Your Appeal Is Your Last Best Chance To Right A Wrong

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Where are appeals heard?

On Behalf of | Jan 17, 2024 | Federal Appeals

If you are found guilty in a case and believe you were wrongfully convicted or the sentence was too harsh, you can appeal your case. This won’t be another trial – you will have the opportunity to pinpoint specific errors during your trial.

But where can you do this?

Circuit court or federal appellate court

The United States has 94 federal judicial districts divided into 12 regional circuits. Each circuit has a court of appeal. The court of appeal in your regional circuit will hear your appeal if your case is from a district court within the circuit.

If your case originated in a state court and it involves claims that a state or local law/action violated your rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution, it will be heard in a federal appellate court.   

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

The U.S. has 12 regional circuits but 13 courts of appeals. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit brings the number to 13. Located in Washington D.C., this court hears appeals from the U.S. Court of International Trade, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Supreme Court 

If you are not satisfied with the decision of any of the above-mentioned courts, you can appeal its decision in the Supreme Court, the highest court in the federal judiciary of the U.S. The Supreme Court will make the final decision regarding your appeal.

However, in most cases, the decisions of the courts of appeals are usually final. 

Where you appeal your case depends on different factors, including the court in which your case originated and the circumstances surrounding it. It’s vital to be adequately informed when appealing a court’s decision.