Tag Archives: court of appeals

VOTE TOMORROW: Court of Appeals- Jack Wilson vs. Ed Hannan

There is a run-off election tomorrow between the current Court of Appeals Judge Jack Wilson and the current Madison County Court Judge Ed Hannan for the Court of Appeals.

Judge Ed Hannan

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Judge Jack Wilson

You may read about each candidate at the site linked to their pics above. Judge Wilson was in the lead after last Tuesday’s vote, but did not have a majority, hence the runoff.

Judge Wilson was appointed to the Mississippi Court of Appeals by Gov. Phil Bryant effective July 1, 2015.  Since joining the Court of Appeals, Judge Wilson has participated in over 500 cases and has authored 78 published majority opinions for the Court — more than any other member of the Court — and another 15 separate opinions. Despite his youthful appearance, Judge Wilson has appellate court chops.

Judge Hannan  was first elected Madison County Court Judge in 2006 and was re-elected in 2010 and 2014. As County Court Judge he presides over Youth Court and the Special Court of Eminent Domain.  In 2011, he was appointed Special Circuit Judge by the Mississippi Supreme Court to preside over the then newly created Twentieth Circuit District Drug Court for Madison and Rankin Counties.  He serves as a Special Circuit Judge and Acting Circuit Judge in criminal and civil cases in Madison County.

This bloggers prediction? Low voter turnout for a run-off, but Jack Wilson takes it. He’s the incumbent and is backed by the majority in power.  He’s also a great candidate…

Matthew Thompson is a family law attorney in Mississippi and would ONLY have a dog in this fight if a Chancery case was appealed.  

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer    Visit the website: Thompson Law Firm

You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000

Appealing Your Case…the Basics.

“An Appeal is a request that a higher Court review the decision of the lower Court.  A lot of family law decisions are appealed, though very few are successful or result in significant change.”

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Matthew Thompson after admittance to the U.S. Supreme Court.

What’s required prior to filing an Appeal?

Final Order.  A Final Order is one which decides all of the issues and leaves nothing more for the Court to decide.  A Temporary Order (clickable), for example, is not appealable.  It is not a Final Order.

How do you file your appeal?

In Divorce Court there are several options available.  The first option is filing what is called a Motion for New Trial*.  This is filed in the same Court, with the same Judge and must be filed within 10 days of the entry of the Final Order.  This is not merely a chance for a “second bite at the apple,” but rather is to point out significant errors of fact and/or law upon which the Judge relied, which resulted in the wrong decision.  These are routinely denied.  They are denied for several reasons and primarily because the Judge just decided the case and the matter is “fresh.”.

(*There has been some debate over whether a Motion for New Trial is required to perfect an appeal.  The most recent answer is that it is not required in family law matters, however it is a good idea to file one out of an abundance of caution. Please rely upon your attorney for making this decision.)

After the Motion for New Trial is ruled upon by the Court you may file a Notice of Appeal. This is filed in the Divorce Court (Chancery Court) and must be filed within 30 days of either the Final Judgment, or within 30 days of the ruling on the Motion for New Trial, whichever is later.

All appeals are filed with the Mississippi Supreme Court (MSSC).  From there the MSSC decides whether to hear the case or assign it to the Court of Appeals (COA).  The majority of the Family Law cases are assigned to the COA. There is a filing fee, as well. Notice of the Appeal is sent to the original Court that ruled, the Judge, the MSSC, and the other party.

The Appeal process is deadline driven. 

There are deadlines to file the appeal, to pay an estimate for preparing the transcript, to designate the record.  The other party may cross-appeal.

After the initial flurry, a briefing schedule is issued.  

The one appealing,  the Appellant, has 40 days to file their brief and can get multiple extensions of 30, 20, and 10 days.  The Appellee, the one responding to the appeal, then has 30 days to reply and can get extensions of 30, 20, and 10 days.  The Appellant can then file a reply brief within 14 days, with up to one extension of 30 days.  After all the briefs are submitted the Court may allow Oral Argument, if it is a case of first impression or complex, and the Court may not.  Once the briefs are submitted the Court has 270 days to rule.  They rule in a written Opinion that is handed down on either Tuesdays or Thursdays after 1:00 pm.

Even if you “win” you may only get a “do-over.”  Most appeals are denied.  When they are granted it usually results in the matter being sent back to the same Judge that ruled on the case to begin with, with instructions to reconsider certain facts or law.  It does not mean you win and they lose.

Matthew Thompson is a family law appellate attorney that has handled  numerous appeals.  

Follow the blog:#BowTieLawyer Visit the website: #Thompson Law Firm  You may also contact Matthew with your family law matter or question at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@bowtielawyer.ms

All the Way to the Supreme Court…

I hear this a lot. “I’ll take this all the way to the Supreme Court!

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Spring Break 2015, Louisiana Supreme Court

There are a number of potential stops throughout the appeal process (read more about appeals here) before your case will get to the Supreme Court and there are multiple Supreme Courts.

It’s not too uncommon for your family law case to make it to the Mississippi Supreme Court. All appeals from Chancery Court are filed with the MS.S.Ct., though most are assigned to the Mississippi Court of Appeals.

Should you appeal from the C.O.A. (or, if the MS S.Ct. keeps your case) then the MS S.Ct. will hear your case.

For your Family Law case to go further, it would have to include a Constitutional Issue or a Federal Question.  Within Family Law there is an exception to Federal Courts having Jurisdiction, so most likely your Family Law case will not be in Federal Court.

Confusing? Sure, but just know this, your Family Law case is important, though it may not make it to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Matthew Thompson is a Family Law Attorney and has been involved in over 20 appeals.  

Follow the blog: BowTieLawyer    Visit the website: Thompson Law Firm

You may also contact Matthew with your family law case, question or concern at (601) 850-8000 or Matthew@BowTieLawyer.MS