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Copy of Video One- Civil Appeal Overview

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Welcome to a video series by the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts. These short videos are aimed at helping self-represented litigants, otherwise called people without lawyers, with civil appeals. You should know that this video content is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. You must speak with a lawyer if you need legal advice. This is video #1 in our civil appeals series for the Illinois Appellate Court. In this video, we will provide a basic overview of a civil appeal. Keep watching for more information! In this video, we will focus on providing a basic overview of a civil appeal for self-represented litigants. We’ll first define some terms that you may hear when filing paperwork for your appeal. Then, we’ll discuss what an appeal is and what it is not. We’ll also cover some important issues you may want to consider before filing an appeal. And finally, we’ll give you some contact information for where to go for more information. We want to take a moment to define some terms that we will be using in this video that may be unfamiliar to you. If you are filing the appeal, you are considered the appellant, and that is true no matter what side of the case you were on in the circuit court; for example, if you were the petitioner or the respondent. The person responding to the appeal is the appellee. The Record on Appeal is a circuit court case record that the appellant will need to order from the circuit court. Finally, if a court reporter was present during the circuit court case or if your case was electronically recorded, the appellant will need to order those transcripts. This is a simplified overview of the multiple steps involved in a civil appeal. There are additional videos in this series that cover all of these topics. Additionally, you can find more information about the steps to complete an appeal on the Court’s website. You may have just received an order or judgment from your circuit court case that you don’t agree with and now you’re wondering what, if any, steps you can take. If you were a party in the circuit court case you may be able to file an appeal. You have the right to file an appeal with or without the assistance of a lawyer. Appeals are difficult and complex. You should know that appeals are governed by strict deadlines and your appeal must be timely filed. Otherwise, you may forfeit your right to file an appeal. You should also know that you’ll need to follow all rules and deadlines just like those parties who have a lawyer. There are many factors you should consider before filing an appeal. So, now let’s discuss what is an appeal? An appeal is a review by a higher court of a lower court or administrative agency’s judgment or order to determine if the lower court made any legal errors in those proceedings. Appeals are almost entirely done in writing and most often litigants do not appear in court. Now, let’s discuss what an appeal is not. It is not a new trial or a chance to present your case again in front of a different judge. It is not a chance to present new evidence or witnesses. The appellate court does not weigh the credibility of witnesses at trial from your circuit court case. And the appellate court does not hear live testimony from witnesses. Appeals are difficult. The appellate court does not retry the case, its role is to review the circuit court’s judgment or order for legal errors. As a result, the Record on Appeal and transcripts are very important to the likelihood of a successful appeal. There are some factors that you may want to consider before filing an appeal. Deadlines and time commitments are important. First, is your case appealable? In general, you need to file a Notice of Appeal no later than 30 days after your order or judgment was entered. Please note, there are some cases that have shorter deadlines for filing your Notice of Appeal. You’ll need to check the Illinois Supreme Court Rules as it pertains to deadlines for your case. Second, it will take many months to complete your appeal. This is because all parties must file the necessary documents for the appeal and file briefs. Then the court will need time to make its decision. Finally, you should keep in mind that you’ll need to devote significant time toward conducting legal research to write your brief. You will need to pay to file an appeal or to respond to an appeal. If you cannot afford to pay, you will need to file a fee waiver application with the appellate court. And that is true even if you have already filed and received a fee waiver in the circuit court. This table summarizes the costs associated with filing a civil appeal and who is responsible for paying those fees. It is current as of 2020. Finally, another important consideration is conducting legal research. In order to write your brief, you’ll need to conduct legal research at a law library or through an electronic legal research database service, such as Lexis or Westlaw. You can think of writing an appellate brief as similar to writing a lengthy research paper. There are specific Illinois Supreme Court Rules that govern appellate briefs, which you will need to strictly follow. You can find those Rules on the Court’s website. These resources may help you with your appeal. The Civil Appeals Self-Help website has many resources for you to review, including: Comprehensive appellate guides and overviews that help explain procedures and rules; A detailed frequently asked questions guide that discusses all stages of an appeal; and step-by-step E-filing guides to help you file your appeal. You can also find the appellate clerk’s contact information and all of the forms that you’ll need to complete your appeal on the court’s website. Here is the contact information for the Appellate Resource Program at the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts. Please feel free to contact our office for more information. Thank you for watching and stay tuned for additional videos on civil appeals for people without lawyers.

Video Details

Duration: 5 minutes and 56 seconds
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 1
Posted by: sheridanorgan on Apr 2, 2020

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