39111 Six Mile Road
Livonia, MI 48152
What can be appealed?
Generally, there are three kinds of appeal: (1) An appeal by right; (2) an appeal by leave (i.e., permission); and, (3) extraordinary writs, original actions, and enforcement actions.[i]
Note well that if you are appealing a money judgment, you will most likely want a stay of proceedings. Otherwise, the judgment creditor is entitled to execute on the judgment. In civil cases, the execution on a judgment is automatically stayed for 21 days after entry.[ii] There are exceptions, typically for orders for injunctive relief and some domestic relations orders. These orders may be enforced immediately after entry unless the court orders otherwise on motion for good cause.[iii]
Final judgments and orders are appealable as of right, while interlocutory orders (i.e., temporary orders) are appealable only with the court’s permission. Thus, if you’re considering an appeal, you must know which judgments or orders are final and which are not. While the distinction may seem cut and dried, it has been debated and litigated in the appellate courts. The Michigan Supreme Court has made several changes to the court rules governing final judgments and orders in an attempt to clarify the situation. For instance, the Supreme Court has told us that the Michigan Court of Appeals has power to hear appeals from circuit courts where there’s:
A final judgment or final order of the circuit court or the court of claims, but excluding the following judgments or orders of the circuit court –
on appeal from any other court or tribunal;
in a criminal case in which the conviction is based on a plea of guilty or nolo contendere.
An appeal from an order in a . . .
a postjudgment order affecting the custody of a minor;
a postjudgment order awarding or denying attorney fees and costs; or,
an order denying governmental immunity to a governmental party.
A judgment or order of a court or tribunal from which appeal of right to the Court of Appeals has been established by law or court rule.
That said, here are the hard and fast rules concerning appeals by right and appeal by leave of the Court.
Appeal of Right. An appeal of right may be filed by an aggrieved party from the following:
A final judgment or final order of the circuit court or the court of claims, as defined in MCR 7.202(6), except a judgment or order of the circuit court
(a) on appeal from any other court or tribunal;
(b) in a criminal case in which the conviction is based on a plea of guilty or nolo contendere.
2. An appeal from an order described in certain an enumerated “final judgment” or “final order”[iv] is
limited to the portion of the order with respect to which there is an appeal of right.
3. A judgment or order of a court or tribunal from which appeal of right to the Court of Appeals has
been established by law or court rule.
Appeal by Leave (i.e., permission). Absent a statutory or procedural right to appeal, an appeal court may grant leave to appeal from:
a judgment or order of the circuit court and court of claims that is not a final judgment appealable of right;
a final judgment entered by the circuit court on appeal from any other court;
a final order of an administrative agency or tribunal which by law is appealable to or reviewable by the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court;
any other judgment or order appealable to the Court of Appeals by law or rule;
any judgment or order when an appeal of right could have been taken but was not timely filed.
Extraordinary Writs, Original Actions, and Enforcement Actions. An appeals court may also entertain an action for:
superintending control over a lower court or a tribunal immediately below it arising out of an action or proceeding which, when concluded, would result in an order appealable to the Court of Appeals;
mandamus against a state officer[v];
quo warranto involving a state office or officer;
any original action required by law to be filed in the Court of Appeals or Supreme Court;
any action to enforce a final order of an administrative tribunal or agency required by law to be filed in the Court of Appeals or Supreme Court.
We are Experienced Appellate Lawyers
We handle challenging, high-stakes problems that can only be resolved in our highest courts.
Our appellate courts exist because judges and juries are not infallible. If you believe that a judge or a jury made a mistake in your case, we may be able to help you. That is, upon review of your case, we may be able to help secure a reduced sentence; a new trial; a remand; a record expungement; or, improve the outcome of your case in some other way.
Please note well that, as Christian attorneys, you can rest assured that if we think that you do not have grounds for an appeal, we will tell you.
[i] The Michigan Court of Appeals also has jurisdiction over any other appeal or action established by law. An order concerning the assignment of a case to the business court under MCL §600.8301 et seq. shall not be appealed to the Court of Appeals.
[ii] See MCR 2.614(A)(1).
[iii] See MCR 2.614(A)(2).
[iv] See MCR 7.202(6)(a)(iii)–(v).
[v] See MCL §600.4401
[vi] See MCL §600.4304
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