How to File an Objection to a Judgment

By Louis Kroeck
Sometimes appealing a decision is better than filing for reconsideration.

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If you object to a judgment you've received from court, your best course of action is to either appeal the judgment or request that the court reconsider its decision. If you present a motion to the court to reconsider its judgment, the same judge, or panel of judges, will review the judgment based on the argument you provide in your motion. If, however, you appeal your judgment, a higher level court will review the entirety of the lower court's decision except for findings of fact.

Motion for Reconsideration

Research all state and local rules related to motions for reconsideration. Procedures will vary by location. Keep in mind that the deadline to file a motion for reconsideration is generally shorter than the deadline to appeal a decision.

Obtain your jurisdiction's form for filing a motion for reconsideration, or, if your jurisdiction does not offer a form, draft a general cover page including your case caption and other relevant information.

Include in your motion any relevant information you believe the court overlooked in its judgment. Avoid simply reiterating your prior arguments; the court has already considered them and did not find them to have merit.

Include in your motion any new evidence which the court should consider. Be sure that you comply with all the rules of evidence when presenting this information to the court.

Include in your motion any relevant law which would be contrary to the decision the court has already made. Remember not to argue the same points you argued previously since the court is unlikely to be sympathetic.

Appealing a Judgment

Determine what court hears appeals from the court in which you litigated your prior action. Research all rules and regulations applicable to filing an appeal with the appellate court.

File a notice of appeal with the lower court which just heard your case. Be sure to comply with all deadlines since the court will not allow you to appeal a judgment after the applicable deadline.

File a brief in support of your appeal. Explain why the lower court was wrong and what legal precedent and facts they overlooked in their decision and why the appellate court should rule in your favor.

Argue your brief in front of the appellate court, if required. Your opponent will also file a brief in opposition to your brief and will likely appear at oral argument.

About the Author

Louis Kroeck started writing professionally under the direction of Andrew Samtoy from the "Cleveland Sandwich Board" in 2006. Kroeck is an attorney out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania specializing in civil litigation, intellectual property law and entertainment law. He has a B.S from the Pennsylvania State University in information science technology and a J.D. from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

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