Court bw Basics of Appeals

This information generally covers appeals for district court civil cases and family cases.  It does not cover criminal appeals.  

An appeal is a request for a higher court to change or reverse a final judgment from a lower court. 

  • Appeals are handled by the Nevada Supreme Court, but the Supreme Court can assign the case to the Court of Appeals to handle instead.  
  • The Nevada Rules of Appellate Procedure govern all requirements and deadlines for an appeal.  Review the rules and be familiar with them.  
  • An appeal does not allow you to re-do your trial or submit new evidence.  The appellate court will only look at what was submitted to the trial court. 
  • The appellate court can affirm the decision, reverse the decision, and/or order the lower court to take further appropriate action. 

Appeals can be complicated, expensive, and lengthy.  Before you decide to file an appeal, it is a good idea to meet with a lawyer and find out if you have a basis to appeal and the likelihood of success.  Visit Lawyers and Legal Help for more information about where to find a lawyer.

Checklist How to Appeal

Some timelines and steps may be different depending on if the appeal is for a child custody matter or a general civil matter. 

When in doubt, follow any instructions provided by the appellate court.

The typical steps are: 

Deadline 1 bw 1. Determine if you can file an appeal.  Only certain orders can be appealed within short timeframes.

Higher fees bw 2. Prepare to pay any fees. Know the filing fee, or request a fee waiver. 

File with clerk bw 3. File and serve the Notice of Appeal.  File this at the district court. 

Emergency Order bw 4. Decide whether to ask for a "stay" from the lower court. This could stop the underlying order from taking effect. 

Mediation bw 5. Attend settlement conference if required.  The appellate court may require this in some cases. 

Review bw 6. Order a transcript.  This is the record of any hearings inthe district court. 

Copy bw 7. File the necessary forms. You must file a docketing statement and a brief. 

Gavel 8. Wait for a hearing date and a decision. The appellate court may set a hearing and will issue a written decision. 

Learn more about each step below.  


Deadline 1 bw 1. Determine if you can file an appeal.

Not every court order can be appealed.  Generally, only final orders can be appealed; appellate courts do not review temporary orders.  

An appeal must be filed within 30 days from the written notice of entry of the judgment.  Missing this appeal deadline usually prevents an appeal completely. 


Higher fees bw 2. Prepare to pay any fees.

The District Court will charge $250 to file the notice of appeal, plus any fees charged by the District Court. You may also be required to post a bond with the clerk for $500.

If you currently have an approved fee waiver with the District Court, you will not be charged any fees to file the appeal.  But if you do not have an active fee waiver and cannot afford the appeal fees, you can turn in an application to waive the fee with your Notice of Appeal. 

Fee Waiver Application


File with clerk bw 3. File and serve the Notice of Appeal.

The Notice of Appeal says who is appealing and what order is being appealed. 

File this in the same District Court where the order being appealed was issued. You must serve it on all parties to the case after filing.  The form below can be used to start the appeal, and includes a certificate of service to indicate who you will serve. 

Notice of Appeal

The court clerk will prepare a Case Appeal Statement and will forward your appeal documents to the Nevada Supreme Court. 


Emergency Order bw 4. Decide whether to ask for a "stay" from the lower court. 

Filing an appeal does not stop the underlying order from being effective.  If you do not want the order to go into effect while the appeal is going on, you can file a motion in the district court to 'stay' - or pause - enforcement of the order. This is not mandatory; it is up to you to decide if you want to request a stay. 

Motion to Stay - Child Custody

Motion to Stay - Other

A motion for stay would be filed in the District Court and served on the other parties just like any other motion.  The District Court judge would make a determination.  If denied, a motion for stay could then be filed with the appellate court. 


Mediation bw 5. Attend settlement conference if required.

The appellate court may refer your case for a settlement conference.  If so, comply with any requirements of the settlement conference. 

The remaining steps and deadlines will only become effective once the settlement conference process is waived or has ended without agreement. 


Review bw 6. Order a transcript.

If the proceedings were recorded in the District Court, you must file a request for transcripts of all proceedings that are necessary for the Court's review within 14 days. 

Transcript Request

If the proceedings were not recorded in the District Court, you can file a certificate that no transcripts are needed. 

Certificate that No Transcripts Requested


Copy bw 7. File Necessary Forms.

For all appeals, you must file a Docketing Statement within 21 days. Serve this on all parties to the appeal. 

Docketing Statement

For "Fast Track Child Custody" appeals:

You have 40 days to file a Child Custody Fast Track Statement. 

Child Custody Fast Track Statement

For other civil appeals:

You have 120 days to file an Informal Brief. 

Informal Brief


Gavel 8. Wait for a Hearing Date and Decision.

Once all parties have submitted their briefs, the Court may schedule a hearing.  This is a chance for both parties to explain their position and for the Court to ask questions.  It may be several months after the hearing when the written decision is issued.  

About This Website

This website is intended to provide general information, forms, and resources for people who are representing themselves in Nevada's courts without a lawyer. There may be additional information you need to know depending on where your case is being handled. If you will be representing yourself in Clark County or Washoe County, you should visit those self-help websites for specialized forms and instructions.

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