Appeals (Maryland)


What is an Appeal?

An appeal is a proceeding in which a party to the case disagrees with the Circuit Court judge’s ruling and wants the case to be heard by a higher court.  The party filing the appeal is called the Appellant and the person defending the appeal is the Appellee. 

When can an Appeal be filed?

An appeal must be filed within 30 days after the final judgment is entered.

Where are Appeals filed?

Appeals are noted in the Circuit Court where the case was heard to the Court of Special Appeals located in Annapolis, Maryland.

Is there a fee to file an Appeal?

The filing fee is $110.00 and is paid at the time of filing an appeal in the Circuit Court.

What happens after an Appeal is filed?

The appellant must timely complete the Civil Appeal Information Report and file it with the Clerk of the Court of Special Appeals. The Appeals clerk in the Circuit Court where the case was heard sends all necessary original papers, including the original transcript, to the Court of Special Appeals by the deadline provided in the order from the Court of Special Appeals.

Who is responsible for obtaining the original transcript?

The party filing the appeal must order the transcript from the court stenographer and copies must be provided to both the court and the opposing party.

What is a Record Extract?

A record extract is a compilation of photocopies of the papers in the record, including transcripts and exhibits that are reasonably necessary for the Court’s determination of the questions presented in the appeal and any cross-appeal. The appellant prepares and files the record extract with the briefs. The appellant is required to contact the appellee prior to preparing the record extract so that the parties may agree upon the extract contents.

What is a Brief?

An appellant’s brief is the document that discusses the case and explains why the appellant thinks the trial court erred or made a mistake in deciding the case and why the decision should be reversed or modified. The appellee’s brief is a response to the arguments made in the appellant’s brief and explains why the trial court’s judgment should be affirmed. The appellant may, but is not required to, file a reply brief within 20 days after filing of the appellee’s brief. A reply brief is an answer or response to the arguments raised in the appellee’s brief. The content, style, and formatting of the brief are very important. The specific requirements are set forth in Md. Rules 8-112, 8-502, 8-503, and 8-504 and should be carefully reviewed and followed when preparing a brief.

How is an Appeal decided?

An appeal is either scheduled for oral argument or it is placed on the Court of Special Appeals’ summary calendar.   If the appeal is scheduled for oral argument, the parties appear before a three-judge panel of the Court.  The parties argue their case to the panel.  If the case is placed on the summary calendar, there is no oral argument.  The appeal is decided based on the briefs submitted and applicable law.   At some point after the case is heard, the Court of Special Appeals will file a written opinion.   In that opinion, the Court may dismiss the appeal, affirm the judgment of the Circuit Court, reverse or vacate the judgment of the Circuit Court, modify the judgment of the Circuit Court, or remand the case to the Circuit Court for further proceedings.   Although there is no specific time frame in which the Court will make a ruling, in cases involving custody and visitation with a minor child, decisions are made within 60 days. 

What is a Court Mandate?

The mandate is the official evidence of the Court of Special Appeals’ decision in the case and is considered the Court’s final judgment.  The mandate will show the Court’s judgment and the assessment of costs.

What if a party does not like the Court of Special Appeals’ decision?

If a party disagrees with an opinion filed by the Court of Special Appeals, they may ask the Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, to review the case. This is done by filing a petition for writ of certiorari with the Clerk of the Court of Appeals. The petition must be filed within 15 days after the Court of Special Appeals files its mandate.  A petition seeking review of a circuit court decision on appeal from the District Court of Maryland is to be filed 30 days from the date of the judgment of the circuit court.  The Court of Appeals has discretion with regard to granting appeals and does not hear every case.  Typically the Court of Special Appeals will grant petitions that it feels are desirable and in the public interest.

What is an En Banc Appeal?

A party has the option to file an En Banc Appeal to a three-judge panel on the Circuit Court rather than filing an appeal with the Court of Special Appeals.   The request for an en banc appeal must be filed within 10 days from the date the clerk enters the Order.  An appellate memorandum and a transcript of the hearings pertaining to the disputed issues must be filed.  A party who seeks and obtains an en banc review has no further right of appeal.  However, the decision of the panel does not preclude an appeal to the Court of Special Appeals by an opposing party who is otherwise entitled to appeal.

Filing Instructions for an Appeal may be found here.


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Geraldine Welikson Hess, Esq
Hess Family Law
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Rockville, Maryland 20850

Geraldine Welikson Hess, Esq
Hess Family Law
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Vienna, Virginia 22180

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