Post-Conviction / Appeal
According to Michigan law, an individual is entitled to one appeal as of right from a final decision. A final decision is when a decision was made by the trial court that resulted in a final judgment, final order or a final decision that has been entered by the court. A judgment in a criminal case may be executed immediately on entry. It is based upon the trial court’s discretion whether to stay execution of the judgment subject to the law and rules governing bonds on appeal in a criminal case.What Court has Jurisdiction Over an Appeal?
Circuit Courts are courts of general jurisdiction. The Circuit Court of the appropriate county will hear appeals from the district courts, municipal courts, and agency decisions where appealable by law to circuit court. The Court of Appeal has jurisdiction “as of right” over timely appeals from final judgments and orders of the circuit court, the court of claims, and probate courts, except those by statute that are appealable only by leave.When and how can an Individual Take an Appeal as of Right?
An individual who is contemplating whether or not they want to proceed with an appeal as of right has to keep in mind there are jurisdictional and nonjurisdictional deadlines that have to be met to ensure the individual preserves their appeal. As it pertains to jurisdictional deadlines, an appellant must file their claim of appeal and pay the proper filing fee within the time for taking the appeal. Generally speaking, an appellant who is appealing a criminal matter has 42 days from the time of a final judgment to file an appeal.
Within the 42 days to file an appeal, an appellant must also comply with the nonjurisdictional deadlines placed upon them according to Michigan court rules. Accompanying the appellant’s claim of appeal, the appellant must also do the following:
- Serve the trial court with a copy of the claim of appeal;
- Serve the trial court with any fee or bond required by law;
- Order the transcript and secure payment for its preparation;
- Obtain a copy of the register of action from the trial court, if any exists;
- Perform any other acts required by law; and
- Serve all parties with the claim of appeal and documents filed with the claim of appeal
Once the appellant court serves written notice that the record has been received from the trial court, the appellant has 28 days to file a brief in support of their appeal. The brief will include what the appellant is appealing based upon the outcome at the trial court level.