ADA
Translate this page:
View Disclaimer
Appellate Division

Appellate DIVISION Panel

Honorable Helen Williams, Presiding Judge
Honorable Charles F. Adams, Associate Judge
Honorable Frederick S. Chung, Associate Judge
Honorable Carrie Zepeda, Associate Judge

The Appellate Division decides appeals in misdemeanor, traffic and limited civil jurisdiction cases only.  The Appellate Division hears oral arguments one Friday afternoon per month in Department 14, Downtown Superior Court. Traffic appeals are heard at 1:30 p.m., and misdemeanor and limited civil appeals are heard at 2:00 p.m.

appellate division case information

Santa Clara County Superior Court Appellate Case Inquiry 

Appellate Calendar Search 

Local Appellate Rules of Court

appeals

What is an Appeal?

An appeal is a review by another court of the trial court's decision. A party may appeal an unfavorable judgment and some other orders. The party who files the appeal is called the appellant. You may not appeal on behalf of a friend, a spouse, a child, or other relative who was a party in the case (unless you are a legally appointed guardian for someone who was a party). The opposing parties are the respondents.

An appeal is not a retrial, except in small claims appeals. Generally, the appeal must be based on an argument that a legal error was made by the trial court: you will not be permitted to introduce new evidence, and the appellate court will not reweight conflicting evidence.

Filing a Notice of Appeal

The first step in an appeal is filing the written Notice of Appeal. This notice tells the other parties in the case and the court that you are appealing a decision of the trial court.

The Notice of Appeal must be filed with the Appeals Unit before the filing deadline. For example, the Notice of Appeal in a felony case must be filed within 60 calendar days after sentencing [CRC 8.308] . To find the filing deadline for your case, see the California Rules of Court, Title 8. Appellate Rules .

The Notice of Appeal may be written on pleading paper or can be made by completing the form specific to your type of appeal. Below are links to the more commonly used forms. Other forms can be found on the Judicial Council's website .

Where to File an Appeal

Felony and Misdemeanor

The Public Service Department is responsible for the filing of appeals in felony and misdemeanor matters is located at each of the following courthouses: Hall of Justice, Palo Alto Courthouse and South County Courthouse. Click on the link for the courthouse address, hours, and phone numbers.

Juvenile Dependency, Family Law, and Drug Court

The Clerk’s Office in each department is responsible for the filing of appeals in their respective matters. They are located in the Family Justice Center Courthouse. Family Clerk’s Office is on the first floor, the Drug Court Clerk’s Office is on the second floor, and the Juvenile Dependency Clerk’s Office is on the fourth floor. Click on the link for the courthouse address, hours, and phone numbers.

Traffic and Juvenile Traffic

The Clerk’s Office is responsible for the filing of Traffic and Juvenile Traffic appeals is located in the Santa Clara Courthouse. Click on the link for the courthouse address, hours, and phone numbers.

Parking Ticket Appeal

After the Administrative hearing that is heard by the issuing agency, you have 30 calendar days after the mailing or personal delivery of the final decision from that agency, to seek review by filing an appeal with the Superior Court. An appeal under this circumstance is filed at the Clerk’s Office of the Downtown Superior Court Courthouse. Click on the link for the courthouse address, hours, and phone numbers.

Civil, Adoption, Probate, Small Claims and Unlawful Detainer

The Clerk’s Office in each department is responsible for the filing of appeals in their respective matters. They are located at the Downtown Superior Court. Click on the link for the courthouse address, hours, and phone numbers.

Timelines for Filing an Appeal

There are strict time limits and regulations in proceeding with an appeal. Read the California Rules of Court, Title 8. Appellate Rules  to verify that you are meeting the timelines for every step. Failure to meet deadlines may result in dismissal of your appeal.

