Appellate court

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The High Court of Australia, the highest appellate court in Australia High Court of Australia (6769096715).jpg
The High Court of Australia, the highest appellate court in Australia
The Helsinki Court of Appeal (Helsingin hovioikeus), an intermediate appellate court in Finland Helsingin hovioikeus.jpg
The Helsinki Court of Appeal (Helsingin hovioikeus), an intermediate appellate court in Finland

An appellate court, commonly called an appeals court, court of appeals (American English), [1] appeal court, court of appeal (British English), court of second instance or second instance court, is any court of law that is empowered to hear an appeal of a trial court or other lower tribunal. In most jurisdictions, the court system is divided into at least three levels: the trial court, which initially hears cases and reviews evidence and testimony to determine the facts of the case; at least one intermediate appellate court; and a supreme court (or court of last resort) which primarily reviews the decisions of the intermediate courts. A jurisdiction's supreme court is that jurisdiction's highest appellate court. [2] Appellate courts nationwide can operate under varying rules. [3]

Contents

The authority of appellate courts to review the decisions of lower courts varies widely from one jurisdiction to another. In some areas, the appellate court has limited powers of review. Generally, an appellate court's judgment provides the final directive of the appeals courts as to the matter appealed, setting out with specificity the court's determination that the action appealed from should be affirmed, reversed, remanded or modified. [4]

Bifurcation of civil and criminal appeals

While many appellate courts have jurisdiction over all cases decided by lower courts, some systems have appellate courts divided by the type of jurisdiction they exercise. Some jurisdictions have specialized appellate courts, such as the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, which only hears appeals raised in criminal cases, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which has general jurisdiction but derives most of its caseload from patent cases, on one hand, and appeals from the Court of Federal Claims on the other. In the United States, Alabama, Tennessee, and Oklahoma also have separate courts of criminal appeals. Texas and Oklahoma have the final determination of criminal cases vested in their respective courts of criminal appeals, [5] while Alabama and Tennessee allow decisions of its court of criminal appeals to be finally appealed to the state supreme court. [6] [7]

Courts of criminal appeals

Court of Criminal Appeals include:

Civilian
Military

Courts of civil appeals

Appellate courts by country

New Zealand

The Court of Appeal of New Zealand, located in Wellington, is New Zealand's principal intermediate appellate court. [8] In practice, most appeals are resolved at this intermediate appellate level, rather than in the Supreme Court. [9]

Sri Lanka

The Court of Appeal of Sri Lanka, located in Colombo, is the second senior court in the Sri Lankan legal system.

United Kingdom

United States

In the United States, both state and federal appellate courts are usually restricted to examining whether the lower court made the correct legal determinations, rather than hearing direct evidence and determining what the facts of the case were. [10] Furthermore, U.S. appellate courts are usually restricted to hearing appeals based on matters that were originally brought up before the trial court. Hence, such an appellate court will not consider an appellant's argument if it is based on a theory that is raised for the first time in the appeal. [11]

In most U.S. states, and in U.S. federal courts, parties before the court are allowed one appeal as of right. This means that a party who is unsatisfied with the outcome of a trial may bring an appeal to contest that outcome. However, appeals may be costly, and the appellate court must find an error on the part of the court below that justifies upsetting the verdict. Therefore, only a small proportion of trial court decisions result in appeals. Some appellate courts, particularly supreme courts, have the power of discretionary review, meaning that they can decide whether they will hear an appeal brought in a particular case.

Institutional titles

Many U.S. jurisdictions title their appellate court a court of appeal or court of appeals. [note 1] Historically, others have titled their appellate court a court of errors (or court of errors and appeals), on the premise that it was intended to correct errors made by lower courts. Examples of such courts include the New Jersey Court of Errors and Appeals (which existed from 1844 to 1947), the Connecticut Supreme Court of Errors (which has been renamed the Connecticut Supreme Court), the Kentucky Court of Errors (renamed the Kentucky Supreme Court), and the Mississippi High Court of Errors and Appeals (since renamed the Supreme Court of Mississippi). In some jurisdictions, a court able to hear appeals is known as an appellate division.

