Appealing The Case

Learn how to "appeal" your case if you disagree with the decision reached by the judge (or jury) after your trial.


Overview

If you disagree with the decision reached after your trial, you can file an “appeal.” An “appeal” is a request to have a higher court change or reverse a judgment of a lower court.

When you appeal, the entire case is reviewed by a higher court. The appeals court will look at the evidence that was presented to the trial court to decide whether some legal error was made. Depending on what the appeals court decides, it can set aside, confirm, or modify the trial court’s judgment and could even order a new trial.

CAUTION! An appeal doesn’t allow you to re-do your trial. You won’t be able to introduce any new evidence. All the appeals judge is going to look at is what you submitted to the trial judge. So at your hearing or trial make sure your exhibits are filed as part of the court’s record, that your written submissions are as thorough as possible, and that you have preserved any objections to the trial court proceedings.

If your case is in district court, both sides normally have thirty days from the written notice of entry of the judgment to appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court. The Nevada Supreme Court has the option of assigning your case to the Nevada Court of Appeals to handle instead. If your case is in justice court, you typically have twenty days to appeal to the district court. It is important to make sure you are applying the correct appeal time for your type of case and calculating it correctly. Missing your appeal deadline can preclude your appeal.

Broadly speaking, to appeal a civil judgment you need to take the following steps:
Step 1: Determine whether you can file an appeal
Step 2: Calculate your time limit to appeal
Step 3: File a notice of appeal and a cost bond
Step 4: Serve the notice of appeal
Step 5: Decide whether to “stay” execution of the judgment
Step 6: Order a transcript or file a statement of evidence and points on appeal
Step 7: File a brief to the supreme court or wait for instructions from the district court

An in-depth discussion of appeals is beyond this website’s scope. This page provides only a general overview. Appeals can be complicated. So make sure you understand all the rules you must comply with for your type of case and appeal.

FYI! There’s a great resource available at your local law library called the Nevada Appellate Practice Manual. It’s basically a “how to” guide for appeals in Nevada and will be an invaluable resources, especially if you’re appealing your case to the Nevada Supreme Court. Click to visit Law Libraries for location and contact information.


Step 1:
Determine whether you can file an appeal

Not every court order can be appealed. For a list of many of the orders that you can appeal, study Rule 3A(b) of the Nevada Rules of Appellate Procedure (if you are appealing a district court judgment) and Rule 72A of the Justice Court Rules of Civil Procedure (if you are appealing a justice court judgment). Click to visit Rules and Laws to find these rules.

Even though you may not be able to appeal a particular court order, there might be other avenues you can use to challenge the order. Talking to a lawyer about your case is the best way to evaluate your options. Click to visit Lawyers and Legal Help.


Step 2:
Calculate your time limit to appeal

The time you have to appeal a civil judgment depends on when the judgment was “entered” and “noticed.” Missing your appeal deadline can preclude your appeal. Click to visit After the Trial for more information about entering and noticing a judgment.

  • If the judgment was entered in the justice court, you must typically file your Notice of Appeal (Step 3 below) within twenty days after the date of service of the written notice of entry of the judgment. (JCRCP 72B(a).)
  • If the judgment was entered in the district court, you must typically file your notice of appeal within thirty days after service of the notice of entry of the judgment or order. (NRAP 4(a)(1).)

To locate the rules governing time to appeal, click to visit Rules and Laws.


Step 3:
File a notice of appeal and a cost bond

  • If you are appealing a justice court judgment:

To appeal a justice court case, file a Notice of Appeal with the justice court that heard your case. A form Notice of Appeal is available for free at the Self-Help Center, or you can download the form by clicking one of the formats underneath the form’s title below:

JUSTICE COURT NOTICE OF APPEAL 

Pdf Fillable  Pdf Nonfillable

When you file the Notice of Appeal, you must pay a filing fee of $97 to the court clerk. If the court has already issued an order waiving your filing fees, the order will waive the filing fee on appeal. If you cannot afford the filing fee, you can file an Application to Proceed in Forma Pauperis (sometimes called a "fee waiver application"), which is available, free of charge, at the Self-Help Center. You can also download the form on your computer by clicking one of the formats underneath the form's title below:

JUSTICE COURT APPLICATION TO WAIVE FILING FEE (OTHER THAN LAS VEGAS) 
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JUSTICE COURT APPLICATION TO WAIVE FILING FEE (LAS VEGAS ONLY) 
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You must also post a bond with the court clerk for the costs on appeal of $250. (JCRCP 73.) A “bond” is a guarantee for payment that you obtain from a bonding company for a fee. You can also post the $250 in cash. The $250 cost bond cannot be waived with a fee waiver application.

