APRIL 1, 2019
You can calculate the maximum amount of time it will take the Court of Appeals to decide your case by applying the “two term rule.” Under the Georgia Constitution, the court must dispose of every case either during the term the court entered that case on the docket or at the next term.
To calculate the latest date the Court of Appeals can decide your case, click here to look at the docket online. Search for your case. Then, click on the underlined case number to see the longer case summary.
In the Court of Appeals Information box, you will see an entry for “term.” It will say December, April, or August.
Now that you know what term the court docketed the case, check the last day of the term following the one in which it is docketed. For example, if you have a December term case, check the final date of the April term. You can find the dates of court terms by going to the Court’s website and clicking on Calendar > Court Terms > [the current year].
Note that you should not use either the “Docket/Notice Date” from the info box or the “Date of Docketing” from your Notice of Docketing to determine which term your case is assigned to. While it would be quite reasonable to expect that cases are assigned to the term in which they are docketed, they are not always. The Court of Appeals “pre-dockets” cases to give themselves more time to decide cases. Make sure to use the “term” field from the case inquiry system.
Thus, for the 2018 December/Winter term, the last date for opinions will be July 17, 2019.
For the 2019 April term, the last day for opinions will be November 18, 2019.
And for the 2019 August term, the last date for opinions will be March 31, 2020.
The court could decide your case earlier (sometimes much earlier) than this date, but not later. Most terms, the Court of Appeals issues all of its opinions by close of business on the final day. But occasionally, the judges go right up until the midnight deadline.
Have other questions about your appeal? Learn more about Kurt Kastorf’s appellate experience here. To contact Kurt, click here.