- What is an Appeal in North Carolina?
In North Carolina, family law cases are tried in District Courts. If you believe the District Court made a mistake in deciding your case, you can ask a higher court – the North Carolina Court of Appeals – to review the decision. Also, in some cases, you can request review by the Supreme Court of North Carolina.
- What are the Grounds for Appeal?
You cannot appeal the decision in your case just because you don’t like the outcome. You must have grounds. Grounds for an appeal are that the District Court judge made a mistake in how the law was applied in your case, or the judge abused his or her discretion in deciding your case – for example, the judge did not understand the facts.
- What Happens in the Appellate Courts?
After the appellate review is completed, the Court of Appeals will decide to either reverse, remand, affirm or affirm and modify the District Court’s order. The appellate order may pertain to all of, or only parts of, the District Court’s decision.
- Should I Appeal my Case?
District Court judges are given broad discretion in deciding family law cases and are not likely to be overturned unless the Court of Appeals determines the trial judge abused his or her discretion. Appeals cases are complicated endeavors which can be costly to pursue. They can take a year or more to be decided. For these reasons, it is wise to consult with an experienced appeals lawyer in North Carolina to determine whether your case qualifies for an appellate review – and whether it is worth the time, effort and money it would take to prevail at the Court of Appeals.