State Court appeals


Mr. Eaman has argued ten times before the Michigan Supreme  Court,  and numerous times before the Michigan Court of Appeals.  If you are  convicted at a trial, you have a  right to appeal your conviction and  sentence.   Rules for state appeals require that a claim of appeal,  where there is a  right to appeal, be filed within 42 days after your  sentence.  If you are appealing after a guilty plea, or  in another  circumstance where you do not have a right to have your case heard  by  the court of appeals, you may apply to the court to have your case heard  by  filing an application for leave to appeal within 21 days from your   sentence.  You may file a late  application for leave to appeal within  six months of your sentence, where you  have to appeal by seeking leave,  or where you miss the 42-day filing deadline.

If you lose your case in the Michigan Court of Appeals,  you  can ask the Michigan Supreme Court to hear your case.  No one has a  right to appeal to the Michigan  Supreme Court, and the Court only  hears cases that it wants to hear.

Aside from a direct appeal of your criminal conviction,   there is a right to attack your conviction at any time after your  sentence with  a motion to set aside your judgment of conviction under  Michigan Court Rule  6.508, commonly called a “6.500 motion.”   If there  is new evidence, or a new rule of law applicable to your case,  you can  go back to the trial court to file a 6.500 motion, and if unsuccessful   before the trial court, appeal the denial of your motion again to the  Michigan  Court of Appeals and Supreme Court.   There is no right to  appeal a denial of a 6.500 motion to the Court of  Appeals or Supreme  Court, but you have a right to ask the court to review your  case.  You  may only file one motion under  6.500, except in special circumstances.

WARNING:   Both  the Michigan Court of Appeals and the  Michigan Supreme Court are not friendly  to criminal defendants  appealing their convictions.  Seldom do defendants secure a reversal of   their convictions in the Court of Appeals, and often when they do  secure a  reversal of their convictions, the Supreme Court grants leave  to the prosecutor  and reinstates the criminal conviction.   6.500  motions are seldom granted, and sometimes when the trial court  grants  the motion, the Court of Appeals reverses the trial court and reinstates   the conviction.  If you come to us for an  appeal or a 6.500 motion,  we will counsel you on the wisdom of spending your  money on an appeal  and a 6.500 motion with a realistic assessment of your  chances.  Be  careful of lawyers who are  eager to take your appeals, or to file a  6.500 motion, and do not warn you that  the odds are against you.   Sometimes,  although we can predict that you will likely not win your  appeal in the state  court system, filing the appeal is important  because it will allow you to seek  relief in federal court pursuant to a  filing for a writ of habeas corpus.