I am the petitioner and I am appealing a family law order pro per. The trial court lost my exhibits that were withdrawn in trial court by a biased corrupt judge. I have a declaration from the trial court deputy clerk stating she cannot find them. Can the order be dismissed if I file a motion with the appeal court asking to dismiss the order I am appealing because of that fact?
It will be impossible to have a fair appeal without my evidence.
3 Answers from Attorneys
You submitted the originals and did not keep copies?
Judges don't withdraw evidence.. Appeals are based on the record and evidence is not re-tried or reviewed at the appellate level. Some of the difficulty you have may be doing this pro per. I think you ought to get an attorney it will just get worse.
Mr. Green is right that you should get an attorney. He's also right that you should have kept copies of your exhibits. If you did, the Court of Appeal should accept them once it understands that the trial court lost the originals.
In some circumstances where the appellant is unable to provide a sufficient record through no fault of his own, he may be entitled to an automatic reversal. But it is not enough to say that your first effort failed. You must try any alternatives that are reasonably available. Even if there turns out to be nothing you can do, that will not necessarily entitle you to a reversal.
Feel free to contact me directly if you want to discuss your situation in more detail.
And if you get the reversal on the grounds that the court lost your exhibits the case will be remanded to the same trial judge who will hold a hearing without the exhibits unless you provide copies and make the same decision again