Research guides

Pennsylvania Appellate Law and Practice

What can be appealed?

When appealing a case, it is important to know what orders can be appealed.

In Pennsylvania, this is generally laid out in the court rules. For example, Pa.R.A.P. Chapter 3 (R. 301-342), Orders From Which Appeals May Be Taken, describe the different orders than can be appealed.

The court rules also lay out what issues cannot be taken up by appeal. See, for example:

"Issues not raised in the lower court are waived and cannot be raised for the first time on appeal." Pa.R.A.P. 302(a).

Secondary sources often provide additional guidance. See, for example:

"The law aims to dispose of litigation by a single appeal, and, generally, preliminary orders are not appealable in advance of a final judgment. Thus, an appeal may be taken from: (1) a final order or an order certified by the trial court as a final order; (2) an interlocutory order as of right; (3) an interlocutory order by permission; or (4) a collateral order." Pennsylvania Law Encyclopedia Appeals § 21.

"As a broad, general rule, questions and issues not raised in the lower court will not be considered on appeal." Pennsylvania Law Encyclopedia Appeals § 81.

Many of the resources listed below provide additional information, including explanations and citations to relevant cases, on what orders may be appealed.

It may also be beneficial to consult the statutes and caselaw. See the Court Rules, Statutes, and Caselaw page of this guide for more information.

Court Rules

When participating in a court case, it is important to follow the correct set of court rules. The Pennsylvania Rules of Appellate Procedure (Pa.R.A.P.) are freely available online in Title 210 of the Pennsylvania Code. Select rules address what can be appealed. Please note that additional rules may also apply.

Pa.R.A.P. Chapter 3 (R. 301-342) - Orders From Which Appeals May Be Taken

Research Tip

For additional places to find Pennsylvania Court Rules, including in print and on the library's Lexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg Law computers, see the Pennsylvania Court Rules - State guide.

Member Databases

The following member database includes information regarding what can be appealed in Pennsylvania. Members must be logged in to jenkinslaw.org to access this database. This database is also available in the library.

The chapters/sections listed below are included as a starting place for that resource. Additional chapters/sections may apply. Consult the index or conduct a search in the resource to find additional material.

Pennsylvania Law Encyclopedia
Available on the LexisNexis Digital Library. See "Appeals" (vol. 2). Many chapters may be relevant, including Chapter 2: Decisions Reviewable, Chapter 4: Preservation and Reservation in Lower Court of Grounds of Review, Chapter 12: Hearing and Review, In General, and Chapter 17: Review of Fact Questions.
Also on the library's Lexis computers and in print.

Onsite Print & Electronic

The following print resources include information regarding what can be appealed in Pennsylvania. Some resources published by LexisNexis and West/Thomson Reuters may be available on the library's Lexis and Westlaw computers. See below for more information.

The chapters/sections listed below are included as a starting place for that resource. Additional chapters/sections may apply. Consult the index or conduct a search in the resource to find additional material.

Dunlap-Hanna Pennsylvania Forms LexisNexis
Also on the library's Lexis computers.
See § 231.02: Appealable Orders - Generally, § 231.03: Appealable Orders - Final Orders, § 231.04: Appealable Orders - Interlocutory Orders, § 231.05: Appealable Orders - Collateral Orders, and § 231.06: Necessity for Entry of Appealable Order.

Pennsylvania Appellate Practice West/Thomson Reuters
Also on the library's Westlaw computers. Also referred to as Darlington.
See Chapter 3: Orders from Which Appeals May Be Taken.

Pennsylvania Civil Practice Handbook Bisel
See § 37.3: Appealable Matters.

Pennsylvania Law Encyclopedia LexisNexis
Also on the library's Lexis computers and the LexisNexis Digital Library.
See "Appeals". Many chapters may be relevant, including Chapter 2: Decisions Reviewable, Chapter 4: Preservation and Reservation in Lower Court of Grounds of Review, Chapter 12: Hearing and Review, In General, and Chapter 17: Review of Fact Questions.

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Civil Practice Manual Pennsylvania Bar Institute
See § 15-10.1: Prerequisite to Appeal - "Appealable Order". Library has previous editions: see all.

Standard Pennsylvania Practice 2d West/Thomson Reuters
Also on the library's Westlaw computers.
See Chapter 86: Decisions Appealable and Chapter 87: Preservation in Lower Court of Questions for Appellate Review.

West's Pennsylvania Forms West/Thomson Reuters
Also on the library's Westlaw computers.
See Civil Procedure, Part XV, § 63.1: Appealable orders - In general, § 63.10: Appeals from Interlocutory Orders - In General, and § 63.20: Petitions for Review of Administrative Agency Actions by Commonwealth Court - In General.