The losing party in a decision by a trial court normally has a right to appeal the decision at the next highest court. For the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas – General Division the next highest court is the Ohio Second District Court of Appeals. The highest Ohio appellate court is The Supreme Court of Ohio.
How are cases decided?
Appeals are decided by a panel of judges. The court does not receive additional evidence or hear witnesses, rather the judges make their decision based on the written record of the case. In some instances, oral arguments are part of the process where each side is given a short time (usually 15-20 minutes) to make their case. The panel judges may ask questions of the attorneys for clarification.
Once oral arguments are completed the panel judges meet at a later time to vote on the outcome. One of the judges writes a majority opinion and if the vote was not unanimous, one of the minority judges on the panel may choose to write a dissenting opinion documenting the reasons for disagreeing. This process can take weeks to months to complete. The appellate court, through its written opinion:
- Uphold, or affirm the lower courts’ decision;
- Reverse, or overturn the lower court’s decision;
- Remand, or send the case back to the trial court (or a lower court in the case of The Supreme Court of Ohio) for some further action or in some cases a new trial.
Usually, individuals may only file an appeal with the next higher court in the same system in which the case originated. In Montgomery County, this is the Second Appellate Court and the filing must be done through the Montgomery County Clerk of Court.
The Second Court of Appeals (Rule 2.1) mandates all criminal and civil appeals, docket statements, and Praecipes for Transcript to be e-filed through the Clerk’s e-filing process. The clerk offers training on the e-filing process and system if requested.
For detailed instructions on how to file an appeal in the Second Appellate Court please see Local Rule 6, 6.1, 6.2, and Rule 7. You can find a copy of the appellate rules at the links below:
Since the facts of each case are complex and require legal expertise it is highly recommended to consult an attorney to obtain legal advice for any appeals decision for a case you are involved in.
Options to Appealing
Either before or after you appeal, you may be able to reach an agreement about your dispute instead of going through the appeal process.
- a settlement or;
- check into mediation.
- You still have to meet the filing deadline for the appeal, even if you are trying to settle.
- If you miss your deadline for the notice of appeal because you were trying to mediate or settle, you will have lost your chance to file an appeal.
- Make sure you file your notice of appeal within the deadline even if you are trying to reach an agreement.
A motion for a new trial asks the trial court to reexamine 1 or more issues of fact or law after a trial and decision by the judge or jury. There are a number of reasons why someone can ask for a new trial, such as jury misconduct; an irregularity with the jury, a party, or a lawyer in the case; insufficient evidence for the verdict; excessive or inadequate damages; an irregularity in the case that prevented one of the parties from having a fair trial; and others.
This is when a party that is affected by a trial court’s order asks the same court to reconsider the order, based on new facts, circumstances, or law. You must file a motion for reconsideration within 10 days of being served with the written notice of entry of the order you want the court to reconsider. The motion must also include an affidavit with information about the original order and the new facts, circumstances, or law. The requirements are very specific.
This is when a party that is affected by a trial court’s judgment or order asks the same court to cancel the judgment or order that was made. There are different laws that apply in different cases, and usually, you have to meet very specific requirements to be able to file a motion to set aside or to vacate.
This is when the same party that made a motion (a request for an order) that was refused (the entire motion or just part) asks a judge (same or different) to grant the order. This request must be based on new facts, circumstances, or law. There is no time limit. The application must also include an affidavit with information on the original order and the new facts, circumstances, or law.
Steps to Appeal
- Only a person or entity that was a party in the trial court can appeal a decision made in that case.
- You can only appeal the final judgment in a case and most orders AFTER the final judgment.
You must file 30 days after either the trial court clerk or the other side serves you notice that judgment has been entered in your case or a copy of the judgment stamped “filed”.
If you lose the appeal, there are several other steps that might be available depending on the circumstance:
- If the opinion conflicts with another court of appeals in Ohio, you can ask the Court of Appeals to “certify” a conflict and send the case to the Supreme Court of Ohio.
- If the opinion contradicts another opinion from the Second Court of Appeals, you can ask the court for an “en banc” decision of all the judges in that court to send the case to the Supreme Court of Ohio.
These options must be exercised within 10 days of the opinion — again, a lot of legal research and writing must be done in a very short time. It best to have an attorney who is experienced in handling appellate law to navigate these difficult issues to meet the timelines.
You can also ask the Supreme Court of Ohio to review your case within forty-five (45) appellate court clerk or the other side serves you notice that judgment has been entered in your case or a copy of the judgment stamped “filed”.
days to make the request.
After the Appeal
- In most civil cases, if you win your appeal, you are entitled to have your costs paid by the other side (unless the court orders otherwise).
- You will need to file a memorandum of your costs in the trial court.
- You may also be able to ask for your attorney fees if an attorney helped you for part of your case. You should ask your attorney about this
- If you win the prosector will have an option to appeal to a higher court;
- Your case is normally remanded to the trial court for additional proceedings. These generally include:
- Reversal of conviction;
- Order for a new trial;
- Acquittal (if prosecutor failed to prove its case committed egregious misconduct);
- Prosecutor dismisses charges.
If you lost the appeal you have several options:
- Let the Appeal Stand;
- Ask the Second Appellate to correct an important error in its decision;
- Ask The Supreme Court of Ohio to review the Second Appellate’s decision.
Tuesday: 8:30am to 4:30pm
Wednesday: 8:30am to 4:30pm
Thursday: 8:30am to 4:30pm
Friday: 8:30am to 4:30pm
Saturday & Sunday: Closed
Montgomery County Courts Building
41 N Perry St
Dayton, OH 45422
14 W 4th St
Dayton, OH 45402