The losing party in a civil court case can appeal the decision but is often required to secure an appeal bond. In an appellate court there is no jury—judges review the case for possible errors of law.
Appeals Are Not Re-Trials
When a civil case is lost in a trial court, lawyers may determine that there are grounds for appeal based on the court’s legal proceedings. The case may then go to the appellate court. Essentially, appellate court judges assess the trial court’s application of the law. There is no jury and no witnesses—and generally no other types of evidence. As FindLaw explains:
An appeals court reviews what happened in prior proceedings for any errors of law. This means losing parties can’t appeal a case just because they’re unhappy with the outcome; they may only challenge decisions that may have resulted from errors, such as a misinterpretation of legal precedent or reliance on evidence that should have been excluded.
If the court finds an error that contributed to the trial court’s decision, the appeals court will reverse that decision. The lawyers for the parties submit briefs to the court and may be granted oral argument. Once an appeals court has made its decision, the opportunity for further appeals is limited.
Although no one likes to lose, neither state Supreme Courts (referred to as the Court of Appeals In Maryland and New York) nor the U.S. Supreme Court can accept all of the cases they are asked to consider. Generally, only those that pertain to outstanding issues of law or the constitution can review in our highest courts.
Appeal Bonds Are Commonly Required By Courts
When there are grounds for appeal, courts typically require the appellant (person appealing the loss) to post an appeal bond, which in some states is called a supersedeas bond.
An appeal bond is a type of surety bond—it places money or assets in holding while the case is being judged by an appellate court, guaranteeing that the initial judgment will be honored if the appeal ultimately fails. Essentially, an appeal bond is security that a court requires from an appellant awaiting judgment on the appeal. As further explained by Investopedia:
The amount of money required for the bond is often the actual judgment plus interest—and is held while the appeal is being debated.
- The appeal bond is required as a sign of good faith that the judgment will be paid if the appellant loses, and to protect the winning party should the losing party go bankrupt during the appeals process.
- The appeal bond is also used to limit frivolous attempts at an appeal, as the appellant still has to pay the judgment upfront in the form of a bond, and may end up paying more ultimately, due to interest, fees, lawyers, etc.
When courts order an appeal bond or supersedeas bond, meet the deadline by obtaining the bond directly from a leading national provider: Colonial Surety Company. There is no need to delay by working through a middleman or broker. Use Colonial’s efficient online system to secure quotes for appeal or supersedeas bonds and, upon approval, simply print or e-file the bond instantly, from anywhere—even the courthouse.
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Founded in 1930, Colonial Surety Company is a direct seller and writer of surety bonds and insurance products. Colonial is rated “A Excellent” by A.M. Best Company, U.S. Treasury listed, and licensed for business everywhere in the USA.