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The Appeals Process

In 1951 thirteen individuals filed a class action lawsuit against the Kansas Board of Education. The plaintiffs claimed the racial segregation happening in the Kansas Public School System was unjust. The case, commonly known as Brown v Board of Education, went to trial in the United States District Court of Kansas in Topeka, Kansas. The court sided with the Board of Education citing Plessy v Ferguson, which allowed for segregation as long as both facilities were “separate but equal.” The plaintiffs felt this ruling was unfair so they appealed the case and the case went before the Supreme Court. Three years later the Supreme Court overturned the lower court’s decision thus ending racial segregation in America. If the plaintiffs had not appealed racial segregation might still exist today.

The appeals process is one of the most important aspects of the American legal system, but how does it work? Generally most appeals will follow a similar path.

1)   US District Court- 94 total courts

2)   US Court of Appeals- 13 total circuits

3)   US Supreme Court

This may look simple, but it can become very complicated. In order for a case to make it to the Supreme Court a lot of work needs to be done and even if the case makes it there’s no guarantee the case will be heard. On average the Supreme Court only hears 100-150 of the more than 7,000 cases it receives each year.

In order to start an appeal it’s important to use a skilled attorney who will follow all the necessary steps. Your attorney should take the following actions.

1) Notice of Intent to Pursue Post-conviction Relief

2) Motions for Post-conviction Relief

3) Notice of Appeal

4) Court of Appeals Decision

The lawyers at Huppertz & Powers are here for you when you need exercise your right to file an appeal. They are highly skilled in wide variety of criminal defense areas. If are in need of legal help call them today 262-549-5979.


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