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After The Trial - What Happens?

This page tells you about:

  1. How to appeal your judgment
  2. How to collect your judgment
  3. Get your court files
  4. Get a copy of a court transcript
  5. Look up the law
  1. How to appeal your judgment:

    Sometimes, you can appeal your judgment. Do this if you think it’s worth your time and effort.

    You can’t appeal every judgment or issue in your trial. You can only appeal a final judgment, or an order. You might have to do some research to find out if you can appeal your judgment. Ask a lawyer for help.

    In an appeal, you don’t have to present your case all over again. The appellate court will only look at the mistakes the court made. The appeals court has to say that the mistakes changed how the case turned out. The court won’t look at the facts again. It’ll just look at the trial record.

    Your appeal depends on what kind of case you want to appeal:

    • Limited Jurisdiction: (worth up to $25,000)

      If you appeal a limited jurisdiction case, it goes to the appellate division of the Superior Court.

      The California Code of Civil Procedure section 904.2  says what types of limited jurisdiction cases you can appeal. California Rules of Court  8.700 - 8.709 describes how an appeal works.

    • Unlimited Jurisdiction: (worth more than $25,000)

      The first step to filing an appeal for an unlimited jurisdiction case is to file the Notice of Appeal with the Superior Court clerk.

      You have 60 days to file the notice after the clerk mails you the judgment, or the date the judgment was served. See California Rules of Court Rule 8.104  and Rule 8.108 .

    No matter what kind of case you appeal, you’ll need help from a lawyer to finish every step in time.

    You may also want to visit the California Court of Appeals website .

  2. How to collect your judgment:

    • Ways to collect
    • Orders of examination - OEX
    • File a Claim of exemption

    • Ways to Collect:

      After you get a money judgment against someone else, you can enforce that judgment. If you win, you can file a lien on the other person’s property. Then you can “foreclose” on that lien. This means that you force the other person to sell the property and pay you with that money.

      If there’s a lien on property (like a house or a car), it shows up on the record of title. This makes it very hard to sell.

      You can also get a wage garnishment against the person who lost. This means that money will be taken out of every paycheck until you are paid in full. Both of these ways to collect will show up on the other person’s credit report.
    • Orders of Examination/OEX:

      An Order of Examination, or OEX, is a court order that lets the person who wins find the property that the person who lost owns. See CCP section 708.110  to learn more.

      The person who lost, called the debtor, has to go to Court, or to a Court-appointed referee, and answer questions about what they own.

      When you serve of an Order of Examination, you put a lien on the property for 1 year. The court can end the lien earlier. Someone has to serve the order at least 10 days before the examination.
    • File a Claim of Exemption:

      If you lose, the other person can’t take the part of your paycheck that you need to support yourself and your dependents. That part of your paycheck can’t be collected.

      See CCP section 706.051  for more information. You have to file a Judicial Council claim form to get a claim of exemption.

      See CCP section 706.123  for a list of what you need to put in a claim of exemption.
  3. Get your court files:

    • Can I get my court files?

      If your case isn’t sealed, you, or anyone, can see your files. If your case was sealed, no one can see your files without a court order.

      If a case is confidential, the people who are part of the case and their lawyers can see the files after they show a picture ID.

      For adoption files, you can’t see the files unless you’re the adoptive parents or their lawyer. If you were adopted and you’re over 18, you can see the decree of adoption if you get a court order to see your whole file.  

    • Where can I get my records?

      Go to the Records office in the Downtown Superior Court (DTS) building in downtown San Jose.

      Also, you can search for and access case information online at the Case Information Portal . (You can search by case number, case type, party name, etc.)

    • How much do I have to pay for copies and certification?

      See Civil Filing Fees on the fee schedule  on the Court's Fees page.
  4. Get a court transcript

    There is a form available online to request a court transcript. See the transcript request information page details on how to obtain and submit the request form.

  5. Look up the law:

    There are a lot of places you can go to look up the law that applies to your case. We talk about some of these places, above. Refer to our list of legal resources for more help.

More information for the Plaintiff and the Defendant

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