  • Criminal Appeal - Felony: 60 days from the date of sentence
  • Criminal Appeal - Misdemeanor: 30 days from the date of sentence
  • Juvenile Dependency/Juvenile Justice: 60 days from the date of disposition
  • Traffic – Infraction: 30 days from the date of sentence
  • Civil – Unlimited: 60 days from the date of mailing of the Notice of Entry of Judgment or if notice is not mailed, 180 days from the entry of judgment [Reference California Rules of Court 8.100; 8.104] 
  • Civil – Limited: 30 days from the date of mailing of the Notice of Entry of Judgment or if notice is not mailed, 90 days from the entry of judgment [Reference California Rules of Court 8.821; 8.822] 
  • Family Law/Probate/Adoption: 60 days from the date of mailing of the Notice of Entry of Judgment or if notice is not mailed, 180 days from the date of entry of judgment [Reference California Rules of Court 8.100; 8.104] 
  • Small Claims (Rehearing): 30 days from the date of entry of judgment

Fees & Fee Waivers for Filing an Appeal

The filing fees for the Notice of Appeal can be found on the court's fee schedule. Checks or money orders should be made payable to Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara. Note: There is a separate filing fee of $775 to be paid to the Court of Appeal. If you cannot afford to pay the filing fees and other court costs, you may qualify for a waiver of those costs.

Failure to pay the filing fee or obtain a waiver may result in dismissal of your appeal.

Who Decides an Appeal?

Which court decides an appeal depends on the type of case being appealed:

The Record on Appeal

Since the appellate court was not present at the trial or other proceedings, there must be an official record of the proceedings for the court to review in assessing the appeal. The record is prepared by the Clerk of the Court, specifically the trial court’s Appeals Unit. In criminal appeals, the Appeals Unit will prepare the standard record as specified in the California Rules of Court, unless the trial judge has granted a request for additional items.

In civil appeals, the appellant must tell the trial court what documents and oral proceedings, if any, to include in the record that will be sent to the appellate court. This is done by filing a Judicial Council Notice Designating the Record on Appeal . The appellant's failure to file this notice may result in dismissal of the appeal. The respondent may also request documents by filing a Notice Designating the Record on Appeal; however, failure to do so will not affect the appeal.

Clerk's Transcript:

The Clerk's Transcript is a compilation of the documents filed in the trial court. In criminal appeals, the Clerk's Transcript will include those documents required by the California Rules of Court. In civil appeals, you must designate each document you want included by its title and filing date. If the filing date is not known, the date the document was signed may be used instead.

The superior court clerk will send the parties a bill for the cost of preparing the Clerk's Transcript. The appellant is responsible for paying for the appellate court's copy as well as his own copy. The respondent may buy a copy of the transcript, but is not obligated to do so. Costs must be paid within 10 days or the appeal may be dismissed. (There is no charge for preparing the Clerk's Transcript in felony and death penalty appeals.)

Reporter's Transcript:

A Reporter's Transcript is a written record (often called the "verbatim" record) of the oral proceedings in the trial court. A reporter's transcript is not required but is usually necessary. In felony and death penalty appeals, the Reporter's Transcript will include those hearing dates required by the California Rules of Court. In all other appeals, you must designate each date to be included.

With the notice designating the Reporter's Transcript, you must deposit the approximate cost of transcribing the proceedings designated. See the key below for the cost of the Reporter’s Transcript [Reference California Rules of Court 8.130] .

Previously Prepared Partial/Fraction of a day (Less than three hours of court time) Full day (three or more hours of court time)
Yes $80.00 $325.00
No $160.00 $650.00

Arguing Your Case on Appeal

Briefs

A brief is a party's written description of the facts in the case, the relevant law, and the party's argument. The brief must clearly explain, using references to the Clerk's and Reporter's Transcripts, the claimed legal errors in the trial court proceedings.

After the record is filed in the appellate court, you will receive a notice telling you when to file your brief. Read the notice carefully for directions on length and service. The appellant's failure to file an opening brief may result in dismissal of the appeal.

Hearings

When the record is filed in the appellate court, you will receive notice of the time and location for oral argument. This hearing will be set far enough in advance to allow time to get all briefs filed.

You may appear at oral argument or give up your right to argue your case at a hearing. If you give up that right, you should contact the Appeals Clerk in writing and tell the court you are submitting the appeal on the briefs and the record. If you attend the hearing, you cannot present witnesses or evidence. The judges will have read your briefs and the record, so try to stress the important points rather than reading your brief to the court. After the hearing, you will be informed by mail of the decision.

Additional Resources

Please see our Related Links section on the left side of this page.

For information regarding preparation of designated appellate records, please contact the Appeals Unit at . For non-record inquiries related to limited civil appeals, misdemeanor appeals, and traffic appeals, please contact the Clerk of the Appellate Division at .

© 2021 Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara