Administrative Appeals From The Department of Transportation Division of Motor Vehicles to the Court of Common Pleas

Appeals from the Department of Transportation, Division of Motor Vehicles, are governed by Court of Common Pleas Civil Rule 72.1. Copies of the rules are available in the law library in the Courthouses, the Wilmington Public Library or Widener University School of Law in Wilmington.

How much time do I have to file my appeal?

The appeal must be filed within fifteen (15) days from the entry of the final judgment.

What do I need to file to appeal a decision from the Department of Transportation, Division of Motor Vehicles?

The individual wishing to appeal the decision is the "Appellant." The "Appellee" is the party against whom the appeal is taken. All parties are strongly urged to obtain an attorney.

The Appellant must file with the Clerk of the Court the following documents:

  1. Notice of Appeal
  2. Praecipe
  3. Citation on Appeal
  4. Civil Case Information (CIS) Sheet in New Castle County

A "Pracecipe" tells the Sheriff (who will serve the papers on the Department of Transportation, Division of Motor Vehicles) where to find that agency.

The Appellant must also provide the Court a check in the amount of $30.00 made payable to the Sheriff of the county in which the case is being filed. The Appellant must also pay a filing fee of $135.00. Payments can be made with check, cash, or money order. Currently, we are unable to accept credit/debit card payments at the Court. The Court may also require a non-resident Appellant to post a bond. Until these documents are filed with the Court and the appropriate fees are paid, the appeal will not be processed.

After the appeal has been filed along with the appropriate documentation and all fees have been paid, the Court will issue the Citation on Appeal to the custodian of the records for the Department of Transportation, Division of Motor Vehicles. The custodian of the records will send to the Court a certified copy of the record and a typewritten copy of the evidence within twenty (20) days from the date of service (from the delivery of the Citation on Appeal.) The Appellant is responsible for paying the costs of the transcript.

After the Court receives a certified copy of the proceedings held below, the clerk will send a briefing schedule to the parties. A brief is a written document consisting of legal and factual arguments of each party and the authorities to support their respective positions.

The briefing schedule will allow the Appellant twenty (20) days to file an Opening Brief, twenty (20) days for the Appellee to file their Answering Brief, and ten (10) days for the Appellant to file a Reply Brief to the Answering Brief. If the Appellant wishes to waive (give up) the filing of a Reply Brief, the appellant must do so in writing. The Appellant's Opening Brief should state the reasons why the Board's decision should be reversed. The Appellee's Answering Brief will argue the reasons why the Board's decision should be affirmed.

The Appellant must deliver or mail a copy of their brief to the Appellee and file the original and a copy with the Court. The original must have an affidavit of mailing attached or a receipt of the hand-delivered copy.

Once the Court receives the set of three briefs, the appeal will be assigned to a Judge for a decision.

This information is not all inclusive and is intended to be a guide only for those persons wishing to plead appeals without the assistance of counsel.

How do I complete a Citation on Appeal writ?

This writ is used when a case is filed in accordance with Court of Common Pleas Civil Rule 72.l.

To complete the Citation on Appeal writ:

  1. Enter the caption as it appears on the Notice of Appeal.
  2. Leave the case number blank. The Clerk's Office will assign a new civil action number (C. A. No.) and will fill it in on this line.
  3. Under the words "The Decision Of" indicate the Court or Board from which you are appealing.
  4. Next to the word "DATED" indicate the date of decision.
  5. Below the caption, on the line that reads "To the Sheriff of ______," enter New Castle, Kent or Sussex, depending upon where the Court is located.
  6. In the paragraph body, fill in both blanks with the Court or Board from which you are appealing.
  7. Leave the date space blank. The Clerk's Office will date the document the day it is issued and sent to the Sheriff's Office.

Sample Forms

Notice of Appeal


Citation on Appeal