Rule 7.204 Filing Appeal of Right; Appearance

(A) Time Requirements. The time limit for an appeal of right is jurisdictional. See MCR 7.203(A). The provisions of MCR 1.108 regarding computation of time apply. For purposes of subrules (A)(1) and (A)(2), “entry” means the date a judgment or order is signed, or the date that data entry of the judgment or order is accomplished in the issuing tribunal’s register of actions.

(1) An appeal of right in a civil action must be taken within

(a) 21 days after entry of the judgment or order appealed from;

(b) 21 days after the entry of an order deciding a motion for new trial, a motion for rehearing or reconsideration, or a motion for other relief from the order or judgment appealed, if the motion was filed within the initial 21-day appeal period or within further time the trial court has allowed for good cause during that 21-day period;

(c) 14 days after entry of an order of the family division of the circuit court terminating parental rights under the Juvenile Code, or entry of an order denying a motion for new trial, rehearing, reconsideration, or other postjudgment relief from an order terminating parental rights, if the motion was filed within the initial 14-day appeal period or within further time the trial court may have allowed during that period; or

(d) another time provided by law.

If a party in a civil action is entitled to the appointment of an attorney and requests the appointment within 14 days after the final judgment or order, the 14-day period for the taking of an appeal or the filing of a postjudgment motion begins to run from the entry of an order appointing or denying the appointment of an attorney. If a timely postjudgment motion is filed before a request for appellate counsel, the party may request counsel within 14 days after the decision on the motion.

(2) An appeal of right in a criminal case must be taken

(a) in accordance with MCR 6.425(G)(3);

(b) within 42 days after entry of an order denying a timely motion for the appointment of a lawyer pursuant to MCR 6.425(G)(1);

(c) within 42 days after entry of the judgment or order appealed from; or

(d) within 42 days after the entry of an order denying a motion for a new trial, for directed verdict of acquittal, or to correct an invalid sentence, if the motion was filed within the time provided in MCR 6.419(B), 6.429(B), or 6.431(A), as the case may be.

(e)   If a claim of appeal is received by the court after the expiration of the periods set forth above, and if the appellant is an inmate in the custody of the Michigan Department of Corrections and has submitted the claim as a pro se party, the claim shall be deemed presented for filing on the date of deposit of the claim in the outgoing mail at the correctional institution in which the inmate is housed. Timely filing may be shown by a sworn statement, which must set forth the date of deposit and state that first-class postage has been prepaid. The exception applies to claims of appeal from decisions or orders rendered on or after March 1, 2010. This exception also applies to an inmate housed in a penal institution in another state or in a federal penal institution who seeks to appeal in a Michigan court.

A motion for rehearing or reconsideration of a motion mentioned in subrules (A)(1)(b) or (A)(2)(d) does not extend the time for filing a claim of appeal, unless the motion for rehearing or reconsideration was itself filed within the 21- or 42-day period.

(3) Where service of the judgment or order on appellant was delayed beyond the time stated in MCR 2.602, the claim of appeal must be accompanied by an affidavit setting forth facts showing that the service was beyond the time stated in MCR 2.602. Appellee may file an opposing affidavit within 14 days after being served with the claim of appeal and affidavit. If the Court of Appeals finds that service of the judgment or order was delayed beyond the time stated in MCR 2.602 and the claim of appeal was filed within 14 days after service of the judgment or order, the claim of appeal will be deemed timely.

(B) Manner of Filing. To vest the Court of Appeals with jurisdiction in an appeal of right, an appellant shall file with the clerk within the time for taking an appeal

(1) the claim of appeal, and

(2) the entry fee.

(C) Other Documents. With the claim of appeal, the appellant shall file the following documents with the clerk:

(1) a copy of the judgment or order appealed from;

(2) a copy of the certificate of the court reporter or recorder filed under subrule (E)(4), a statement by the attorney that the transcript has been ordered (in which case the certificate of the court reporter or recorder must be filed as soon as possible thereafter), or a statement by the attorney that there is no record to be transcribed;

(3) proof that a copy of the claim of appeal was served on all other parties in the case and on any other person or officer entitled by rule or law to notice of the appeal;

(4) if the appellant has filed a bond, a true copy of the bond;

(5) a copy of the register of actions of the lower court, tribunal, or agency; and

(6) a jurisdictional checklist on a form provided by the clerk’s office.

