Civil Appeals

A civil appeal is a challenge to a ruling or judgment from an administrative hearing or lower court. The location of the challenged ruling will determine where your appeal is heard. A superior court judge hears all appeals arising out of administrative hearings, municipal courts or district courts, while the court of appeals hears all appeals stemming from a superior court matter.

Some of the more common types of civil appeals include challenges in the following:

  • Unfavorable verdicts or summary judgment rulings in personal injury, contract, or other civil matters
  • Department of Licensing revocation hearings
  • Drug forfeiture hearings
  • Protection order hearings
  • Trials and hearings involving custody disputes and parental rights

An appeal is based entirely on the record from the lower court. This means that if an issue was not raised in the trial court, you may not be able to raise it in an appeal. In some cases, however, it is possible to bring what is referred to as a “post-trial motion” to challenge a final judgment or order. Although these are limited in scope, they do provide a means of challenging final orders which have resulted in grave injustices. The procedures relating to these post-trial motions are set forth in Civil Rules 59 and 60.

There are strict time requirements for challenging the rulings of a lower court. A notice of appeal must be filed within 30 days of the court’s final ruling, or the right to appeal will be lost. Some types of post trial motion–such as a motion for a new trial or a motion to reconsider–must be filed within 10 days of entry of a judgment or final order. Other types of post-trial motions can be filed up to a year later. An appellate attorney can explain the various options and help you decide which approach would be most successful.

James Dixon handles the appeals and post-trial motions for Dixon & Cannon, Ltd., and he has represented hundreds of clients before the Court of Appeals and Washington State Supreme Court.

Call for a FREE 30-minute initial consultation at 206-957-2247. We can help!




Dixon & Cannon, Ltd. is licensed to practice law in the States of Arizona and Washington. This Web site is created for your general information only and does not represent legal advice. An attorney-client relationship between you and our law firm is not created by you reading this information or calling us. If we decide to work together, we sign a contract to establish our attorney-client relationship.