To start an appeal, you must complete the following steps. All things discussed here are required – you cannot skip any part, so please read this section carefully.
It is all of the paperwork that both sides filed and that the judge issued in the Superior Court case. This usually includes pleadings, motion papers, evidence, exhibits, orders and the final judgment. The record also includes the audio recording of hearings and trial.
You need to review the record before filing an appeal
Yes. The Superior Court will send the record to the Supreme Court.
Go to the courthouse where you filed your Superior Court case. Have your Superior Court case number handy so you can request your file. Review your file. Most important:
It is the Superior Court’s final decision in the original case that ends all proceedings at that level. It may be called a final judgment or a final order, depending on the specific case. The final judgment or order resolves all of the issues that were presented to the court.
To file an appeal, you must have a final judgment in the Superior Court case. The Appellate Rules require that you provide a copy when you file the papers to start the appeal. On the judgment, the date noted in the Superior Court clerk’s certificate of distribution is very important because you calculate the deadline for filing the appeal from that date.
You should have received a copy in the mail of the final judgment when the Superior Court case ended. If you need another copy, go to the courthouse and request your file. Review the file and find the final judgment. For a fee, you can:
If you cannot go in person, call the court clerk’s office where your case was decided, and request that they send you a copy.
This is Step 2 so keep reading and follow the remaining steps to start the appeal.
It is a form that is necessary to start the appeal and contains two sections.
The first section, called the "Notice of Appeal," tells the other party and the Supreme Court that you are appealing the Superior Court decision. You need to state the date of the Superior Court final judgment.
The second section, called the "Statement of Points on Appeal," is where you state the specific issues that you are appealing. These are the issues you will argue later in the case in the appeal briefs and oral argument to convince the Supreme Court that the Superior Court made a legal mistake in deciding your case. It is very important to understand that the appeal will only deal with the issues you raise in the Statement of Points on Appeal. This means that if you bring up any other issues in the appeal briefs or oral argument, the Supreme Court will ignore those arguments.
You need to do legal research to determine if the Superior Court made a legal mistake in deciding your case. Remember, just because you do not like the outcome of your Superior Court case does not mean that the judge made a mistake. On appeal, to reverse the Superior Court decision, you must convince the Supreme Court that the Superior Court incorrectly applied the law in deciding your case.
Legal research is not easy for people who didn’t go to law school. At the law library, in some public libraries, and on the Internet, you should start by reading:
Consult with an attorney, if possible, to decide whether there are issues to appeal.
At the top, fill in the caption, including your name as the Appellant and the opposing party's name as the Appellee. Leave the Supreme Court Case No. blank which the clerk at the Appellate Court will fill in. Make sure to fill in the Superior Court Case No. that you are appealing.
For the “Notice of Appeal” section, state the date of the Superior Court final judgment. For the “Statement of Points” section, write a brief but detailed statement of the points or issues that you think the Superior Court decided wrong. If there is more than one issue, you can list them. Usually the points on appeal fit on 1 or 2 pages. Remember that the Supreme Court will consider only points included in the Statement of Points on Appeal during your appeals case.
If you need to add to your Statement of Points on Appeal at a later date, you can ask the Supreme Court by filing a motion which you can read about on our motions page. (http://www.courts.alaska.gov/shc/appeals/appealsmotions.htm)
Make sure you fill out the certificate of service at the end of the form, stating how and when you gave the opposing party a copy of all documents filed.
This is Step 3 so keep reading and follow the remaining steps to start the appeal.
A transcript is the written version of what happened at trial or a hearing. It is a written document that states word for word what the parties, the judge and any witnesses said at the trial or hearing. It is made from a recording of the proceeding. At the start of the appeal, you need to “designate the transcript.” This means you provide information about whether you will file
At the courthouse where your Superior Court case was heard, request an audio recording on CD or audio cassette of the trial or hearing that you think is important for the appeal. You will have to pay for this. Within 1 week of your request, you should receive a call to pick up your recording.
Listen to the recording. Decide whether the information on the recording is necessary for the Supreme Court to decide the issue on appeal. This may be the whole trial or just a part. That depends on the issue you are appealing. If you think only a part of the trial is important, note the starting number and ending number of the section of the recording if you want to have a partial transcript made.
You should have a transcript prepared if the information is necessary for the Supreme Court to decide the issues on appeal. If the Supreme Court will be able to decide the issues based on documents in the Superior Court record, you do not have to get a transcript. In many cases, no transcript is needed.
The appellant fills out:
This form states which, if any, parts of the electronic record from the Superior Court case you will have transcribed into writing by checking the correct box:
If you need more time to designate the transcript, file a Motion to Extend Time to submit the Designation of Transcript. See the motions page for more information about filing motions. (http://www.courts.alaska.gov/shc/appeals/appealsmotions.htm)
Only if the appellant’s selected parts of the transcript will not be enough to decide the issues on appeal. The appellee may designate additional parts of the electronic record to be transcribed by filing:
It is the appellant's responsibility to prepare and pay for the transcript. This includes both the transcript the appellant designated AND the transcript the appellee designated. This means the appellant hires the transcriber and pays for ALL transcripts. Transcripts can be very expensive.
