*Case Law Ltd. Extern and Southern University Law Student, Class of 2023
An appeal before the California Court of Appeals can be perfected from a judgment of a superior court or an appealable order of the superior court. Consequently, there are certain rules and regulations under the California Rules of Court to be complied with to perfect an appeal.
1. Notice of Appeal: Cal. Rules of Court, Rule 8.100
A notice of appeal must be signed and served by the appellant’s attorney. The notice should be liberally construed and should identify the judgment from which the appeal has been preferred. Failure to do so neither prevents the filing of such an appeal nor affects the validity of the appeal, but the appellant may be required to remedy the same.
2. Notice Designation record on appeal:
Subsequent to the filing of the Notice of Appeal, a Notice Designating Record on Appeal should be served and filed by the appellant. An optional form of such notice is APP-003 and can be found here.
3. Fee and Deposit:
The Fee for filing the appeal is $775 and the deposit to be paid is $100 payable to the “Clerk/Executive Office, Court of Appeal”. Failure to pay the same within 15 days from the day the clerk sends notice stating the fee/deposit has not been paid shall be tantamount to dismissal of the appeal. Subsequent to the filing and payment of the fees, the Superior court clerk shall send notification of such filing to all the attorneys and the unrepresented parties.
4. Civil Case Information Statement:
The appellant has to file and serve within 15 days from the date of superior clerk’s notice notifying the filing of such appeal, a civil case information statement. If the appellant fails to comply with the same, the court may dismiss the appeal or impose monetary sanctions. The mandatory form for Civil Case Information is APP-004 and can be found here.
5. Record on Appeal: Cal. Rules of Court, Rule 8.120
To perfect an appeal, the record must contain written documents from the superior court proceedings in any one of the following forms:
I. A clerk’s transcript
II. An Appendix
III. The original superior court file
IV. An agreed statement
V. A settled statement
In a case where the appellant’s appealed issue(s) require consideration of the oral proceedings before the superior court, the appellant must also include any one of the following:
I. A reporters transcript
II. An agreed statement
III. A settled statement
“An appellant’s appendix (abbreviated AA) is a document prepared by the appellant in place of the clerk’s transcript, which is prepared by the superior court. It includes the items that would have been designated had a clerk’s transcript been prepared. If the respondent and appellant agree to prepare a single appendix together, it is called a ‘joint appendix’ (abbreviated JA). Otherwise, the respondent may prepare a ‘respondent’s appendix’ (abbreviated RA) if there are additional documents that the respondent thinks should be included in the appellate record but which are not in the AA.” Glossary (Definition of Terms) – California Courts. Rules governing the AA are covered by Rule 8.124 of the California Rules of Court (the table below indicates the requirements).
The Form of AA is stated under Rule 8.124, subdivision (d). It states that the AA shall comply with the requirements of Rule 8.144 along with Rule 8.204, subdivision (b)(2). In addition to this, the cover page of the AA must prominently display the title “Appellant’s Appendix”. Appellant’s Brief and the Appellant’s Appendix must not be bound together or transmitted as one document.
Further, Rule 8.124, subdivision (b)(3), states a list of documents or records which shall not be included as a part of the AA. Any exhibit which has been admitted in evidence, refused, or lodged is deemed part of the record, whether or not the appendix contains a copy of the same. A respondent’s appendix can include a reference to any of the document which has been included in the Appellant’s Appendix. Similarly, in the case of the Appellant’s Reply, reference to any of the documents in the Respondent’s Appendix can be included.
In a case where the documents are held by the other party, the appellant shall ask the party to provide the document or a copy of the same. It is incorporated in Rule 8.124, subdivision (c)(1), that the parties shall reasonably cooperate with such requests. If the party possessing the document denies the same, the appellant may file in the reviewing court and serve a notice identifying the document requesting the party to deliver the same. To this notice and request, the party shall comply within 10 days after the notice is served. To comply with the notice the other party can send the documents requested to the court or the appellant. In the former case, the other party has to send the documents to the court along with a copy of the notice and inform the appellant that the documents are sent to the reviewing court. In the latter case, the appellant shall make a copy and return the same within 10 days.
The cost of filing an appendix must be borne by each party. In a case where a joint appendix has been filed, the cost shall be borne by the appellant; in a case where there is more than one appellant; then by the both or all the appellants equally; or by the parties equally.
An AA that has been filed represents that the appendix consists of accurate copies of documents in the superior court file. In a case where the appendix does not comply with the Rules specified, the court may impose monetary or other sanctions.
