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Appeal Letters


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Appeal is an urgent request which helps you get financial aid for your organization, request someone to consider your point, or challenge the decision of the court. Many times, we hear that the court passes a hearing in a case, and then the attorney appeals the judge to reconsider the decision. This is done through an appeal letter. An appeal is thus used in a formal or legal procedure to request for something. These are different from normal request letters because these provide supporting details systematically that helps the reader understand your reason of appeal.

In legal terms, an appeal is the formal procedure of requesting the judiciary to reconsider the case, and decision of the court. In case of legal appeal, the rules and procedure of appeal differ from country to country. It also varies depending on the nature of the case or crime. By writing an appeal letter, you get to state your point of view or your take on the case, and present the supporting documents or evidences that help you convince the reader that you stand correct, and your point should be considered.

Not only legal arenas but appeal letter is written in different situations like - medical appeal letter, insurance appeal letter, financial appeal letter, unemployment appeal letter, scholarship appeal letter, etc. In all these situations, you appeal the reader and present the required proof that helps the reader to consider your appeal. These are different from general appeal letters. However, the term appeal letter is more related to the legal field.

As per the legal procedures, an appellant can appeal in three different situations -

  1. When he/she is not satisfied with the judgment of the court, or feels that there has been an error in judgment. The court cannot overrule this appeal, and has to consider this. The condition is that the issues put forth in the appeal letter had been raised in the court. This is thus known as 'appeal to right'.
  2. The second situation is when the appellant is denied justice at a lower court. He/she can then appeal to the next court in the hierarchy. The lower court has to send the record of the case to the higher level of jurisdiction for review. This is thus a formal request appeal to the higher jurisdiction. This might be rejected or approved.
  3. If the appellant has be denied to appeal, or not satisfied with the result of the appeal, he/she opts for the third type of appeal that is 'writ'. This is applicable when the attorney was incompetent, or the hearing has violated some constitutional right.

The legal appeal letters thus helps the appellant to force the jurisdiction to reconsider a decision or a case.

Characteristics of an Appeal letter:

An appeal letter has three main characteristics. These are

  • The appeal letter is investigative
  • The appeal letter is meticulous
  • The appeal letter is honest

These characteristics make it clear that the purpose of the letter is to find out why a certain decision has been taken, and present the honest picture of the case. For example, if an 'insurance claim' has been denied, the appellant can challenge the reason of rejection given by the insurance company by putting forth his/her point or story and presenting supporting evidences. Thus, the appellant aims to investigate as to why the reason of rejection was used, and states the facts that challenge this reason.

Writing an appeal letter:

  • Writing an appeal letter is not a difficult task. If you are good at writing formal letters, you can easily write an appeal letter. The language of the appeal letter is strictly formal. The important things that an appeal letter should include are - Name of the appellant, case no., the date of hearing/rejection, and the name of the judge.
  • The beginning of the letter is same like any formal letter. Instead of subject, the appellant writes 'Re'. This denotes 'reference'. The appellant mentions the case number/claim number etc. that he/she refers to. The letter begins with the introduction of the appellant and mentions the reason of writing the letter.
  • The following paragraph elaborates on this reason and presents the required details, facts and evidences that challenge the decision. Include all the necessary information but make sure you present it in a precise and reader friendly way. Use of bold and bullets to highlight key points is advisable.
  • The last paragraph of an appeal letter is the summary of the entire letter. In this paragraph, the appellant summarizes the letter, and highlight the key points again. Close the letter by thanking the reader.

Thus, writing an appeal letter is not difficult. We have written some sample appeal letters below. These appeal letters will help you understand the exact purpose and procedure of writing this letter.

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