General Information about
Filing an Appeal
The next few pages have general information about filing an appeal in the Ninth District Court of Appeals. This is intended to help you with an appeal, but it is not complete. It does not cover everything that could come up in an appeal. Each case is unique and you must consider what is necessary for your case and your appeal.
People who represent themselves without an attorney are called "Pro Se" or "Self-Represented" litigants. Pro Se litigants are responsible for learning about and following the rules that apply to a case. You should think carefully before deciding to represent yourself because the process is very detailed and can be confusing.
If you decide to represent yourself, the following pages should give you basic information concerning the papers that parties need to file during an appeal. The Court's staff cannot write papers for you. They cannot help you make decisions about your case. They cannot advise you about what the law is or how it applies to your appeal.
You should also remember that as a pro se litigant, you can only represent yourself. You cannot represent another person or a company or group, such as a club or association, that includes other individuals.
Appealing a Trial Court Decision
If you disagree with the trial court's judgment, or final decision, you can appeal that decision. An appeal asks the court of appeals to review the trial court's decision. An appellate court does not retry the case or take new evidence. The three judges assigned to the case can only review the record created in the trial court.
Generally, the appealing party must demonstrate that the trial court made a mistake or an error. If there was an error, the error also has to have been important enough that it could have made a difference to the outcome of the case.
You should not file an appeal that is frivolous or just to harass someone. A frivolous appeal is one that presents no reasonable question for review. If the court of appeals decides you have filed a frivolous appeal, Appellate Rule 23 authorizes the court of appeals to order you to pay the other party's expenses, including attorney fees and costs.
Ohio Rules of Appellate Procedure
The Ohio Rules of Appellate Procedure (also referred to as App.R.) govern appellate procedure. The Appellate Rules explain the documents that must be filed, deadlines for filing those documents, document format, and other important requirements. In addition to the general appellate rules, you must also comply with the Local Rules of the Ninth District Court of Appeals. The Local Rules include more detailed information about what the Ninth District requires parties to file or the format for required documents and pleadings.
This pro-se guide explains the basic rules that you must follow to start the appeal, transfer the record from the trial court to the court of appeals, write your brief, and present oral argument. However, as mentioned earlier, not all of the details of the Appellate Rules, Local Rules, and case law are specifically explained or referred to in this guide. You must familiarize yourself with the Rules and follow them as they apply to your case. You can click on these links to find the Ohio Rules of Appellate Procedure and the Local Rules of the Ninth District Court of Appeals.
To make them easier to find, all of the documents mentioned in the following pages are available in this list.