It takes considerable time for an appeal to be completed. Once the notice of appeal is filed, the record must be prepared, the parties must then brief the case, present oral argument, and then officially submit the case. Once the case is submitted, the court must then decide the case and write an opinion, even if the opinion will not be officially published.
As the following chart shows, it takes almost 1 1/2 years on average to complete a civil appeal, 1 year and 2 months on average to complete a criminal appeal, and about 9 months on average to complete a juvenile appeal. However, there is a considerable variation in this schedule between districts, and even between divisions within a district.
For a current estimate from the clerks' office, click here.
Timing of Appeals
|Notice of appeal to filing of opinion||Fully briefed to filing of opinion|
|First District (Average)||13.5||12.1||10.2||5.1||3.3||2.5|
|Second District (Average)||18.2||13.5||9.1||3.3||2.5||2.2|
|Fourth District (Average)||28.5||15.5||8.5||18.7||5.7||3.7|
Source: Judicial Council of California, Administrative Office of the Courts
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