Research guides

Pennsylvania Appellate Law and Practice

When to appeal?

When appealing a case, it is important to know how long you have to appeal.

In Pennsylvania, this is generally laid out in the court rules. See, for example:

"A notice of appeal may be filed within 30 days after entry of an order as amended unless a shorter time period is provided in Pa.R.A.P. 903(c). Any denial of such an application is reviewable only through a petition for permission to appeal under Pa.R.A.P. 1311." Pa.R.A.P. 341(c)(3).

"Except as otherwise prescribed by this rule, the notice of appeal required by Rule 902 (manner of taking appeal) shall be filed within 30 days after the entry of the order from which the appeal is taken." Pa.R.A.P. 903(a).

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

"The relevant rules for filing a notice of appeal, petition for allowance of appeal, petition for permission to appeal, or petition for review of a quasi-judicial order, generally limit the appeal period to 30 days after entry of the order appealed from. However, in certain cases, the appeal period may be shorter." Dunlap-Hanna Pennsylvania Forms, § 231.08.

Many of the resources listed below provide additional information, including explanations and citations to relevant cases, on when to appeal.

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.

The relevant court rules to follow depend on the type of order being appealed and where that order is being appealed to. Below are some of the more common appellate scenarios. Please note that additional rules may also apply.

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.

Statutes

It may be beneficial to look at the Pennsylvania Statutes regarding the time of appeals. The statutes are available for free online from the Pennsylvania General Assembly. See 42 Pa.C.S. Ch. 55: Limitation of Time. Please note that additional statutes may also apply.

Research Tip

For additional places to find Pennsylvania Statutes, including in print, on the member database Fastcase, and on the library's Lexis, Westlaw, and Bloomberg Law computers, see the Pennsylvania Statutes guide.

Member Databases

The following member database includes information regarding when to appeal 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) Chapter 6: Proceedings for Review, In General.
Also on the library's Lexis computers and in print.

Onsite Print & Electronic

The following print resources include information regarding when to appeal 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 § 231.08: When to Appeal - Generally and § 231.08A: Enlargement of Time for Filing Appeal.

Pennsylvania Appellate Practice West/Thomson Reuters
Also on the library's Westlaw computers. Also referred to as Darlington.
See Preliminary Materials: Time Line of Events in Appellate Practice.

Pennsylvania Civil Practice Handbook Bisel
See § 37.2: Appeals to Superior Court and § 37.15: Appeals to Supreme Court.

Pennsylvania Law Encyclopedia LexisNexis
Also on the library's Lexis computers and the LexisNexis Digital Library.
See "Appeals" Chapter 6: Proceedings for Review, In General.

Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Civil Practice Manual Pennsylvania Bar Institute
See § 15-10.3: Time of Filing. Library has previous editions: see all.

Standard Pennsylvania Practice 2d West/Thomson Reuters
Also on the library's Westlaw computers.
See Chapter 85, Part III, Subpart B: Taking of Appeal - Timeliness (§§ 85.41-85.76).