Volume 1 / Issue 1
Appealing your case
Appeals in the civil context lie at two different courts, depending on the amount in question and depending on where your case at first instance was heard. This newsletter deals with appeals falling to the Court of Appeal for Ontario, from the Superior Court of Justice for civil trial division.
Appeals to the Court of Appeal
An appeal lies to the Court of Appeal from the following:
1. An order of the Divisional court, on a question of fact or law, with leave of the Court of Appeal;
2. A final order of a judge in the Superior Court of Justice, except where the judgment does not exceed $50,000.00; or,
3. A certificate of assessment of costs issued in a proceeding in the Court of Appeal.
What is leave to appeal? Leave to appeal is permission from the court. Appeals to the Ontario Court of Appeal not automatic. Permission must be granted to hear the appeal before a hearing will take place in most cases. An order from the Divisional Court for instance requires leave to appeal.
Q: Do I need a lawyer to represent me?
While you can represent yourself, corporations must have a solicitor representing the corporation in both civil trials and appeals. Given the complexity of the appeals process both procedurally, and substantively, representation by a lawyer is recommended in order to ensure that the document filings are accurate, and timely filed. An appeal is not a trial. It is a review of the trial at first instance, and thus, the law that is examined is best carried out by competent representation of a lawyer familiar with your case and familiar with appeals.
Q: What is the cost associated with appealing a case?
The costs will vary depending on the specific circumstances of your case, and the complexity of the legal issues posed, the grounds for appeal, and the time to research and prepare for the appeal. We can advise you if we think you have a strong appeal case based on a review of the transcript, the judgment, and the case file.
Q: How long does it take for an appeal to be heard by the Court if leave is granted?
Typically the process to a hearing could take up to six months depending on how backlogged the courts are. The Court of Appeal does not grant leave to appeal to all cases, only those for which the grounds are strong enough to justify that there may be an error of fact or law on the face of the material before the court when assessing the grounds.
“Law is reason free from Passion” - Aristotle
If you would like more information, or you would like us to review your documents to assess whether you have grounds to appeal:
Please contact us, and provide the following:
1. A copy of the judgment of the court;
2. A copy of the documents used at trial;
3. A transcript of the trial (if a retainer is forged between lawyer and client and you are advised that an appeal is important, or may alter the outcome if fought.
Let It Flow
Sometimes we let things go, other times, the law is used as a forward moving tool to change and evolve. Appeals are necessary when errors have been made, or when the law has not been applied properly.
A fundamental tenant underpinning the law, and the rule of law, is the proper administration of justice for all, and fundamentally, fairness. Though, sometimes, the law is not fair, it is our mandate to fight on behalf of our clients to ensure that their rights have been represented to the extent that the law permits us to fight.
Please visit our Law Blog for some insight in recent case law coming down from the Court of Appeal on Procedural Questions of Law and Pleadings.
Matrona Law PC