In civil practice. The complaint to a superior court of an injustice done or error committed by an inferior one, whose judgment or decision the court above is called upon to correct or reverse. The removal of a cause from a court of inferior to one of superior jurisdiction, for the purpose of obtaining a review and retrial. Wiscart v. Dauchy, 3 Dall. 321, 1 L. Ed. 019. The distinction between an appeal and a writ of error is that an appeal is a process of civil law origin, and removes a cause entirely, subjecting the facts, as well as the law, to a review and revisal; but a writ of error is of common law origin, and it removes nothing for re-examination but the law. Wiscart v. Dauchy. 3 Dall. 321, 1 L. Ed. G19; U. S. v. Goodwin, 7 Cranch, 108, 3 L. Ed. 284; Cunningham v. Neagle, 135 U. S. 1, 10 Sup. Ct. 058. 34 L. Ed. 55. But appeal is sometimes used to denote the nature of appellate jurisdiction, as distinguished from original jurisdiction, without any particular regard to the mode by which a cause is transmitted to a superior jurisdiction. U. S. v. Wonson, 1 Gal. 0, 12. Fed. Cas. No. 10,750. In criminal practice. A formal accusation made by one private person against another of having committed some heinous crime. 4 Bl. Comm. 312. Appeal was also the name given to the proceeding in English law where a person, indicted of treason or felony, and arraigned for the same, confessed the fact before plea pleaded, and appealed, or accused others, his accomplices in the same crime, in order to obtain his pardon. In this case he was called an “approver” or “prover,” and the party appealed or accused, the “appellee.” 4 Bl. Comm. 330. In legislation. The act by which a member of a legislative body who questions the correctness of a decision of the presiding officer, or “chair,” procures a vote of the body upon the decision. In old French law. A mode of proceeding in the lords’ courts, where a party was dissatisfied with the judgment of the peers, which was by accusing them of having given a false or malicious judgment, and offering to make good the charge by the duel or combat. This was called the “appeal of false judgment.” Montesq. Esprit des Lois, liv. 28, c. 27.
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