If you cannot afford to pay for the transcript, you may ask the Supreme Court to let you file the cassette or CD from the Superior Court instead of the transcript by filing:
The case manager will send you the “Opening Notice” that states the date the transcript is due at the Appellate Clerk's Office. The transcript is usually due 40 days after the Opening Notice.
The appellant is responsible for getting a professional transcriber to prepare the transcript that BOTH parties designated. The party or their attorney cannot prepare the transcript. The appellant must also get copies of the audio recordings of the hearing or trial designated by BOTH parties to give to the transcriber.
Once you have the audio recording, you need to find a professional transcriber to transcribe it into writing. Look in the phone book yellow pages under "Transcribing Service" and choose a transcriber. Take the recording and the log notes to the transcriber. Tell them which sections to transcribe and when the transcript is due at the Appellate Clerk's Office. You can ask the transcriber to deliver the transcript to the Appellate Clerk's Office. The transcriber should deliver:
This is Step 4 so keep reading and follow the remaining steps to start the appeal.
It is a required form that the appellant must file to start an appeal. It contains important information about your appeal, including contact information for both parties and information about the Superior Court final judgment or order that you are appealing
Open the form:
Follow the instructions:
This is Step 5 so keep reading and follow the remaining steps to start the appeal.
To open the appeal, the appellant must pay:
You must pay with 2 separate checks if you are paying for the filing fee and cash deposit instead of a bond.
If your income is under 125% of the federal poverty guidelines, you may request a waiver of the filing fee and/or cost bond by filling out
Your case in the Supreme Court is not open until the court grants the waiver. After the court decides whether to grant your waiver, the Appellate Court Clerk’s Office will mail you an order about the filing fee and cost bond.
You may pay by:
Pay at the Appellate Court Clerk’s Office which is located
Alaska Appellate Courts
303 K Street
Anchorage, AK 99501-2084
There are several fees and costs in the typical appeals case, including:
|Type of Fee or Cost||Amount||Who pays initially?|
|Transcript preparation costs for BOTH appellant and appellee||Actual cost of transcript preparation||appellant|
|Copying costs for briefs and excerpts of record||Actual cost of copies||each party|
|Postage costs to send documents to the opposing party (or their attorney) and the Appellate Court Clerk’s Office if you can't hand-deliver||Cost of 1st class U.S. postage||each party|
|Supersedeas bond||Depends on $ amount of your Superior Court final judgment||appellant|
Usually. The general rule in Alaska is that the losing party pays the winning party's costs and attorney's fees. There are exceptions to this rule depending on the type of appeal. Appellate Rule 508 discusses costs and Appellate Rule 209 discusses appeals at public expense.
If the Supreme Court affirms the decision of the Superior Court, the appellant loses. This means that the appellant pays the appellee's costs and fees.
If the Supreme Court reverses the Superior Court's decision, the appellant wins. This means the appellee pays the appellant's costs and fees.
Depending on who wins, the costs may include:
If the appellant paid $750 for a cost bond and won the appeal, the Appellate Clerk's Office will send the money back to the appellant. The appellee has to pay the appellant's costs.
If the appellee won the appeal, the Appellate Clerk's Office will send a check to the appellee for their costs in the appeal. This check will come from the appellant's cost bond. If the appellee's costs were more than the cost bond amount of $750, the appellant must pay the additional amount. If the appellee's costs were less than the cost bond amount, the Appellate Clerk's Office will send the appellant the difference.
A cost bond is supposed to cover the appellee's costs of defending the appeal. If the appellant loses, the cost bond will pay the appellee’s costs up to $750 and the appellant is responsible for any additional costs over the $750. If appellant wins, the Clerk's Office will refund the money. The appellant files the cost bond in the Supreme Court when opening the appeal case.
A supersedeas bond protects the appellant from the appellee collecting a money judgment awarded in the Superior Court case during the appeal. This bond guarantees that the appellant will pay the appellee if the appellant loses the appeal. If the appellant wins the appeal, the appellant can include the supersedeas bond in the Bill of Costs.
The Superior Court sets the amount of the supersedeas bond. If you file a supersedeas bond in the Superior Court, you do not have to pay the $750 cost bond when you open your appeal in the Supreme Court.
You need to follow the Superior Court final judgment unless the Superior Court granted you a stay pending appeal or approval of your supersedeas bond. For more information, please read the "Your Superior Court Case During the Appeal" section. (http://courts.alaska.gov/shc/appeals/caseduringappeal.htm)
Most people pay cash for the $750 cost bond, unless the Supreme Court granted a waiver.
For supersedeas bonds in the Superior Court, you can look in the yellow pages under “insurance companies” or “bonding companies” that may provide bonds. Usually you have to pay a percentage of the total bond amount.
Get your papers ready to file the appeal at the Appellate Court Clerk’s Office.
Rev. 4 January 2018