Filing Your Appeal - Pro Se - Initiating an Appeal

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There are limited kinds of orders that may be appealed before a final judgment is entered.  But in almost all cases, the initiation of an appeal must await the entry of a final judgment that disposes of all the claims as to all parties.  An appeal taken after the entry of final judgment can generally raise claims of error in any of the orders issued by the district court prior to the entry of the final judgment. 

An appeal is initiated by the filing of a “notice of appeal” in the federal district court.  The notice of appeal must comply with Fed. R. App. P. 3 in terms of content and with Fed. R. App. P. 4 in terms of timeliness.  An untimely or premature notice of appeal may result in dismissal of the appeal.     

Once a notice of appeal has been filed, the federal district court will notify this court, an appellate case will be opened, and a case number will be assigned.  Persons who contact the court should have that case number available to assist in getting answers to questions.  The case number should also be on the cover of all documents submitted to this court.

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