get in the appellate court is you’re going to have the court either vacate the lower court’s ruling and give you a new trial or reverse it to a different ruling. Occasionally, the court will give extraordinary relief, such as injunctions or writs. That’s what the appellate court typically does.
Now, the process is initiated, as I said, by filing a petition in error. And then, later, you’re required to submit what’s called appellate brief and chief. Unlike in trial court, where you actually would show up and have a trial, most of the appellate court work is done in writing. In other words, you write to the court, the attorney on the other side writes to the court, and you each present your arguments for why you think you’re right. And then, the court will decide what it thinks the correct decision should’ve been.
Appeals are very involved and they’re a lot more difficult than most of what you do with the trial court level. This is where you really want to get a good lawyer involved. You want to move fairly quickly. If you were the subject of an adverse ruling… Say, you go to court for custody of your kids, just for instance, and you lose, you only get so many days to appeal. You get 30 days after the final order is entered in which you may exercise your appellate rights.
You may indeed have a good appellate claim. That’s where you want to talk to an attorney. You want to get us involved quickly. If you have been subject to an adverse ruling, then you definitely want to give me a call, because I work on these kinds of cases, and I’d be happy to help you out. Do so quickly, because you have limited time to exercise those rights. This is not one you want to go it alone. As I said, appeals are very difficult and there is not a lot of margin for error. If you make a mistake, the likely result is your appeal will be denied and you don’t get another bite at the apple. You want to move quickly and you want to get someone on your side who really knows what they’re doing and can fight for you.
My name is Brian L. Jackson. I’m a Tulsa father’s rights attorney, and we’ve been talking about appeals. Thanks, guys.