  • If you are appealing a district court judgment:

To appeal a district court case, you must file a Notice of Appeal with the district court that heard your case. The Self-Help Center does not currently have forms for an appeal from the district court to the Nevada Supreme Court. But the supreme court has samples on its website that you can use to draft your own. Click to visit the Appellate Practice Forms website.

When you file the Notice of Appeal, you must pay a filing fee of $24 to the district court and $250 to the supreme court. (NRAP 3(e).) If the court has already issued an order waiving your filing fees, the order will waive the filing fee on appeal. If you cannot afford the filing fee, you can file an Application to Proceed in Forma Pauperis (sometimes called a “fee waiver application”), which is available, free of charge, at the Self-Help Center. You can also download the form on your computer by clicking one of the formats underneath the form’s title below:

DISTRICT COURT APPLICATION TO WAIVE FILING FEES 

AUTOMATED FORMS INTERVIEW AVAILABLE!

There is an automated interview for applicants filling out the Fee Waiver. This interview will complete the fee waiver forms for you after you answer a series of questions. To use the interview, click here and select the "Clark County District Court Fee Waiver" interview. At the end of the interview, you will have to print your forms, sign them, and file them. This interview will only generate the Fee Waiver forms.

Pdf Fillable | Pdf Nonfillable 

You must also post a bond with the court clerk for the costs on appeal of $500. (NRAP 7.) A “bond” is a guarantee for payment that you obtain from a bonding company for a fee. You can also post the $500 in cash. The $500 cost bond cannot be waived with a fee waiver application.

You must also prepare and file a Case Appeal Statement with the district court clerk. (NRAP 3(f).) If you are representing yourself, the district court clerk will complete this for you. (NRAP 3(f)(2).) Click to visit the Appellate Practice Forms website for an example of a Case Appeal Statement. 


Step 4:
Serve the notice of appeal

You must mail a copy of the filed Notice of Appeal (stamped by the court clerk) to the other side’s attorney or, if there is no attorney, to the other side directly. (NRAP 3(d); JCRCP 72(d).)


Step 5:
Decide whether to “stay” execution of the judgment

Your filing of an appeal does not automatically prevent the other side from collecting a judgment in their favor. In other words, after a short period (usually ten days after service of notice of entry of a judgment), the other side can try to execute the judgment and collect it by garnishing your wages or attaching your bank accounts.

If you want to prevent the other side from collecting the judgment while you appeal, you must take steps to “stay” (pause) enforcement of the judgment:

  • A justice court judgment can be stayed by filing a “supersedeas bond” with the justice court clerk. (JCRCP 73A.) A “supersedeas bond” is a guarantee for payment that you obtain from a bonding company for a fee. The amount of the bond you will need depends on the type of judgment you are appealing. If you are appealing from a judgment that awarded money to the other side, you must file a bond in the entire amount of the judgment, plus costs and interest.

A form Notice of Posting and Acceptance of Bond on Appeal, which you should file with your bond, is available for free at the Self-Help Center, or you can download it by clicking one of the formats underneath the form’s title below:

NOTICE OF POSTING AND ACCEPTANCE OF BOND ON APPEAL 
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  • A district court judgment can be stayed by filing a motion in the district court asking the judge to stay the judgment pending appeal. (NRAP 8(a)(1).) The request for a stay can also be filed directly with the supreme court under certain circumstances. (NRAP 8(a)(2).) The district court will typically require the party asking for the stay to post a “supersedeas bond” to guarantee payment of any money judgment in the case.

To learn more about filing motions, click to visit Filing Motions to Resolve the Case or Narrow Issues.


Step 6:
Order a transcript or file a statement of evidence and points

The deadlines and procedures for this step depend on which court you are appealing from and whether the trial or hearing was recorded.