The phrase "court of appeals" most often refers to intermediate appellate courts. However, the Maryland and New York systems are different. The Maryland Court of Appeals and the New York Court of Appeals are the highest appellate courts in those states. The New York Supreme Court is a trial court of general jurisdiction. Depending on the system, certain courts may serve as both trial courts and appellate courts, hearing appeals of decisions made by courts with more limited jurisdiction.

See also

Notes

  1. The term court of appeals is not capitalized in carefully edited texts such as reference works, for example West's Encyclopedia of American Law unless referring to a specific court or courts, but many legal professionals do not comply with this most common English usage shown in major dictionaries but rather capitalize this and many other legal texts.

Related Research Articles

Appellate procedure in the United States National rules of court appeals

United States appellate procedure involves the rules and regulations for filing appeals in state courts and federal courts. The nature of an appeal can vary greatly depending on the type of case and the rules of the court in the jurisdiction where the case was prosecuted. There are many types of standard of review for appeals, such as de novo and abuse of discretion. However, most appeals begin when a party files a petition for review to a higher court for the purpose of overturning the lower court's decision.

In the United States, a state supreme court is the highest court in the state judiciary of a U.S. state. On matters of state law, the judgment of a state supreme court is considered final and binding in both state and federal courts.

In the United States, a state court has jurisdiction over disputes with some connection to a U.S. state. State courts handle the vast majority of civil and criminal cases in the United States; the United States federal courts are far smaller in terms of both personnel and caseload, and handle different types of cases.

United States courts of appeals Post-1891 U.S. appellate circuit courts

The United States courts of appeals or circuit courts are the intermediate appellate courts of the United States federal judiciary. The courts are divided into 13 circuits, and each hears appeals from the district courts within its borders, or in some instances from other designated federal courts and administrative agencies. Appeals from the circuit courts are taken to the Supreme Court of the United States. The district, appellate, and Supreme courts are all authorized under Article Three of the United States Constitution, giving them the exclusive functions as constitutional courts.

In law, certiorari is a court process to seek judicial review of a decision of a lower court or government agency. Certiorari comes from the name of an English prerogative writ, issued by a superior court to direct that the record of the lower court be sent to the superior court for review. The term is Latin for "to be made certain", and comes from the opening line of such writs, which traditionally began with the Latin words "Certiorari volumus...".

Court of Cassation (France)

The Court of Cassation is one of the four courts of last resort in France. It has jurisdiction over all civil and criminal matters triable in the judicial system, and is the supreme court of appeal in these cases. It has jurisdiction to review the law, and to certify questions of law, to determine miscarriages of justice. The Court is located in the Palace of Justice in Paris.

A trial court or court of first instance is a court having original jurisdiction, in which trials take place.

In common law systems, a superior court is a court of general competence which typically has unlimited jurisdiction with regard to civil and criminal legal cases. A superior court is "superior" in relation to a court with limited jurisdiction, which is restricted to civil cases involving monetary amounts with a specific limit, or criminal cases involving offenses of a less serious nature. A superior court may hear appeals from lower courts. The highest of the superior courts is the Supreme court.

In common law legal systems original jurisdiction of a court is the power to hear a case for the first time, as opposed to appellate jurisdiction, when a higher court has the power to review a lower court's decision.

Appellate jurisdiction Court jurisdiction over appealed cases

Appellate jurisdiction is the power of an appellate court to review, amend and overrule decisions of a trial court or other lower tribunal. Most appellate jurisdiction is legislatively created, and may consist of appeals by leave of the appellate court or by right. Depending on the type of case and the decision below, appellate review primarily consists of: an entirely new hearing ; a hearing where the appellate court gives deference to factual findings of the lower court; or review of particular legal rulings made by the lower court.

Circuit courts are court systems in several common law jurisdictions. The core concept of circuit courts requires judges to travel to different locales to ensure wide visibility and understanding of cases in a region. More generally, some modern circuit courts may also refer to a court that merely holds trials for cases of multiple locations in some rotation.

The writ of coram nobis is a legal order allowing a court to correct its original judgment upon discovery of a fundamental error that did not appear in the records of the original judgment's proceedings and would have prevented the judgment from being pronounced. The term "coram nobis" is Latin for "before us" and the meaning of its full form, quae coram nobis resident, is "which [things] remain in our presence". The writ of coram nobis originated in the English court of common law in the English legal system during the sixteenth century.

