empty courtroomThis is the next post in my series on handling Nevada cases involving the termination of parental rights. My last article discussed defending against a parental termination case. It is important to understand that it is not uncommon for parents to make false claims about their counterpart. It is important that such claims be taken seriously and that one’s attorney gather the necessary evidence to present a defense. In this article I will discuss the possibility of appealing a decision relating to the termination of rights. If you or a loved one are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a Las Vegas family law lawyer.

Las Vegas residents must understand that an appeal is not a new trial

It is common for parents to wish to file an appeal because they would like a “do over” of the trial process. An appeal, however, is not a new trial. The Appellate Court is not a venue to call witnesses or introduce evidence. Instead, the Appellate Court will review the records and transcripts from the Trial Court proceedings. The main role of the Appellate Court is to determine whether or not the Trial Judge misapplied the law or whether there was an extreme misinterpretation of facts. If the Appellate Court finds that there was a misapplication of the law then there are multiple possible outcomes. First, the Court may rule that the outcome of the case would have been the same if the error had not occurred. This would result in the prior ruling being affirmed. Second, the Court may remand the matter for a new trial if it believes that the error materially impacted the outcome. Finally, if it is clear that the error eliminated the basis for the Lower Court’s ruling then the Court may reverse the decision outright. How the Appellate Court will rule in any given situation will always depend on the facts of the matter.

The foregoing concepts are best explained by way of example. Suppose a Las Vegas parent is accused of abusing a child. Prior to trial, the complaining party will be required to disclose, to the Defendant, evidence which it intends to use. Now suppose, at trial, the complaining party introduces photographs that were never disclosed to the defendant. The Judge rules, based on the photographs, that abuse occurred and opts to terminate the rights of the defendant. On appeal, the defendant can challenge the ruling due to evidence which should not have been admitted. It is possible that the ruling will be reversed and the matter would be remanded for a new trial. Depending on the circumstances, it is also possible that the Appellate Court may reverse the matter outright.

Appealing a parental rights termination begins with filing a “Notice of Appeal”

The first step in appealing a case is to file a “Notice of Appeal” with the District Court. This must be filed within thirty days or else the Appellant will not have a right to challenge the ruling. The full process, including the requesting of transcripts and briefing, will begin thereafter. It is important to understand that the rules of appellate procedure are strictly enforced. If these rules are not followed then there is a chance that the appeal will be dismissed. By retaining an experienced attorney, you help to ensure that your matter is handled properly.

I am a Las Vegas family law appellate lawyer who devotes her practice to handling domestic relations law. I understand that this is a serious time in your life and my office will give your case the attention it deserves. We are looking forward to being of assistance. Contact us online or by telephone today to schedule an initial consultation.