I’m not happy with my Court Order, what can I do about this?
You have a few options if you are not happy with your Court Order.
First, you can file a Motion for Reconsideration. The goal of a Motion for Reconsideration is to convince the Judge he or she made a mistake and should change their prior Order. There are pros and cons to this:
A Motion for Reconsideration is easier and cheaper than an appeal.
It’s a faster process than an appeal.
A Motion for Reconsideration has a strict deadline (it must be filed within 20 days of your receipt of the Order)
Your Motion is heard and decided by the same judge who made the decision you do not agree with.
It’s difficult to convince a judge they were wrong and should change their mind.
Second, you can file an Appeal. The goal of an Appeal is to convince the Appellate Court that the judge who entered the Order you’re appealing was wrong. There are pros and cons to this:
You could receive an Order from the Appellate Judge (who outranks your original judge) confirming that you were originally right or at the least, that the Judge was wrong.
Appeals have a strict deadline (must be filed within 45 days of the entry of the Order)
Appeals can be costly because they require certain documents be provided to the Court, such as transcripts of the hearing, which could cost several hundred dollars.
Your Appeal documents must comply with very specific format requirements (i.e. a specific font and size and specific per line character limits).
Appeals are difficult to win because you must prove the Judge made a legally incorrect decision (i.e. the fact that a different judge would have made a different decision is not enough).
It’s a longer process than a Motion for Reconsideration.
Although you see the pros and cons of both the Motion for Reconsideration and the Appeal, you may still be confused which one is better for you. With a Motion for Recconsideration comes the uncomfortable and difficult task of convincing a Judge to change his or her mind or admit that they were incorrect (hey, we all know some judges who don’t believe they could personally ever be wrong, it’s okay, I’m rolling my eyes with you and could name a few of them but I won’t!).
On the other hand, you want to feel that sense of relief and vindication when the Appellate Court determines you were right all along. But the important thing to remember with an appeal is that you have to prove that the Judge was legally incorrect. This is not the same as you not agreeing with the Judge or even a different judge making a different decision. Except in clear cases of the Judge applying incorrect law, appeals are extremely difficult.
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