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Except when a circuit court’s decision may be appealed directly to the Illinois Supreme Court, a person has the right to appeal the decision to the Illinois Appellate Court. The appellate court is organized into five districts, each of which hears appeals from the circuits within that district. After the appellate court decides an appeal, a person may petition the supreme court to review the appellate court’s decision.

In total, the appellate court consists of 54 judges. Some judges are elected by the voters in the respective districts; those judges are initially elected to 10-year terms and then may be retained for additional 10-year terms. Other judges are assigned to the appellate court by the supreme court.

The appellate court for each district consists of one or more divisions. The First District consists of six divisions; each of the other districts consists of one. The judges of each division select a presiding judge for a one-year term. The presiding judge selects the panels that will hear appeals. Each panel consists of three judges.

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