If the municipal judge finds you guilty at trial, you will be provided with a notice that will inform you of your right to appeal that decision to the Circuit Court. There are two important, strictly enforced requirements that you must fulfill to protect your right to appeal:
- You must file a written notice of your intent to appeal with the Municipal Court within 20 days after the trial. The first day does not count, the last days does unless it falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday. Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays otherwise count. The notice provided to you by the court is structured to be used to comply with the written notice requirement.
- You must also file a copy of the notice of your intent to appeal with the Town Attorney.
The notice provided to you will also inform you of three different forms of appeal that you must choose from and the appellate fees and costs that are associated with them. The fees and cost must be paid at the time you file the written notice of your intent to appeal, unless you request a circuit court hearing to waive the fees and costs.
How to Request an Appeal
You may request that the Circuit Court take your appeal in 1 of 3 ways:
- You may request a Record Review (court review the transcript of the Municipal Court trial) and make a decision based on that review.
- You may request a new trial before a Circuit Court Judge without a jury.
- You may also request a new trial in Circuit Court before a six-person jury.
If your notice of intent to appeal is timely and properly filed, the Municipal Court will forward it and any exhibits and other documentation relating to the trial to the Circuit Court. The Circuit Court will mail notices to you scheduling proceedings consistent with the form of appeal that you requested.
Obtaining an Appeal
Once an appeal is filed in Circuit Court, the Municipal Court judgment and sentence are stayed or stopped. No action is taken to enforce the judgment and sentence pending the appeal.
Your Mailing Address. It is important that you personally notify the Circuit Court Clerk of an address change that occur while your case is still active. The court relies heavily on the mail to notify you of matters related to your case. Consequently, it is in your best interest to directly contact the court clerk if your address changes. Do not rely solely on a change-of-address filed with the post office. Courts are very skeptical about people claiming that they did not receive something that was mailed to them and may not be very receptive to a claimant who did not inform the court directly of an address change.