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This is the process to appeal against a civil decision by a district judge or magistrate in the State Courts.

If you wish to appeal a decision by another court officer, refer to:

If you are unsure who made the decision, contact the court to check.

Who can appeal

You should be a party in a State Courts civil case, such as the:

  • Party who filed an application: plaintiff or applicant.
  • Party against whom an application is filed: defendant or respondent
  • Third party.

What you can appeal against

You may file an appeal against a judgment, order or decision made by a district judge or magistrate if you are not satisfied with it and wish to reverse or vary it.

Before you appeal: check if leave to appeal is needed

You will need to apply for the court's leave (permission) to appeal if any of these conditions are met:

Otherwise, you do not need the court's leave to appeal.

Key facts

Refer to the following on how to apply for leave to appeal.

When to file

Within 7 days from the date of the judgment, order or decision by the Magistrate's Court or District Court.

Estimated fees

Refer to this list.

How to file

Through eLitigation.

Estimated fees

The estimated fees include:

Item or service

Fee

File the summons for leave to appeal

  • (Magistrate's Court) $10
  • (District Court) $20

File the affidavit

  • (Up to 10 pages) $10
  • (More than 10 pages) $1 per page

Note: This table does not include additional fees payable to the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

How to file

You may choose to file personally or through a lawyer. If you are represented by a lawyer, the documents will be filed by your lawyer.

If you are representing yourself, follow these steps to apply for leave to appeal. The application for leave to appeal is to be filed in either the Magistrate’s Court or District Court that heard your case.

1. File the documents via eLitigation

When: within 7 days from the judgment, order or decision

Visit the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau to file the following documents via eLitigation:

  • Summons for leave to appeal.
  • Supporting affidavit.

If the court accepts your application documents, the Service Bureau will inform you to return to collect the endorsed summons issued by the court. This will contain the details of the hearing to decide whether to grant you leave to appeal.

2. Serve the documents on the respondent

You must serve the endorsed summons on the other party (the respondent). This means giving them a copy of the document in any of the following ways (according to Order 62, Rule 6 of the Rules of Court):

  • By leaving the document at the address of the person to be served.
  • By post.
  • By fax, under circumstances set out in Order 62, Rule 6(3) of the Rules of Court.
  • In any manner as may be agreed between the parties.
  • In any manner as the court may direct.

After you file

Both you and the other party must attend the scheduled hearing.

If the court grants you leave, you may file and serve a Notice of Appeal within 14 days from the date on which leave was given.

If the court refuses to grant you leave, you may apply to the General Division of the High Court for leave within 7 days from the date of the refusal. You need to file an Originating Summons via eLitigation.

How to appeal

How you file an appeal depends on whether the decision was made in chambers (not open to the public) or in open court:

If the decision was made in chambers

File an appeal under Order 55C of the Rules of Court.

If the decision was made in open court

File an appeal under Order 55D of the Rules of Court.

If the decision was made by a State Courts district judge or magistrate in chambers, file an appeal under Order 55C of the Rules of Court.

Key facts

Refer to the following on how to appeal under Order 55C of the Rules of Court.

Who can file

A party in a State Courts civil case.

What can be appealed

A judgment, order or decision made in chambers by a district judge or magistrate.

When to file

  • (If leave is not needed) within 14 days after the judgment, order or decision was given.
  • (If leave is needed) within 14 days from the date on which leave to appeal was given.
When to serveWithin 7 days from the issuance of the Notice of Appeal

Estimated fees

Refer to this list.

Who will hear the appeal

A judge in the General Division of the High Court.

How to file

Through eLitigation.

The party who files the appeal is the appellant. The other party is the respondent.

Estimated fees

The estimated fees include:

Item or service

Fee

File the Notice of Appeal

$150

Note: This table does not include additional fees payable to the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

How to file

You may choose to file personally or through a lawyer. If you are represented by a lawyer, the documents will be filed by your lawyer.

If you are representing yourself, visit the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau to file the Notice of Appeal (Form 112, Rules of Court) via eLitigation. You will need to pay the filing fees.

The deadline for filing depends on whether you require leave to appeal:

If you do not need leave to appeal

Within 14 days from the date on which the judgment, order or decision was given.

If you need leave to appeal and have obtained leave to do so

Within 14 days from the date on which leave was given.

If the court accepts your application documents, the Service Bureau will inform you to return to collect the Notice of Appeal issued by the court.

If the decision was made by a State Courts district judge or magistrate in open court, file an appeal under Order 55D of the Rules of Court.

Key facts

Refer to the following on how to appeal under Order 55D of the Rules of Court.

Who can file

A party in a State Courts civil case.

What can be appealed

A judgment or order made in open court by a district judge or magistrate.

