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Appeals

The Alaska Supreme Court has a website that discusses how to represent yourself in an appeal of a civil final judgment or order from the Superior Court to the Supreme Court. It discusses how to file an appeal and how to respond to an appeal. Make sure you file the papers to start the appeal within the deadline for your case type. To appeal a final judgment for child custody, you have 15 days from the final Superior Court decision. For most other civil cases, including property division in a divorce, you have 30 days to file the appeal.

Please note, in family law cases there may be options to deal with mistakes or changes by filing documents in the Superior Court and not filing an appeal in the Supreme Court. Many circumstances qualify for relief under Civil Rule 60(b), and do not require an appeal to the Supreme Court. For instance, many "60(b) motions" filed in the Superior Court involve child support arrearage issues. Also, if there has been a change in circumstances and you are trying to modify child custody or support, you simply file a Motion to Modify in the Superior Court; you do not need to file an appeal. You can call the Family Law Self-Help Center to discuss whether there are options to file documents in the Superior Court.

The civil appeals process is complicated, time consuming and expensive. The process can take over two years from start to finish. You should consult with an attorney if possible to discuss your case. If you are going to represent yourself for the appeal, it is important to read ALL of the information provided on the self-help appeals website before filing your appeal. The website provides detailed information about each part of the appeal process, including forms and instructions.


Rev. 15 March 2007
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