If I appeal, can the appeal be dismissed?

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2023Fact Checked

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Jeffrey Johnson

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 14, 2023

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UPDATED: Jul 14, 2023Fact Checked

The appeal can be dismissed if you do not follow the rather strict rules that govern appeals or if the appellate court concludes that the appeal is essentially frivolous.

You can also have your appeal dismissed if the case becomes “moot”. If the court can no longer give the requested relief, the higher court will dismiss the appeal. For example, assume you have filed the appeal of an injunction prohibiting a strike. If the strike is settled before the appeal is heard, the higher court would dismiss the appeal as being “moot”.

Just as there can be frivolous lawsuits filed, there can also be frivolous appeals. Most legitimate appeals rest on a clear legal error that is built on well-established law. An example of a legitimate appeal would be an appeal that is due to a judge giving an inaccurate instruction to the jury that effected the jury’s final decision. Conversely, litigants can also request an appeal where it is unnecessary. Typically frivolous appeals will be made for inconsequential errors that judges make, e.g. – for a specific objection decision that the appealing party disagreed with, attorneys often object to the admission of certain evidence and then, if it is admitted, appeal the judges decision later. If the court decides that an appeal was frivolous and dismisses it, they will also typically add interest to the judgment for the time of the appeal.

On rare occasions, a case is settled after the trial but before the appeal. In these cases, the appeal becomes moot, or non-applicable. Typically, appeals dealing with injunctive relief tend to be dismissed as moot, as one party will act after the judgment is rendered to prevent the appeal from taking place. For example, if an environmental group was suing for an injunction against logging on some private land and the court rules in the logger’s favor, the loggers may simply hurry and complete the job before being served with the appeal papers. This would render the environmental group’s appeal moot.

Exploring the Dynamics of Appeals: Case Studies

Case Study 1: Dismissal of Frivolous Appeal

In a recent case, John Doe filed an appeal challenging a lower court’s decision in a personal injury lawsuit. However, the appellate court dismissed his appeal, deeming it frivolous. John Doe’s appeal was based on minor objections and inconsequential errors made during the trial.

The court determined that these errors did not have a significant impact on the outcome of the case, making the appeal unnecessary. As a result, the court not only dismissed the appeal but also imposed interest on the judgment for the duration of the appeal.

Case Study 2: Appeal Rendered Moot

In another case, an environmental group filed an appeal seeking an injunction against logging on private land. However, before the appeal could be heard, the logging was completed, rendering the appeal moot. The court dismissed the appeal since the requested relief was no longer applicable.

This scenario often occurs in cases involving injunctive relief, where one party takes action to prevent the appeal from affecting the outcome. In this case, the logging company expedited their operations to preempt the appeal, making it moot.

Case Study 3: Settlement Before Appeal

Sometimes, cases are settled after a trial but before the appeal process begins. In one such instance, a personal injury lawsuit was resolved through a settlement agreement reached by both parties. As a result, the appeal became non-applicable as there was no longer a dispute to be resolved. Settlements before the appeal can render the appeal moot and result in its dismissal.

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Jeffrey Johnson

Insurance Lawyer

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Insurance Lawyer

Mary Martin

Published Legal Expert

Mary Martin has been a legal writer and editor for over 20 years, responsible for ensuring that content is straightforward, correct, and helpful for the consumer. In addition, she worked on writing monthly newsletter columns for media, lawyers, and consumers. Ms. Martin also has experience with internal staff and HR operations. Mary was employed for almost 30 years by the nationwide legal publi...

Published Legal Expert

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

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