Intermediate Court of Appeals | Definition

Doc's CJ Glossary by Adam J. McKee
Course: Introduction

An Intermediate Court of Appeals is an appellate court positioned between the trial courts and the court of last resort in the court hierarchy.

An Intermediate Court of Appeals (ICA) is an important part of the judicial system in many states and countries, positioned between the trial courts and the court of last resort in the court hierarchy. In the United States, ICAs are typically established at the state level and serve to provide an additional level of review for decisions made by trial courts. The specific structure and function of an ICA can vary widely depending on the jurisdiction.

ICAs were created in response to the increasing volume of appeals that were being filed in state supreme courts. The goal was to create an additional layer of review that would help relieve the backlog of cases and provide a more efficient and effective system of justice. The idea behind the ICA was to provide a mechanism for the timely and effective resolution of appeals while also ensuring that the quality of justice remained high.

One of the main functions of an ICA is to review decisions made by lower courts, including trial courts and administrative agencies. This may include reviewing decisions related to criminal cases, civil cases, and other legal matters. The ICA may review the entire case or may focus on specific issues that have been raised on appeal.

ICAs typically have a panel of judges who review cases and issue decisions. These panels may consist of three or more judges, depending on the jurisdiction. The judges on an ICA panel are typically appointed by the governor or elected by the people, depending on the state. The specific qualifications and selection process for ICA judges can also vary depending on the state.

The decisions issued by an ICA are typically binding on the lower courts in the jurisdiction, although they may be appealed further to the court of last resort. In some cases, an ICA decision may be appealed directly to the court of last resort if the case involves a significant legal issue or if there is a conflict among the ICAs in different jurisdictions.

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Last Modified: 06/30/2021

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