INTRODUCTION

 

            This manual is a summary of basic procedural requirements for processing and perfecting direct appeals from the lower courts and administrative agencies in the Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District.  It is designed for use merely as a reference tool and a general, simple information guide for attorneys and litigants practicing before this Court.  It is not to be used as a substitute for the Missouri Rules of Court or the judicial decisions interpreting them.  Nothing in the ABCs of Appellate Practice shall be reported, cited or otherwise used in any case before any court.  Attorneys and litigants are urged to examine the Rules and judicial decisions for a thorough understanding of appellate procedures and potential issues in their case. 

            Appellate practice before the Southern District of the Missouri Court of Appeals is governed by Supreme Court Rules that are applicable to all three appellate districts in Missouri.  Generally those rules are found in Rule 30 for criminal appeals and Rules 81 and 84 for civil appeals.  Special Rules have been promulgated by the Southern District applicable to those counties within this Court’s jurisdiction.

            The Southern District is composed of 7 judges and has general appellate and original remedial writ jurisdiction over cases arising in the 44 counties in the southern half of Missouri. The Court is located at 300 Hammons Parkway, Springfield, Missouri, 65806.  Telephone No.: (417) 895-6811 and Telefacsimile No.: (417) 895-6817. The Court holds oral argument in Springfield in January, March, June and September.  Oral Argument is held in Poplar Bluff in April and October.  The Court may sit in other locations in the Southern District during the year.

 

 

THE APPELLATE PROCESS: STEP BY STEP

 

            Generally, a party initiates an appeal by filing a notice of appeal with the clerk of the trial court that issued the judgment.  Once the notice of appeal is filed, the party appealing, or Appellant, has responsibility for ordering and filing a record on appeal and then filing an “Appellant’s Brief.”  Strict time lines govern these filings and the process can be complicated.  While the staff at the Court can explain the appellate process and court procedure to litigants, they cannot give legal advice about their cases.