When to file

Within 14 days from the date on which:

  • (If leave is not needed) the judgment or order was given.
  • (If leave is needed) leave to appeal was given.

Estimated fees

Refer to list.

Who will hear the appeal

A judge in the General Division of the High Court.

How to file

Through eLitigation.

The party who files the appeal is the appellant. The other party is the respondent.

Estimated fees

The estimated fees include:

Item or service

Fee

Security for costs

 

  • (Magistrate's Court) $2,000
  • (District Court) $3,000

File the Direction to Accountant-General for Payment In

  • (Magistrate’s Court) $10
  • (District Court) $20
File the Certificate for Security for Costs
  • (Magistrate’s Court) $10
  • (District Court) $20

File the Notice of Appeal

$600

File the Appellant's Case

$600

File the record of appeal

$10 plus $0.80 per page

Note: This table does not include additional fees payable to the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.

How to file

You may choose to file personally or through a lawyer. If you are represented by a lawyer, the documents will be filed by your lawyer.

If you are representing yourself, follow these steps to appeal against a State Courts decision made in open court.

1. Deposit the security for costs

The security for costs serves as a deposit for the respondent’s costs of appeal. The amount depends on where your civil case was heard:

  • For a Magistrate’s Court case: $2,000.
  • For a District Court case: $3,000.

You will need to deposit the security for costs with the Accountant-General’s Department. Follow these steps:

  • Visit the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau. File a Direction to Accountant-General for Payment In via eLitigation under the case you are appealing against.
  • After the court accepts your document, you need to email a copy of the accepted Direction to Accountant-General for Payment In to VITAL_FS_Receivable@vital.gov.sg.
  • VITAL will advise on the submission of the security deposit. E-payments are strongly encouraged. Please expect a processing time of 1 clear working day for the security deposit submission.

Note: You will receive a receipt for the deposit. You will need to submit a copy of this receipt when filing the appeal.

2. File the Notice of Appeal via eLitigation

When: depends on whether leave to appeal is required

Visit the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau to file the following documents:

You will need to pay the filing fees for both documents.

The deadline for filing depends on whether you require leave to appeal:

If you do not need leave to appeal

Within 14 days after the judgment or order was given.

If you need leave to appeal and have obtained leave to do so

Within 14 days from the date on which leave was given.

If the court accepts your application documents, the Service Bureau will inform you to return to collect the Notice of Appeal issued by the court.

3. Serve the Notice of Appeal on the respondent

When: within the same timelines prescribed for the filing of the Notice of Appeal.

You must serve the Notice of Appeal issued by the court on the other party (the respondent). This means giving them a copy of the document in any of the following ways (according to Order 62, Rule 6 of the Rules of Court):

  • By leaving the document at the address of the person to be served.
  • By post.
  • By fax, under circumstances set out in Order 62, Rule 6(3) of the Rules of Court.
  • In any manner as may be agreed between the parties.
  • In any manner as the court may direct.

4. Collect and review the record of proceedings

You will receive a notice (via eLitigation, email or post) informing you that the record of proceedings is available for collection at the State Courts Central Registry. The record of proceedings include the court's grounds (reasons) for its decision.

You can collect the record of proceedings at the Central Registry (at Level 2 of the State Courts) after paying the prescribed fee.

Note: If the court does not issue the record of proceedings within 3 months from the date of the Notice of Appeal, you may proceed with the appeal and write to the Registrar to apply for a copy of the record of proceedings.

Tip
You should read the record of proceedings carefully and consider if you wish to continue with the appeal. You may wish to seek legal advice on the merits of your case.

5. File the record of appeal and Appellant’s Case via eLitigation

When: within1 monthafter the service of the notice to collect the record of proceedings

To proceed with the appeal, you should file the record of appeal, Appellant's Case and a bundle of authorities via eLitigation.

How to prepare the documents

The record of appeal should include a copy each of the:

  • Notice of Appeal.
  • Certificate of payment of security for costs.
  • Record of proceedings.
  • Affidavits of Evidence-in-Chief.
  • Documents in the nature of pleadings.
    • These may include the Statement of Claim, Defence, Reply, Counterclaim or Defence to Counterclaim.
  • Judgment or order you are appealing against.
  • Any other documents that are relevant to the matter or the nature of the appeal.

Refer to Order 55D, Rule 6 of the Rules of Court for more information.

Note: You need to send a draft index of the documents to be included in the record of appeal to the respondent. Refer to Order 55D, Rule 6(3) of the Rules of Court.

The Appellant's Case is a document that states the following points:

  • Circumstances out of which the appeal arises.
  • Issues arising in the appeal.
  • Your contentions (arguments) for the appeal and the authorities (relevant case laws, statutes, subsidiary legislation and other materials) that support your arguments.
  • Reasons for the appeal.

