In California, a civil judgment can be entered after a trial or by default when the party who is sued fails to appear in court. Although considered final for most purposes, a judgment can be appealed on legal grounds such as the trial court misapplying the law. In order for an appeal to be made, proper formalities must be followed including filing the appeal in a timely manner and appealing to the correct court.
The entry of judgment in your case is not always the end. Many litigants are faced with the prospect of dealing with an appeal after judgment is entered. Whether you are appealing or you are responding to an appeal, the process is often difficult for clients to understand. Let’s face it, judges and juries can make mistakes and you are left to deal with the consequences.
Your time to appeal an unfavorable judgment is extremely limited. If you are considering an appeal, or if you have been served with a Notice of Appeal, please contact our office right away to discuss your rights.
A default judgment is a judgment entered when a defendant fails to appear in court to contest a civil lawsuit. By failing to appear, the defendant is considered to have given up a defense. However, the case is not considered to have been decided on the merits.
To appeal a default judgment, a defendant needs to show two things. First, that they had no notice of the action and couldn’t have reasonably have had notice and second, that they are appealing in a timely manner. Our Murrieta family law appeals lawyers can help you present the proper legal arguments to reverse a default judgment and have the case decided on the merits.
Whether a civil case is decided by a judge or a jury, either party may appeal to either have the verdict reversed or to have the award of damages modified. Unlike at trial, an appeal does not involve the presentation of evidence or deciding the facts of the case. Instead, it is a matter of purely legal arguments.
Andrew L. Westover, CFLS is a legal specialist in the area of family law. One of 15 certified specialists in the area, this can ensure clients that they have a demonstarted high level of experience on their side throughout the appeals process, including complex cases. He has the legal skills to help you with complicated custody or financial matters.
Even if you feel you handled your case well as trial, contact our appellate attorneys at (951) 643-0085 for help with the legal aspects of your case.