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PROTECTION FROM THE JUDGMENT DURING THE APPEAL

The enforcement of some judgments is automatically stayed pending appeal. This means that the prevailing party cannot enforce the judgment while the appeal is pending. (And, of course, they cannot enforce it at all if you win your appeal).

However many judgments, most notably a judgment to pay money, are not stayed pending appeal. In order to be protected from the enforcement of a money judgment pending appeal the losing party is required to purchase an insurance policy (ie a “bond”) that will pay off the judgment plus interest and costs should his appeal fail and he does not pay the judgment. Alternatively, the losing party may post an “undertaking” which is a written commitment by a friend, relative or acquaintance, with substantial assets, that he/she will pay the judgment if you lose the appeal and do not pay the judgment. The bond or undertaking automatically protects the losing party during the appeal unless the prevailing party succeeds in a challenge that it is not sufficient. The losing party can also make a motion for a stay on appeal without the necessity of posting a bond or an undertaking by showing special circumstances, including a good chance that he/she will win the appeal. Such a motion must be made first to the Superior Court Judge who found for your opponent. And should the Superior Court deny the motion it can be renewed before the Court of Appeals.

If the loser does not obtain a stay pending appeal there may be other ways to protect him until the appeal is decided including claims of exemption.

NOTICE OF APPEAL

If you do not file a timely Notice of Appeal you cannot appeal; the case is over and you have lost. This rule, unlike many other legal rules and deadlines, is “written in stone”. If you miss the deadline to appeal you have almost no chance of getting an order permitting/allowing you to appeal.

The deadline to Appeal is set by statute and in most cases it is 60 days after the entry of the judgment. For some judgments the time is much shorter. There are also post trial motions that will extend the time limit for filing the Notice of Appeal. Note, it is often confusing exactly when the time to appeal has started to run.

IMPORTANT: In order to insure that you do not miss the deadline to appeal you must consult with an attorney before the Superior Court makes it’s decision, or at the least within a day or two of the date the decision is made.