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If I appeal a judgment requiring payment is it still enforceable?

The reality of litigation is that, absent a Settlement, one party will “win;” the other party will “lose;” and the “losing” party will have a Judgment entered against them – very often directing payment in one form or another to the “winning” party. 


In most circumstances, the “losing” party may appeal an adverse Judgment “as of right.” 


However, simply appealing a Judgment does not mean that the “losing” party is not still obligated to pay the “winning” party. 


Indeed, in most instances the original judgment can still be enforced pending an appeal.


Nevertheless, if a judgment requires you to make payments, such as in a debt-related case, you may consider posting an appellate bond in lieu of satisfying the Judgment, pending the appeal.


That being said, posting a bond may require pledging your assets up to twice the amount of payment due, plus attorney fees. When allowed, posting an appellate bond delays the need to make payments in satisfaction of the Judgment until the appeal process is over, and can be crucial to maintaining one’s financial solvency while the appellate court considers the case. 


Contact Bashian P.C. should you have any questions regarding appellate litigation, and ask a member of our appellate practice team how we can help. 


If you win the appeal and have already made payments, then in most instances, you may be able to reclaim that money. However, if the result of the appeal is a reverse of the judgment for retrial, the person or entity to whom payments were made may have the opportunity to hold on to it.

Forbes does note, however, that it is important to ensure you do not do anything to be held in contempt by the court. If you do, creditors especially may use this to ensure you are not able to reclaim your money, regardless of the final ruling. This may be referred to as fugitive disentitlement doctrine, which essentially states that if you are in contempt of the court, you are in no position to request assistance from the same court.

Appellate law covers a wide range of other types of cases, from personal injury to alimony payments. As a result, it can be difficult to pinpoint a definite yes or no answer as to whether or not you must make payments during an appeal, and what you can do to delay it. For more information, please visit our webpage.

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