Connecticut’s Appellate Court is where cases from the Superior Courts come when the verdict is opposed. An appeal is not a trial but a review of the evidence, the court transcript, and findings to make sure justice was adequately served. Typically, an appeal is reviewed by three judges who sit on a panel and determine if any laws were violated during the trial. On occasion, the Appellate Court may sit “en banc” which means all the judges associated with the Appellate Court heart the case and review the findings. During this process, both sides are allowed to submit a brief, oral arguments (which are like live presentations) and other supporting evidence for their side.
Only two members of the three-member panel are needed for a majority vote. When this happens, their verdict called an “opinion” is published and may overturn the previous decision for the case or create or alter existing laws.
Connecticut employs nine judges in the Appellate Court. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court elects one of the nine to be the Chief Judge in each case. To be eligible to sit on the Appellate Court, judges must be 70 years old and have practiced law.
The Connecticut Judicial Branch’s website has notices for anything related to the Appellate Court, along with detailed instructions for submitting briefs and oral arguments that they call the “Handbook of Appellate Procedure.” They also include forms needed to proceed with an appeal. All published opinions are made publicly available on the website as well. They also offer e-filing for appellate cases and include instructions and account registration information on their website.
For the last year calculated, Connecticut’s Supreme and Appellate Courts cost the state $14,180,532, which is roughly 2.92% of their total budget.