What is an Appellate Court?

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There are a number of different kinds of courts mentioned in everyday legal language, and as a result, it can be hard to keep track of what exactly each of them are. Appellate courts are one of those types of courts, and if you’re thinking about filing an FDCPA claim, knowing what an appellate court is could help you better understand your case.

Definition of Appellate Court

Appellate courts aren’t trial courts; they don’t hear new cases or examine new evidence. Instead, appellate courts are federal and state-level courts that review decisions that lower courts have already made.

What does this look like in practice? Here’s an example. A state trial court can make a decision, but then, once the appeal is filed, that appeal will go to an intermediate appellate court. If the appellate court decides that it needs additional review, it will go to the state supreme court. Depending on the appeal’s significance, it could even go as high as the U.S. Supreme Court.

Appellate Court and the FDCPA

Imagine you’ve mustered the courage to file an FDCPA claim. By the end of the case, a judge has determined that you haven’t suffered as a result of the FDCPA.

To learn more about illegal activities, and the FDCPA, please read more about FDCPA violations.

However, your attorney thinks that there is hope for an appeal-- perhaps new evidence has come to light. If you and your attorney file an appeal, that appeal will be seen by an appellate court; in other words, the appellate court will be the party that reviews your case on appeal. If you have an attorney and a well-constructed case, hopefully you’ll never have to face an appellate court.