civil court lawsuits
There are various appeals courts to which rulings in lower trial courts can be appealed.
There are appeals courts on the state level, up to state supreme courts, for cases that involve state law and that originated in county superior courts.
There are appeals courts on the federal level, up to the U.S. Supreme Court, for cases that involve federal law and that originated in federal district courts.
California Appeals Courts
For cases involving state law, the appeals court in Northern California is the California First Appellate District.
For federal cases, the appeals court in Northern California is the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Cases involving state law also can be appealed up to the California Supreme Court.
Federal cases, or state cases that raise federal constitutional issues, can be appealed up to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Appeals Court Records
Each appeals court will keep its own set of records for cases appealed to it.
The records kept at an appeals court will include:
- the appeal filed by either the plaintiff or the defendant from the trial court, and the response to the appeal by the other side
- any motions filed by either side with the appeals court
- the final decision by the appeals court
Transcripts of arguments made in person before the appeals court by attorneys in the case may not be available in the public record. You can ask either the plaintiff's attorney or the defendant's attorney if you can review their copies, or pay the court reporter to make you a copy.
Generally appeals concern conflicting interpretations of the law, rather than the particular facts of a case.
The court file for the original case that produced the appeal also will include a notation that an appeal was filed, along with a subsequent memo indicating the result of the appeal.