7. Contents of an Appeal
|SR. NO.||DOCUMENTS REQUIRED|
|I.||Notice of Election|
|II.||Transcripts as required Cal. Rules of Court, Rule 8.122 |
with the following information:
1. Notice of Appeal 1
2. The judgment or the order appealed from and any
notice of entry of judgment 2
3. Any notice of intention to move for 3
a. a new trial / to vacate a judgment,
b. for judgment notwithstanding the verdict
c. reconsideration of an appeal order
d. any other motion or notice of its entry
4. Notice to prepare clerk’s or reporter’s transcripts or
to proceed by agreed or settled statement 4
5. Register of actions if any
|III.||If designated by the party the transcript must also |
contain the following:
1. Any other document filed or lodged in the
2. Exhibits admitted in evidence, refused, or lodged
3. Any jury instruction that the party has submitted in
writing and the cover page as required.
|IV.||All the exhibits admitted in evidence, refused, or lodged |
are deemed part of the record, whether or not the
appendix contains a copy of the same.
|V.||Respondent’s Appendix may contain any document that |
has been incorporated in the Appellant’s Appendix.
|VI.||Appellant’s Reply Appendix may contain any document that |
could have been incorporated in the Respondent’s Appendix.
Cal Rules of Court, Rule 8.124 (b)(6)
|VII.||AA must not contain the following:|
1. Documents or portions of the documents filed in the
superior court that are unnecessary for proper consideration
of the issue.
2. Transcripts of oral proceedings designated under Cal Rules
of Court, Rule 8.130
3. Any other documents except as provided under Cal Rules
of Court, Rule 8.124 (2)
4. Record of an administrative proceeding that was admitted
in evidence, refused, or lodged in the trial court
1 In the case of the said document/s, it is necessary to show the date necessary to determine the timeliness of the appeal under rule 8.104. Cal. Rules of Court, Rule 8.104 read with Rule 8.124 and Rule 8.122.
2 In the case of the said document/s, it is necessary to show the date necessary to determine the timeliness of the appeal under rule 8.104. Cal. Rules of Court, Rule 8.104 read with Rule 8.124 and Rule 8.122.
3 In the case of the said document/s, it is necessary to show the date necessary to determine the timeliness of the appeal under rule 8.104. Cal. Rules of Court, Rule 8.104 read with Rule 8.124 and Rule 8.122.
4 In the case of the said document/s, it is necessary to show the date necessary to determine the timeliness of the appeal under rule 8.104. Cal. Rules of Court, Rule 8.104 read with Rule 8.124 and Rule 8.122.
8. Rules of Formatting
Pursuant to California Court of Rules 8.72, subdivision (a), and 8.74, subdivision (b), effective October 30, 2017, requirements and guidelines for electronic filing have been implemented, notification of the same can be found here. Subsequent to which electronic filing of the appellant appendix is subject to the following requisites:
|1.||The font size required is 13 pt. text|
|2.||The spacing required is a minimum of 1.5. (footnotes |
and quotations may be single-spaced)
|3.||Documents filed must be text-searchable|
|4.||Margins should be 1.5 on all sides.|
|5.||The upper right corner of the cover page must be left blank|
|6.||Pagination of the document filed shall begin from the cover |
page. In the case where there are multiple files or documents,
the page number should be consecutive.
|7.||Electronic bookmarks must include the indexes on the first |
page of each separate exhibit and attachment. Exhibits or
attachments included within an exhibit or attachment must
be separately bookmarked.
|8.||A single PDF file shall not exceed 25 megabytes and should |
not be more than 300 pages.
|9.||An audio or a video file shall not be accepted and should be |
delivered to the clerk’s office on a DVD, CD, or flash drive.
The format for the audio files is .wav or mp3 and for the
audio files is .avi or mp4 format.
|10.||In a case where there are multiple volumes, the cover page |
of each volume should specify pagination in the following
1. Total number of volumes
2. File numbers contained in that volume
3. Page numbers contained in that volume
4. The total number of pages of all volumes
Ex. Vol. II of IV, files 24 of 56, pp. 264-450 of 988
|11.||The text should be left-aligned.|
|12.||Use of ALL CAPS is prohibited. Boldface and italics |
should be used instead of underlining.
|13.||Hyperlinking is allowed and encouraged.|
9. Pragmatic Considerations When Choosing to Seek An Appeal
Appellants must consider various factors before considering to perfect an appeal. The first factor which one should consider before deciding to perfect an appeal is that it entails the cost of almost going through the trial again, the appellant has to bear the burden of the attorney fees and the cost of an appeal. When the client has a limited budget, it would be advisable to get estimates from the court reporter to help them with the financial decision. Further, an important note to understand that appeals are time-consuming. In the California system, appeals usually take 14 to 16 months and it entails almost a procedure of going through a trial all over again. Therefore, the time delays and the expense should be considered before considering whether an appeal would be an appropriate remedy.