Discretionary review is the authority appellate courts have to decide which appeals they will consider from among the cases submitted to them. This offers the judiciary a filter on what types of cases are appealed, because judges have to consider in advance which cases will be accepted. The appeals court will then be able to decide substantive cases with the lowest opportunity cost.

The federal judiciary of the United States is one of the three branches of the federal government of the United States organized under the United States Constitution and laws of the federal government. Article III of the Constitution requires the establishment of a Supreme Court and permits the Congress to create other federal courts, and place limitations on their jurisdiction. Article III federal judges are appointed by the president with the consent of the Senate to serve until they resign, are impeached and convicted, retire, or die.

Supreme Court of Nevada The highest court in the U.S. state of Nevada

The Supreme Court of Nevada is the highest state court of the U.S. state of Nevada, and the head of the Nevada Judiciary. The main constitutional function of the Supreme Court is to review appeals made directly from the decisions of the district courts. The Supreme Court does not pursue fact-finding by conducting trials, but rather determines whether legal errors were committed in the rendering of the lower court's decision. While the Court must consider all cases filed, it has the discretion to send appeals to the Nevada Court of Appeals for final resolution, as well as the power to determine the jurisdiction of that court.

The Alaska Court of Appeals is an intermediate court of appeals for criminal cases in the State of Alaska's judicial department, created in 1980 by the Alaska Legislature as an additional appellate court to lessen the burden on the Alaska Supreme Court. The court of appeals consists of a chief judge and two associate judges, who are all appointed by the governor of Alaska and face judicial retention elections every eight years; the chief judge of the court of appeals is selected from among the three by the chief justice of the supreme court to serve a two-year term.

Remand is when higher courts send cases back to lower courts for further action.

Supreme court Highest court in a jurisdiction

The supreme court is the highest court within the hierarchy of courts in many legal jurisdictions. Other descriptions for such courts include court of last resort, apex court, and highcourt of appeal. Broadly speaking, the decisions of a supreme court are not subject to further review by any other court. Supreme courts typically function primarily as appellate courts, hearing appeals from decisions of lower trial courts, or from intermediate-level appellate courts.

Judiciary of Oklahoma

The Oklahoma Court System is the judicial system for the U.S. State of Oklahoma. Based in Oklahoma City, the court system is a unified state court system that functions under the Chief Justice of Oklahoma who is its administrator-in-chief.

Appeal Resort to a superior court to review the decision of an inferior court or administrative agency

In law, an appeal is the process in which cases are reviewed by a higher authority, where parties request a formal change to an official decision. Appeals function both as a process for error correction as well as a process of clarifying and interpreting law. Although appellate courts have existed for thousands of years, common law countries did not incorporate an affirmative right to appeal into their jurisprudence until the 19th century.

References

Citations

  1. "Court of appeals". Education.yahoo.com. Archived from the original on July 18, 2011. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
  2. "Supreme Court". Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 11th Edition. Retrieved October 26, 2012 from CollinsDictionary.com.
  3. "A Guide to Illinois Civil Appellate Procedure" (PDF). Appellate Lawyers Association. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 9, 2015. Retrieved July 7, 2015.
  4. State v. Randolph, 210 N.J. 330, 350 n.5 (2012), citing Mandel, New Jersey Appellate Practice (Gann Law Books 2012), chapter 28:2
  5. "Bifurcated Appellate Review: The Texas Story of Two High Courts". www.americanbar.org.
  6. "Alabama Judicial System". judicial.alabama.gov.
  7. "About the Court of Criminal Appeals - Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts". www.tncourts.gov.
  8. "Court of Appeal". justice.govt.nz. Retrieved August 7, 2014.
  9. "History of court system — Courts of New Zealand". www.courtsofnz.govt.nz. Courts of New Zealand. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
  10. "Court Role and Structure". United States Courts. Retrieved July 7, 2015.
  11. "How Courts Work | Public Education". www.americanbar.org. Retrieved June 23, 2016.

Sources

  • Lax, Jeffrey R. "Constructing Legal Rules on Appellate Courts." American Political Science Review 101.3 (2007): 591–604. Sociological Abstracts; Worldwide Political Science Abstracts. Web. 29 May 2012.