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Appellate Courts

1

An appellate court, commonly called an appeals court, court of appeals, appeal court, court of second instance or second instance court, is any court of law that is empowered to hear an appeal of a trial court or other lower tribunal.

A court is a tribunal, often as a government institution, with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal, and administrative matters in accordance with the rule of law.

A tribunal, generally, is any person or institution with authority to judge, adjudicate on, or determine claims or disputes—whether or not it is called a tribunal in its title.

In law, an appeal is the process in which cases are reviewed, where parties request a formal change to an official decision.

2

In most jurisdictions, the court system is divided into at least three levels: the trial court, which initially hears cases and reviews evidence and testimony to determine the facts of the case; at least one intermediate appellate court; and a supreme court which primarily reviews the decisions of the intermediate courts.

Jurisdiction is the practical authority granted to a legal body to administer justice within a defined area of responsibility, e.g., Michigan tax law.

3

A jurisdiction's supreme court is that jurisdiction's highest appellate court.

4

Appellate courts nationwide can operate by varying rules.

5

The authority of appellate courts to review decisions of lower courts varies widely from one jurisdiction to another.

6

In some places, the appellate court has limited powers of review.

7

Generally speaking, an appellate court's judgment provides the final directive of the appeals courts as to the matter appealed, setting out with specificity the court's determination that the action appealed from should be affirmed, reversed, remanded or modified.

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