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This page is for matters that the Rules of Court 2021 apply to. For content relating to matters that the Rules of Court 2014 apply, click here.

If you are uncertain as to which version of the Rules of Court applies to your matter, click here.

Note

This is the process to appeal a civil decision by a State Courts Registrar.

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

  • The claimant
  • The defendant
  • The third party
  • The applicant - i.e. the party who filed an application
  • The respondent - i.e. the party against whom an application is filed

What you can appeal against

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

You do not need permission from court to file this appeal.

Key facts

Refer to the following on how to appeal against a decision by a State Courts Registrar.

Who can file

A party in a State Courts civil case.

What can be appealed

A decision by a registrar in the Magistrate's Court or District Court.

When to file

Within 14 days after the decision was given.

Estimated fees

Refer to this list.

Who will hear the appeal

A State Courts District Judge.

How to file

Through eLitigation.

If you file the appeal, you are the appellant. The other party is the respondent.

Estimated fees

The estimated fees include:

Item or service

Fee

File the Notice of Appeal

$100

File the written submissions

(i) first 10 pages or less exceeding the limit: $5 per page

(ii) every subsequent 10 pages or less: N + $5 per page (where “N” is the fee payable per page for the previous 10 pages), subject to a maximum of $30 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 file an appeal.

When: within 14 days after the Registrar's decision

File the Notice of Appeal (Form 35 to Appendix 2 of the State Courts Practice Directions 2021) via eLitigation. Visit the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau to file. You will need to pay the filing fee.

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. This will contain the date, time and venue of the appeal hearing.

When: within 14 days of the decision

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 7 of the Rules of Court 2021)

  • By leaving the document at or posting it to the address of the person to be served.
  • By electronic mail at the electronic mail address provided by the party to be served.
  • By fax, under circumstances set out in Order 7, Rule 3(c) of the Rules of Court 2021
  • 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 respondent must attend the scheduled appeal hearing at the date and time stated in the Notice of Appeal.

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

Certification from Registrar

After the notice of appeal has been filed, the Registrar of the State Courts whose decision is being appealed is required to certify within 14 days that:

  • He or she has already issued a written judgment or grounds of decision.
  • He or she intends to issue written grounds of decision.
  • The certified transcript of the official record of the hearing sets out his or her grounds of decision sufficiently.

    Parties will be notified of the Registrar’s certification by way of a Correspondence from Courts. If the Registrar does not provide any such notification/certification within 14 days of the filing of the notice of appeal, it is presumed that no further written grounds of decision will be issued.

    Where the Registrar certifies that he or she intends to issue written grounds of decision, he or she must endeavour to issue such written grounds as soon as it is practicable, and if no such written grounds of decision are issued within 12 weeks of the certification, the appellant must apply in writing to the Registrar of the State Courts to proceed with the appeal.

    Before the hearing: file and serve the written submissions

    Both you and the respondent must file your written submissions (including any bundle of authorities) on why the Registrar’s decision is to be upheld, set aside or varied. The written submissions for the appeal must include submissions on costs for the appeal. 

    Unless otherwise ordered by the appellate Court, written submissions for the appeal are limited to 35 pages. The appellate Court may allow this page limit to be exceeded in special circumstances.  Written submissions exceeding the page limit may be subject to additional fees.  Any application for waiver, refund, deferment or apportionment of the additional fees should be made to the appellate Court. 

    Written submissions are be filed in accordance with the following timelines:

    • Within 14 days after the Registry notifies parties that the Registrar has already issued a written judgment or grounds of decision.
    • Within 14 days after the Registry notifies parties that a copy of the written grounds of decision is ready for collection where the Registrar certifies that he or she intends to issue written grounds of decision.
    • Within 14 days after the Registry notifies parties that the Registrar has certified that the certified transcript of the official record of hearing sets out his or her grounds of decision sufficiently.
    • Within 28 days after the filing and service of the notice of appeal where it is presumed that no further written ground of decision will be issued. 
    • Within 14 days after the Registrar notifies parties that the appeal is to proceed pursuant to a written request made under Order 18 Rule 16(3)(b) of Rules of Court 2021.

    File the written submissions through eLitigation. You will need to pay the filing fees.

     You also need to serve the documents on the respondent.

    At the appeal hearing

    A District Judge will decide whether to allow or dismiss the 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.

    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.

    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:

    Related questions

    You may withdrawal your appeal by filing and serving a notice of withdrawal of the appeal in Form 34 to Appendix A2 of the State Courts Practice Directions 2021 on all the parties to the appeal.

    If there are no outstanding issues relating to costs or other matters, the appeal is deemed withdrawn in relation to the relevant parties. 

    Outstanding costs issues may be dealt with without an oral hearing in accordance with O 18 r 12 (3) of Rules of Court 2021

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

    You will receive a Notice of Appeal from the party who filed the appeal. This will include the date, time and venue of the appeal hearing. You must attend court.

    You need to file written submissions via eLitigation and serve the documents on the party who filed the appeal (the appellant) in accordance with the timelines set out in the section “Before the hearing: file and serve the written submissions”.

    For the respondent, your written submissions should state all of these points in a concise way:

    • 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 documents. The estimated fee is: 

    • first 10 pages or less exceeding the limit: $5 per page
    • every subsequent 10 pages or less: N + $5 per page (where “N” is the fee payable per page for the previous 10 pages), subject to a maximum of $30 per page

    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 7 of the Rules of Court 2021):

    • By leaving the document at or posting it to the address of the person to be served.
    • By electronic mail at the electronic mail address provided by the party to be served
    • By fax, under circumstances set out in Order 7, Rule 3(c) of the Rules of Court 2021.
    • In any manner as may be agreed between the parties.
    • In any manner as the court may direct.
    Alert-2 Note

    This page is for matters that the Rules of Court 2021 apply to. For content relating to matters that the Rules of Court 2014 apply, click here.

    If you are uncertain as to which version of the Rules of Court applies to your matter, click here.


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