How Do I Appeal a Sanction Under Family Law? 

Appeals to Pennsylvania Superior Court 

If you have been ordered to pay a sanction under family law in Pennsylvania, you may wish to appeal it to the Pennsylvania Superior Court. Pennsylvania has three judges who can hear your appeal. In such a case, your Pennsylvania appellate attorney will review the trial court’s decision and any pertinent pleadings and briefs submitted by both sides. However, additional testimony will not be considered. Pennsylvania appellate attorneys will argue on your behalf before a panel of judges at the Superior Court in Harrisburg, Philadelphia, or Pittsburgh. 


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The process to appeal a decision under family law in Pennsylvania involves filing a motion for reconsideration. Typically, you have twenty days from the date you received the decision to file an appeal. However, in some cases, this is much shorter. In such cases, you must file a motion within thirty days of receiving the decision in order to have your case heard by the Pennsylvania Superior Court. If your appeal is not heard within these time frames, you must file a petition for hearing in Pennsylvania Supreme Court. 

Appeals to Pennsylvania Court of Appeals 

If your case involves sanctions for family law misconduct, you may wish to appeal to the Pennsylvania Court of Appeals. These appeals are not second chances, but are instead opportunities to review the decisions of the trial court based on established statutes and case law. A family law appeals lawyer should review the entire record to determine if there is a legal basis to appeal. The Neal case, for example, involved sanctions imposed on remand to the lower court. Herman Neal filed a separate civil complaint against Judith Neal, alleging fraud, breach of contract, and abuse of process. 

The majority opinion in the Gregg case rejected Ameriprise’s request for discretionary review. The lower courts interpreted the statute to include “any deceptive or fraudulent conduct” as a cause of action. In a subsequent case, Maple Properties v. Harris, the court clarified that deceptive conduct includes “any act or practice involving misrepresentation that is illegitimate.” 

Appeals to Pennsylvania Supreme Court 

If you’ve been served with a family law sanction by your judge, you have the right to appeal the decision. In Pennsylvania, you can do so through the Superior Court. You can cite the First Amendment and Fourteenth Amendment as grounds for appeal. In some cases, an appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court is allowed when you’ve been found in contempt for violating the court order. Listed below are the reasons why your judge shouldn’t be disciplined. 

Janice and Robert SAHUTSKY are the appellants in this case. The law firm and individual lawyers in the case were served with discovery requests on January 3, 2003. Sahutsky’s counsel failed to respond, and on February 7, 2003, the trial court issued a rule returnable to them. The trial court denied the appeal because the attorneys’ failure to respond to discovery requests violated the trial court’s rules.