Interlocutory Appeals in Georgia

Explore the complexities of interlocutory appeals in Georgia with Conklin Law. Our guide covers everything you need to know for successful litigation.

What Are Interlocutory Appeals?

Before a case goes to trial, several pre-trial hearings are often held to address different issues, such as the admissibility of evidence. When a party receives an adverse ruling on a pre-trial motion, they can choose to appeal the judge’s ruling to a higher court before the case goes to trial. This appeal is known as an interlocutory appeal, and its outcome can change the course of a case before it is tried.

The main difference between interlocutory appeals and other types of appeals, namely discretionary and direct appeals, is that they only deal with decisions made before the trial.

If you want to file for interlocutory relief, get help from a skilled appeals attorney. At Conklin Law, we handle all types of appeals and consistently obtain favorable decisions in Georgia’s two appellate courts. Schedule your free consultation with our appellate attorney today.

Understanding Interlocutory Appeals

Georgia Court of Appeals and Georgia Supreme Court hear interlocutory appeals in civil cases and criminal cases. An interlocutory appeal differs from other types of appeals in the following ways:

  • Timing: Interlocutory appeals are filed before the final order is issued in a case. They address specific rulings that arise during the pre-trial proceedings and can’t wait for the case conclusion. In contrast, a discretionary or direct appeal is filed after the final judgment is issued.
  • Permission requirement: Like discretionary appeals, interlocutory appeals need permission from the appellate court before filing. However, direct appeals don’t require permission, and both parties in a civil case and defendants in a criminal case have the right to appeal.
  • Certification requirement: Interlocutory appeals also require a certificate of immediate review from the trial court’s judge, certifying that the order to be appealed is important and requires an immediate review.
  • Limited scope: Interlocutory appeals are limited to specific temporary rulings that significantly impact the case. Other types of appeal have a broader scope to allow a review of the entire case or final verdict.

If a trial court issues an order against you in the pre-trial proceedings, talk to an appeals attorney immediately. Interlocutory appeals have tight deadlines that must be met. 

Grounds for Interlocutory Appeals

Trial courts issue several temporary orders throughout court proceedings to settle issues raised by the parties or the court itself. According to Rule 30 of the Court of Appeals Rules and Rule 31 of the Supreme Court Rules, interlocutory appeal applications can be granted under the following circumstances:

  • The issue to be decided appears to be dispositive of the case
  • The order appears erroneous and can cause a substantial error at trial
  • The establishment of a precedent is desirable

Examples of interlocutory orders include:

  • Jurisdiction or venue orders
  • Discovery orders
  • Orders related to motions to dismiss or motions for a summary judgment
  • Orders on procedural issues

After filing the application for interlocutory appeal, the court has 45 days to deny or grant it. The appeal has to persuade the Georgia Court of Appeals or the Georgia Supreme Court that the trial court erred or that the judge made an error that could cause injustice.

The burden of proof lies on the appealing party. They have to persuade the court that the appeal’s arguments have merit. It’s crucial to understand whether any errors exist and what constitutes an appealable error to have a successful appeal.

If you suspect an appealable error occurred in your case, a skilled appellate lawyer can help you analyze and deduce whether you are right.

The Process of Interlocutory Appeals

Interlocutory appeals provide a mechanism to seek an appellate review of the trial court’s decision before the final judgment. If you are preparing to file an interlocutory appeal in Georgia, here’s a step-by-step guide to the process. Be advised that it’s not an easy nor a short process. Consider seeking legal assistance to ensure compliance with court rules and the law.

  • Determine eligibility: Ensure the order or orders you are seeking to appeal qualify for an interlocutory appeal. You can consult an appeals attorney to assess your claim’s validity.
  • Obtain a certificate of immediate review: You must obtain a certificate of immediate review from the trial judge within ten days of the order being appealed is filed with the trial court clerk. Some interlocutory appeals are exempted from certification, such as appeals by the State from orders suppressing or including evidence.
  • File an application for interlocutory appeal: Within ten days of granting the certificate of immediate review, you must file an application for interlocutory appeal with the appropriate appellate court, seeking its permission to appeal. Your application must establish the grounds for your appeal and persuade the court to grant it.
  • File a notice of appeal: When the application is granted, you must file a notice of appeal with the trial court within ten days.
  • Prepare and file the appellate brief: The brief outlines the legal arguments and issues raised on appeal. Ensure that you follow the content, formatting, and citation rules of the appellate court.
  • Appellee files a response brief: The opposing party files a response brief, presenting their arguments about why the trial court’s decision was correct.
  • Court holds an oral argument: Most appeals are decided based on written documents only. However, the court may allow an oral argument where both parties present their case and answer the judges’ questions.
  • Receive a decision: The court considers appeal briefs and oral arguments to issue a decision in the form of a written opinion. Possible outcomes include:
    • Affirming the trial court’s ruling
    • Reversing the trial court’s ruling

The Role of Experienced Legal Counsel

Attorneys experienced in appellate practice can guide you through the interlocutory appeal process and enhance your chances of obtaining favorable outcomes. Appellate attorneys play a crucial role in:

  • Identifying the appropriate grounds and legal arguments for your appeal

  • Crafting a persuasive and well-structured application, motion for certificate of immediate review, and appeal brief that complies with court rules

  • Ensuring your application and appeal brief are filed within the deadline

  • Guiding you through the process and providing much-needed legal advice

  • Explaining the process after an appeal is granted and how to make the most out of it

Why Choose Conklin Law

At Conklin Law, we have extensive experience in handling interlocutory appeals in Georgia. We work tirelessly to get the anticipated results and have consistently obtained significant victories for our clients. Our diligent and reliable appeals attorney can guide you through the process and ensure you are well-informed every step of the way.

Contact Experienced Appellate Attorney at Conklin Law

Interlocutory appeals are serious matters that can alter the course of your case and, inevitably, your life. Seeking legal guidance from an experienced appeal lawyer is crucial to making the most of your appeal.

At Conklin Law, we provide experienced legal representation and guidance through the appeals process and beyond. You can rely on us to prepare and present your appeal, handle all paperwork, and work to obtain the most favorable outcomes.

Contact us today and schedule a free consultation with an experienced appellate lawyer. We may be able to help you!

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