We’ve all heard the old adage “anyone can make a mistake,” and that goes for judges too. The vast majority of judges know the law inside and out. The trouble is judges have large caseloads and ever-changing demands. From confused or incorrect paperwork to last minute information – a judge juggles it all and works to make justice in the end. So what happens if a judge makes a mistake? The first thing a party should consider is asking the judge to reconsider. Giving the original judge additional information upon which to change a ruling can quickly corrrect a mistake. If that does not work, a party can appeal the ruling to a higher court.
Most final court judgments, orders and decrees are subject to appeal. We have all seen newly passed laws (California’s proposition 8 is a well-known example) and other rulings get held up in the courts for years. Alas, the appellate process is not for the faint of heart. An appeal can drag out for more than a year (some much longer) and requires a tremendous amount of paperwork and time. A bankruptcy court judgment, order or decree can be appealed to a 3 judge panel or to a single judge. Any appellate court will require complete records from the original court, written input from the parties and usually a face-to-face hearing before making a decision. Written input must be in proper legal format and be rooted in legal principles. Parties to any legal proceeding have a right to at least one appeal and often two. Time and expense make appeals rare especially in bankruptcy cases.
At the Law Office of Michael Primus, we have helped hundreds of clients get out of debt, stop wage garnishments, and start fresh through bankruptcy. If you live in Contra Costa County and have debt problems, contact us for a free in office consultation. Offices in Walnut Creek, Antioch and Hercules.