This manual describes in simple terms the civil appellate process and the related California Rules of Court that are in effect as of January 1, 2014. The manual is intended for persons who represent themselves (also called “self-represented litigants” and those “in pro per” or “in pro se”) and attorneys with little or no appellate experience who are bringing civil appeals to the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, which has jurisdiction over appeals from Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barabara and San Luis Obispo counties. The manual does not cover criminal or juvenile dependency appeals.
The materials included here are not legal advice and may not be used as legal authority. The primary legal authority for the practices described in this manual is the California Rules of Court. (The California Rules of Court are sometimes referred to in this manual as "CRC," for example, "CRC rule 8.108.") The manual does not replace or supersede the California Rules of Court. It is merely a general summary of the applicable rules. The rules themselves are subject to change, and you should consult them directly. In the event the information here differs from the California Rules of Court, you must follow the California Rules of Court.
All of the forms referred to in this manual are included in the final section entitled "Sample Forms and Instructions", along with instructions for filling them out. Many of the sample forms in this manual are also available online in Adobe Acrobat format (PDF) and may be filled out electronically for free at http://www.courts.ca.gov/forms.htm. A more abbreviated description of the civil appeal process (form APP-001) is also available at this Internet address.
You may download the entire manual (approximately 2.2 MB) or you may view individual sections by clicking in the table of contents below.
Click here if you need more information about how to use Adobe Acrobat PDF or zipped files.