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Can I appeal if I don't like the result?

Magistrate's Final Order

If you disagree with any part of the Magistrate's final order, you can file written objections. Be specific about what parts you object to and what you think that part of the order should say. Deliver or mail this to the clerk and send a copy to the other party. The deadline for filing objections is 21 days from the date the clerk entered the order on the court docket (usually soon after the Magistrate signed the order). If you miss this 21-day deadline, you give up your right to any further appeals.

Then a Judge will review the Magistrate's order and your objections and give the final order of the court.

Judge's Final Order

The deadline for appealing a Judge's final order to the Law Court is 21 daysafter the clerk enters the final order on the docket. File any appeal with the District Court clerk. You will probably need a lawyer to help you go forward with an appeal. Although some of the costs can be waived, appeals are expensive.

CAUTION: Generally speaking, the court reviewing an appeal can only overturn "mistakes of law." So, if you think that the Judge has made a legal error, you can appeal that issue. This means that you think the Judge violated an existing law. However, in many cases, you may disagree only with the Judge's "findings of fact." In other words, the Judge based the decisions on someone else's version of the truth, not yours. In that case, the appellate court rarely second-guesses the trial court Judge. It will almost always adopt a trial court's findings of fact (assuming they are based on some real evidence). So this is not a good reason to appeal. We advise talking to a lawyer, if you can, before investing time and money in an appeal.