Per curiam decisions are issued by the court as a whole rather than authored by a specific judge. Per curiam affirmed (PCA) means that the appeals court affirms the trial court’s decision without issuing an opinion or explanation of its own. Instead, the court of appeals issues just one word, “affirmed,” as the opinion of the whole court.
What Does a PCA Mean to You?
You face an uphill battle if a district court of appeals issues a PCA in your case. In most cases, a PCA is the end of your appeal, but you do have one more option available to you.
After a PCA is issued, you may request that the district court of appeals issues a written opinion. According to the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure, you may ask the district court for a written opinion if you believe it is necessary for Supreme Court review. Your attorney must provide specific reasons why Supreme Court review would be likely based on the attorney’s professional judgment.
The Florida Supreme Court is unlikely to take up your case without an opinion by the district court of appeals. Typically, the Supreme Court hears cases where the reasoning and findings of Florida district courts of appeals differ from one another. If the district court fails to issue a written opinion in your case, the Supreme Court has no way of knowing whether the district court of appeal’s findings conflict with another district court.
Protect Your Rights on Appeal
The time to protect yourself from a potential PCA is before you file an appeal. If you have been unfairly convicted or sentenced in Florida, we encourage you to contact the Law Offices of Robert David Malove today to discuss your options for appeal. Regardless of who represented you at trial, Attorney Robert Malove can review your case and present you with all of the options for appeal so that you can make the decision that is right for you. Fill out our online contact form or call us today to learn more.