Note: The Appellant's Case should be as concise as possible. It should be formatted as numbered paragraphs with alphabetical lettering in the left hand margin at every fifth line. The first letter "A" should be placed against the first line in each page, and with references in the right hand margin to the relevant pages of the record of the appeal. Refer to Order 55D, Rule 7 of the Rules of Court for more information.

You will also need to file a bundle of authorities relied on by the court as well as other authorities to be relied on at the hearing of the appeal. Refer to Order 55D, Rule 7(14) of the Rules of Court.

6. Serve the documents on the other party

When: within 1 month after the service of the notice to collect the record of proceedings

You must serve the record of appeal and the Appellant's Case on the respondent. This means giving them a copy of the documents in any of the following ways (according to Order 62, Rule 6 of the Rules of Court):

  • By leaving the document at the address of the person to be served.
  • By post.
  • By fax, under circumstances set out in Order 62, Rule 6(3) of the Rules of Court.
  • In any manner as may be agreed between the parties.
  • In any manner as the court may direct.

After you file

The State Courts will send the documents related to your case to the General Division of the High Court, which will hear your appeal.

The General Division of the High Court will arrange for a hearing and inform you and the respondent of the date and time via a notice, which will be sent to you via eLitigation or post. Both you and the respondent must attend.

Tip: If you are unable to attend, you must request to change the hearing date, subject to the court's approval.

At your appeal hearing

The General Division of the High Court will decide whether to allow or dismiss your appeal.

This is the general process during an appeal hearing:

  • The court will ask you (the appellant) to present your arguments for appeal.
  • The court will hear from the respondent, who may respond to your arguments and present their case.
  • The court may then ask you to reply to the respondent.

This generally takes about 2 to 3 hours.

The court may issue a decision on the day of the hearing or choose to reserve judgment. If the court chooses to reserve judgment, you will receive further directions on what happens next.

Note: If the State Courts case you are appealing against was heard in chambers (not open to the public), the appeal will also be heard in chambers in the General Division of the High Court. If the case was heard in open court in the State Courts, the appeal will also be heard in open court in the General Division of the High Court.

Outcomes of appeal

There are 2 possible outcomes:

If your appeal is allowed

You get some or all of the changes you asked for, either in full or in part. The court may vary or overrule the original court's decision, or make a new order.

If your appeal is dismissed

There are no changes to the original court's decision.

Need help?

The information here is for general guidance as the courts do not provide legal advice. If you need further help, you may want to get independent legal advice.

Find out more

Resources

Legislation associated with this topic includes:

Refer to:

Related questions

At any time before the appeal is called for a hearing, you may file and serve on the parties to the appeal a notice that you do not intend to proceed with the appeal.

If all the parties consent to the withdrawal of the appeal, you must file a document signifying such consent through eLitigation. This document must be signed by the parties or their lawyers. After you file that document, the court will deem the appeal withdrawn. The security for costs may be returned to you.

If all the parties do not consent to the intended withdrawal of the appeal, the court will hear the appeal in relation to any issue of costs or any other outstanding issues between the parties. The court will make orders in relation to the sum lodged in court as security for costs of the appeal.

For more information, refer to Order 55D, Rule 10 of the Rules of Court.

Generally, filing fees are not refundable if the appeal is withdrawn.

If costs have been awarded in your favour, you may request the deposit to be returned to you.

If costs have been awarded against you, the deposit will go towards the amount of costs that have been awarded against you.

You will first receive a Notice of Appeal from the party who filed the appeal. After that, you will receive the record of appeal and the Appellant's Case.

You will need to file the Respondent's Case to the State Courts via eLitigation within 1 month after the service of the Appellant's Case. (Refer to Order 55D, Rule 7(2) of the Rules of Court for more information.)

The Respondent's Case is a document that states the following points:

  • Circumstances out of which the appeal arises.
  • Issues arising in the appeal.
  • Your contentions (arguments) for the appeal and the authorities (relevant case laws, statutes, subsidiary legislation and other materials) that support your arguments.
  • Reasons for opposing the appeal.

If you are not represented by a lawyer, visit the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau to file the Respondent's Case. The estimated fee is $300. (This does not include additional fees payable to the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.)

You need to serve the documents on the appellant. This means giving them a copy of the documents in any of the following ways (according to Order 62, Rule 6 of the Rules of Court):

  • By leaving the document at the address of the person to be served.
  • By post.
  • By fax, under circumstances set out in Order 62, Rule 6(3) of the Rules of Court.
  • In any manner as may be agreed between the parties.
  • In any manner as the court may direct.

The General Division of the High Court will inform you of the appeal hearing date. You must attend court.


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