Step 1: File the Notice of Appeal.
The Notice of Appeal is usually a simple form that can often be found on the state’s judiciary website. It typically requires basic information, such as the name of the parties to the appeal, the court and case number of the order being appealed, and in some cases, a summary of the grounds for appeal. (Here is an example from Wisconsin.) Here are some key points to remember related to the Notice of Appeal:
- When: Make sure to file within your state’s deadline. If you aren’t sure of the deadline, call your local legal services or consult with a private attorney to ask.
- Where: Often, the Notice of Appeal must be filed in both the trial court that issued the decision you are appealing and in the appeals court. Sometimes the form itself will state where it must be filed.
- Who: Before you file the Notice of Appeal, you must be sure to give (“serve”) your opposing party or his/her lawyer a copy of the Notice of Appeal. Many states will require that you “certify” that you have served the opposing party, for example, by signing a statement at the bottom of the Notice of Appeal.