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District of Columbia Courts


The DC Court of Appeals resolves appeals from DC Superior Court orders or decisions, and reviews most DC government agency orders or decisions.


This section explains:

Types of Orders and Decisions That Can Be Appealed that Can Be Appealed

Not all Superior Court orders or decisions can be appealed, and some agency orders or decisions are reviewed first by another agency or the Superior Court.
Appealable Superior Court Orders or Decisions
  • You have a right to appeal any Superior Court order or decision that is final and closes the case. Exception: If you are seeking review of a final order or decision in a small claims case or a criminal case with no jail time and a penalty of less than $50, you must file an Application for an Allowance to Appeal and show that your case presents a question of law that has not been but should be decided by the DC Court of Appeals.  [1] 
  • You may also appeal certain types of orders or decisions that are not final (do not end the case). Here is an incomplete list of some specific examples:
    1. Civil protection orders [2] 
    2. Orders that grant, refuse, continue, end, modify, or refuse to modify an injunction [3] 
    3. Orders granting judicial foreclosure [4] ; and
    4. Orders establishing protective orders in landlord and tenant cases  [5] 
Reviewable Agency Orders or Decisions
  • You have a right to review of any DC government agency, board, or commission order or decision that was issued in a “contested case.” If your agency order does not tell you where you may obtain review, contact the agency.

Even if you do not have a right to appeal, you may still ask the DC Court of Appeals to hear your case. The legal analysis may be complicated so you may want to talk to a lawyer about this.

How to Start Your Appeal

Appeals from DC Superior Court

If you are appealing a DC Superior Court decision or order, you must file a Notice of Appeal (NOA, for short) in Superior Court.


  • If your decision or order was made by a magistrate judge, you must ask a DC Superior Court Associate Judge to review it before you start your appeal in the Court of Appeals.
  • If you filed an Application for an Allowance of Appeal

Appeals from a DC Government Agency

If you are appealing a DC Government Agency decision or order, you must file a Petition for Review in the Court of Appeals.

Click to see what an appeal is and how to start one.

Court of Appeals ASL Video

Deadline to Start an Appeal

In most cases, you have 30 days after the date on the decision or order you are appealing to file your Notice of Appeal or Petition for Review.

IMPORTANT! If you want to appeal a small claims case or a criminal case with no jail time and a penalty of less than $50 , you must file an Application for an Allowance of Appeal within 3 days of the date of the court’s decision. But if the court’s decision was sent by mail, you have 8 days to file. When you file, include a copy of the certificate of service. Day 1 is the date on the certificate of service. [1] 

If you need more time, you may ask the Superior Court by filing a Motion for an Extension of Time.

How Much It Costs to Appeal

Your appeal may cost nothing: If you did not have to pay court fees in Superior Court because you had a fee waiver (you were given in forma paupers or IFP status), you will not have to pay fees on appeal.

If you cannot afford to pay the fees, you may ask the court for a fee waiver. Unless the court gives you a waiver, you will have to pay court filing fees, as well as any transcript fees, and copying fees. Copying fees will probably be your biggest expense.


The court charges these fees for filing documents:

  • Notice of Appeal: $100.
  • Application for Allowance of Appeal: $10. If approved, you pay an additional $40 for the docketing fee.
  • Petition for Review: $100

Transcript fees: You will have to order transcripts of your DC Superior Court or agency proceeding. DC Superior Court or agency transcripts cost about $4 per page (Note: One full day of court proceedings may be hundreds of pages).

For more information, see the DC Appeals Court Schedule of Fees and Costs.

You can find fee information for all DC Superior Court divisions in Rule of Civil Procedure 202.


Request a Fee Waiver

Start Your Appeal

Peticion para Eximir Pago

Apelar un Dictamen