Appeals possible if rules are followed

Published 9:52 pm Saturday, November 21, 2009

Dear Lawyer Mark: I had to go before the referee in court over my child support a few months ago. I didn’t have a lawyer, but thought I was doing OK until he gave me his decision.

Well, I was pretty mad when I left because he said I had to pay all the back support I owe really soon.

I got a decision from him, and then other one from a different judge. I decided to appeal the other day, but I was told by someone that I couldn’t.

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Why wouldn’t I be able to, I thought you could always appeal decision that you don’t like.


Dear Owe:

An individual can always appeal a case, so long as he does it within the rules. If the case started out in front of the Magistrate (they don’t call them referees anymore), then he will hand down a Magistrate’s Decision.

If you disagree with it, you must file an objection to it with the Court within 14 days of getting the decision.

After you file your objections, one of the Common Pleas Judges will hear the objections.

Judge Payne will hear it if it was originally a paternity case, either Judge Cooper or Judge Bowling will hear it if it was originally a divorce case.

After hearing the objections, the judge will issue a “final appealable order”.

If you still don’t like what the judge orders, you can appeal that decision to the Court of Appeals.

In order to do so, you have to file a “notice of appeal” within 30 days of the final order, along with other documents.

If you waited too long to file your appeal, you are probably out of luck.

The Court of Appeals does have a procedure for requesting an appeal after the time limits have expired, but they have to give you permission to file it, and you have to give them an explanation as to why your appeal is late.

Also, if you intend to appeal a case to the Court of Appeals, you must object to the Magistrate’s Decision and have a judge hear the objections first.

If you didn’t object to the Magistrate’s Decision, the Court of Appeals will not hear the case on appeal.

Thought for the week: He who overlooks one fault invites another. — Publilius Syrus.

It’s the Law is written by Attorney Mark K. McCown in response to legal questions received by him. If you have a question, please forward it to Mark K. McCown, 311 Park Avenue, Ironton, Ohio 45638, or e-mail it to him at The right to condense and/or edit all questions is reserved.