What is an Appellee?

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  • Written By: Alexis W.
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 18 February 2020
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An appellee is a person who has received a judgment or verdict in a lawsuit that is being challenged by the other party. The appellee is usually the person who wins the case, and the decision is then challenged by the appellant, or the loser. At times, however, both the winning or losing parties can be the appellee depending on the circumstances.

When a party is involved in a civil lawsuit, he or she is listed as either the plaintiff or the defendant. If a party is involved in a criminal suit, the prosecutor or government brings a suit against the person, who is called the defendant. In a civil suit, either party can lose the case and appeal. In a criminal suit, either party can lose the case, but only the defendant can appeal.

An appeal occurs after the court renders a decision. The court decides in favor of either the plaintiff/prosecutor, or in favor of the defendant. When the case is over, the dissatisfied plaintiff or defendant can appeal and request that a higher court review the decision of the lower court to see if it was correct. The person who requests that the decision be reviewed is called the appellant, and the person on the other side of the case being appealed is called the appellee.


A person who wins a civil lawsuit can still appeal and become the appellant if he or she is not satisfied with some aspect of the case. For example, if a plaintiff wins a lawsuit, but does not believe that the damages awarded were high enough, he can appeal his own victory and become the appellant. In that case, the losing party is the appellee.

Every party has the right to request an appeal from the first judgment they receive. This then moves to the higher court, or the district or appellate court. The higher court reviews the decision of the original court to determine if there were any problems. Usually, the higher court only reviews to see whether the court interpreted the law properly and won't change the lower court or juries opinion on the facts of the case as long as the lower court or jury behaved reasonably.

The appellate court can then either determine that the decision stands, reverse the decision, or remand the case. If the court determines the decision stands, then the appellee gets to keep the verdict as it was. If the court reverses the decision, then it determines that the opposite of the existing decision is correct. If the court remands the case, the case goes back to the lower court, which has to review it.


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