  • If you are appealing from a justice court judgment:

Within ten days after you file the Notice of Appeal, you must do one of the following:

1.  Order a transcript of the proceedings (the trial or hearing) and deposit $100 with the justice court to absorb the cost of the transcript. (JCRCP 74(b)(1).) If the cost of the transcript is less, you will get a refund. If it is more, you will need to pay the additional amount. You must provide a copy of the transcript to every other party (or their attorney) in the case.

2.  If the proceedings were not recorded, prepare a Statement of the Evidence or Proceedings which must be served on the opposing party. (JCRCP 74(c).) You should also file a Certificate of No Transcript on Appeal.

A form Statement of the Evidence or Proceedings and a form Certificate of No Transcript on Appeal are available for free at the Self-Help Center, or you can download them by clicking one of the formats underneath the form’s title below:

JUSTICE COURT STATEMENT OF EVIDENCE OR PROCEEDINGS 
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JUSTICE COURT CERTIFICATE OF NO TRANSCRIPT ON APPEAL 
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3.  Regardless of whether the proceedings were recorded, the parties can agree and prepare a signed Statement of the Case showing how the issues presented by the appeal arose and were decided by the justice court. (JCRCP 74(e).)

If there are no findings of facts and conclusions in the record (and if the parties cannot agree on findings), you must also prepare, file, and serve a Statement of Points on Appeal. (JCRCP 74(d).) This statement must include all important facts of the appeal and a general statement of why appellate relief is sought.

A form Statement of the Points on Appeal is available for free at the Self-Help Center, or you can download it by clicking one of the formats underneath the form’s title below:

JUSTICE COURT STATEMENT OF POINTS ON APPEAL 
Pdf Fillable | Pdf Nonfillable 

  • If you are appealing from a district court judgment:

Within fifteen days after the appeal is docketed with the Nevada Supreme Court, you must do one of the following:

1.  If the proceedings were recorded, file an original Transcript Request Form with the district court and file a copy with the supreme court clerk. (NRAP 9(a)(3).) You must serve a copy of the form on all parties to the case and to the court reporter who recorded the proceeding, along with a deposit for the transcript. If your fees have been waived, do not serve the court reporter. The appellate court will determine which transcripts are needed and will issue an order directing that they be prepared. Click to visit the Appellate Practice Forms website for an example of a Transcript Request Form. You must provide a copy of the completed transcript to all other parties (or their attorneys) in the case. (NRAP 9(a)(4).)

2.  If you do not want any transcripts, file a "Certificate of No Transcript Request" with the appellate court. Visit the Appellate Practice Forms website for an example.

3.  If the trial or hearing was not recorded, prepare a Statement of the Evidence or Proceedings, which must be served on all other parties. (NRAP 9(d).)


Step 7:
File a brief to the supreme court or wait for instructions from the district court

  • If you are appealing from a justice court judgment:

The parties may or may not be required to file briefs. The district court can send the parties a briefing schedule, instructing the parties to prepare briefs and giving them their deadlines.

If the court orders you to submit a brief, a form Appellate Brief is available, free of charge, at the Self-Help Center, or you can download it on your computer by clicking one of the formats underneath the form’s title below:

DISTRICT COURT APPELLATE BRIEF 
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  • If you are appealing from a district court judgment:

In the supreme court, the parties are required to file briefs with the supreme court clerk and to serve them on the other side.

1.  The appellant must file an opening brief within 120 days after the date that the appeal was docketed in the supreme court.

2.  The respondent then has thirty days from the date that the opening brief was served to file an answering brief.

3.  The appellant then has thirty days from the date the answering brief was served to file a reply brief.

Your case can be referred to the Nevada Court of Appeals or the Nevada Supreme Court might handle the case. The appellate court can reach a decision based solely on the briefs, or the court can decide to hear from the parties at an oral argument. If the Supreme Court decides to hear your case, oral argument will take place before the entire Supreme Court or a panel of three Justices. The court will issue its ruling in writing once it has made a decision.

To learn more about supreme court briefs and what you must include in them, study Rule 28 of the Nevada Rules of Appellate Procedure. Click to visit Rules and Laws.