How small claims appeals work
- Only the side who owes money can appeal the original judge's decision
- There is a different judge who doesn't know what happened at the first trial
- Both sides get to present their side and evidence again as if the case was being decided for the first time
The biggest difference is that either side can have an attorney (lawyer).
The side that didn't file the appeal can ask for fees if they win
The judge can order the side that filed the appeal to pay the other side up to $150 in attorney fees and up to $150 for lost pay, reasonable transportation, and hotel costs related to the appeal.
If the other side can prove that appeal was filed to harass, delay, or to pressure them to drop your claim, the judge can order the side that filed the appeal to pay the other side's attorney fees of up to $1,000 and $1,000 for lost pay, reasonable transportation, and hotel costs related to the appeal.
If you're the side defending against the appeal, you can ask the judge for these fees at the trial. You will need to bring proof (like receipts and bills) to show the costs.