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Does Filing an Appeal Stay the Trial Court Proceeding?

When a trial court issues a ruling in your case that is not in your favor, you have a few different options. One of those options may be to file an appeal with the Court of Appeal. However, if you file an appeal, you need to understand that filing an appeal may not stop, pause, or stay implementation of the trial court’s order.

Appeals are complex proceedings in which you ask the appellate court to overturn the trial court’s order because of errors that the court made. An experienced appellate attorney at Evans Kingsbury LLP can help you determine your best course of action following an unfavorable court decision. Contact us today at (707) 596-6090 and schedule a time to meet with us about your case.

Enforceability of the Trial Court’s Order When You Appeal

California Code of Civil Procedure §916 broadly states that “the perfecting of an appeal stays proceedings in the trial court upon the judgment or order appealed from or upon the matters embraced therein or affected thereby, including enforcement of the judgment or order.” However, the Code goes on to state numerous exceptions to this general rule, so that as a practical matter, what is often referred to as an “automatic stay” on appeal is quite rare. In most cases, filing an appeal does not override the trial court’s judgment or make it unenforceable.

As a result, the trial court order typically remains legally valid, enforceable, and in place until an appellate court overturns it. You likely must follow the trial court’s order while waiting for your appeal’s outcome.

For example, if the trial court orders a child custody modification, you must likely comply with that order while your appeal is pending. Likewise, most judgments, including those for the payment of money under California Code of Civil Procedure §917.1(a), are not automatically stayed by the filing of an appeal and are immediately enforceable. Therefore, you may have to begin paying toward a money judgment even while your appeal is pending.

Staying the Trial Court’s Order When You Appeal

The purpose of a stay of a court order or judgment is to maintain the status quo while an appeal is pending. Some trial court orders or judgments may be automatically stayed by operation of law. In other cases, if an appeal does not automatically stay the enforcement of an order, the appellant, or the appealing party, can ask the trial court to stay the enforcement of the order pending appeal. The trial court may require that the appellant post a bond in exchange for staying the order. Alternatively, the trial court may refuse to stay its own order. In that case, the appellant could request the appellate court to stay the trial court’s order. The Court of Appeal can order a stay of the trial court’s order but also may require the appellant to pay a bond.

You also should remember that even if the trial court or the appellate court grants a stay, the trial court can still proceed under Code of Civ. Procedure §916(a) “upon any other matter embraced in the action and not affected by the judgment or order.”

We Are Here to Assist You with Your Appeal

You can rely on a certified specialist appeals lawyer from Evans Kingsbury LLP to represent your interests in appealing your court decision or seeking other avenues of legal recourse. We have the skill and knowledge to help you explore the full range of options, answer your questions, and explain what you can expect from the appellate process. An experienced appellate attorney can help you navigate all aspects of the appellate process. Contact us today by calling (707) 596-6090 or reaching out to us online.

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