How to Get a Case Overturned

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Loosing a trial in the U.S. can have life-altering consequences. These consequences can include financial penalties and even the loss of freedom. If you have recently lost a case, there still may be an opportunity to have it overturned. Cases in the U.S. are overturned every day for many different reasons; however, there must be a reasonable cause for the court to consider, and it must be presented within a reasonable amount of time.

Consult your attorney on the possibility of having the court's decision overturned. You might consider looking for a new attorney with a fresh perspective on the case. Review the specifics of the case and determine what basis you have to file an appeal. A basis for an appeal can be a number of things, including procedural errors by the court or newly discovered evidence.

Obtain a petition for appeal from the clerk's office of the court of appeals. Complete the petition with your attorney. Your attorney will need to thoroughly explain the reason for appealing the court's decision. Any error in this process or failing to provide all information may result in the court rejecting your appeal. Return the petition to the court as soon as possible, as most jurisdictions have time limits for appeals to be filed.

Wait to receive a notice from the court of appeals. This notification will typically be made by mail; however, some courts may require you to appear in person to hear the decision. The court may choose to uphold the decision, overturn it or grant a retrial with the decision being based on factual evidence.


  • Consult an attorney before attempting to file an appeal on your own.


About the Author

Brittany Prock has worked as a freelance writer since 2009. She specializes in writing about diets and travel, and has been published online. Prock holds a Bachelor of Science in human services and a Master of Arts in elementary education from the University of Phoenix.

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