(D) Form of Claim of Appeal.

(1) A claim of appeal is entitled “In the Court of Appeals.” The parties are named in the same order as they appear in the trial court, with the added designation “appellant” or “appellee” as appropriate. The claim must be substantially in the following form:

[Name of appellant], [plaintiff or defendant], claims an appeal from the [judgment or order] entered [date of judgment or order or date sentence imposed] in the [name of court or tribunal from which the appeal is taken] by [name of judge or officer who entered the judgment, order, or sentence].

(2) The claim of appeal must be dated and signed, and must list the appropriate business address and telephone number under the signature.

(3) If the case involves

(a) a contest as to the custody of a minor child, or

(b) a ruling that a provision of the Michigan Constitution, a Michigan statute, a rule or regulation included in the Michigan Administrative Code, or any other action of the legislative or executive branch of state government is invalid, that the fact must be stated in capital letters on the claim of appeal. In an appeal specified in subrule (D)(3)(b), the Court of Appeals shall give expedited consideration to the appeal, and, if the state or an officer or agency of the state is not a party to the appeal, the Court of Appeals shall send copies of the claim of appeal and the judgment or order appealed from to the Attorney General.

(E) Trial Court Filing Requirements. Within the time for taking the appeal, the appellant shall file in the court or the tribunal from which the appeal is taken

(1) a copy of the claim of appeal;

(2) any fee required by law;

(3) any bond required by law as a condition for taking the appeal; and

(4) unless there is no record to be transcribed, the certificate of the court reporter or recorder stating that a transcript has been ordered and payment for it made or secured, and that it will be filed as soon as possible or has already been filed.

(F) Other Requirements. Within the time for taking the appeal, the appellant shall also

(1) make any delivery or deposit of money, property, or documents, and do any other act required by the statute authorizing the appeal, and file with the clerk an affidavit or other evidence of compliance;

(2) serve on all other parties in the case and on any other person or officer entitled by rule or law to notice of the appeal a copy of the claim of appeal and a copy of any bond filed under subrule (C)(4).

(G) Appearance. Within 14 days after being served with the claim of appeal, the appellee shall file an appearance (identifying the individual attorneys of record) in the Court of Appeals and in the court or tribunal from which the appeal is taken. An appellee who does not file a timely appearance is not entitled to notice of further proceedings until an appearance is filed.

(H) Docketing Statement. In all civil appeals, within 28 days after the claim of appeal is filed, the appellant must file two copies of a docketing statement with the clerk of the Court of Appeals and serve a copy on the opposing parties.

(1) Contents. The docketing statement must contain the information required from time to time by the Court of Appeals through the office of the Chief Clerk on forms provided by the Clerk’s office and must set forth:

(a) the nature of the proceeding;

(b) the date of entry of the judgment or order sought to be reviewed as defined in MCR 7.204(A) or MCR 7.205(A), and whether the appeal was timely filed and is within the court’s jurisdiction;

(c) a concise, accurate summary of all facts material to consideration of the issues presented, but transcripts are not required at this stage;

(d) the issues presented by the appeal, including a concise summary of how they arose and how they were preserved in the trial court. General conclusory statements such as, “the judgment of the trial court is not supported by the law or the facts,” will not be accepted;

(e) a reference to all related or prior appeals, and the appropriate citation, if any.

(2) Amendment. The Court of Appeals may, upon motion and good cause shown, allow for the amendment of the docketing statement.

(3) Cross Appeals. A party who files a cross appeal shall file a docketing statement in accordance with this rule within 28 days after filing the cross appeal.

(4) Dismissal. If the appellant fails to file a timely docketing statement, the chief judge may dismiss the appeal pursuant to MCR 7.217.