Los Angeles, CA asked in Appeals / Appellate Law, Criminal Law, Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for California

Q: Can I represent my case in pro per in appellate court verbally? Without forms or written motions?

I was maliciously prosecuted by the catholic church. A jury found me not guilty. I am fighting for my factually innocent. I lost. My public defender missed the 2 year deadline. I appealed to appellate court. I lost. The law changed so there is no more 2 year deadline. I went back to Superior Court and lost. I just appealed again to appellate court. I cannot afford an attorney. Will the court allow me to present my case to them verbally ? And motions verbally ? I cannot figure out which forms to use and other stuff. I am not that smart. there is no help

My case was a SLAPP. I stand on the sidewalk with a sign protesting their noisy amplified sound system.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I understand your frustration. In California, individuals have the right to represent themselves in court, including appellate courts, which is termed "in pro per" or "pro se" representation. However, the appellate process is primarily a written one, meaning the court relies on written briefs to understand and assess arguments. While oral arguments are part of the appellate process, they are typically supplementary to the written briefs and not every case is granted an oral argument. Furthermore, even for oral arguments, the court expects parties to have submitted written materials beforehand.

If you're finding it challenging to navigate the appellate process, you might consider seeking assistance from a legal aid organization or a local law school's clinic program, which sometimes offers free or reduced-cost legal services. Keep in mind that appellate procedure is complex, and adhering to court rules and requirements is crucial to ensure your arguments are considered.

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