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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 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:

  • 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 decision made by a district judge or magistrate if you are not satisfied with it.

Before you appeal: check if permission to appeal is needed

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

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

Key facts

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

When to file

Within 14 days after the date of the district judge’s or magistrate’s decision or judgment.

The time for filing an application for permission to appeal does not start to run until after the District or Magistrate Court has heard and determined all matters in an application, including costs.

The General Division of the High Court may extend the time for file the application at any time. The District or Magistrate Court may extend the time if the application for such extension was made before the time expires.

How to file

Through eLitigation.

Estimated fees

The estimated fees include:

Item or service

Fee

File the application for permission 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 permission 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 14 days from the decision

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

  • Application for permission to appeal.
  • Supporting affidavit.
    • Your application must be supported by an affidavit that describes your grounds (reasons) for appeal.
    • Find out how to prepare an affidavit.

If the court accepts the filing of your application documents, the Service Bureau will inform you to return to collect the endorsed application issued by the court. This will contain the details of the hearing to decide whether to grant you permission 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 7, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court 2021):

  • By leaving the document at or by posting it to
    • the person’s usual or last known address or the business address of the person’s solicitor; or
    • the entity’s registered or principal office, or if none exists, its last known place of business or its solicitor’s address.
  • 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.
  • In any manner provided under written law

3. 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.

Note: If no written grounds of decision are issued within 12 weeks after the date of filing of the notice of appeal, you must apply in writing to the Registrar to proceed with the appeal and for a copy of the record of proceedings.

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

After you file

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

If the court grants you permission, you may file and serve a Notice of Appeal within 14 days

If the court refuses to grant you permission, you may apply to the General Division of the High Court for leave within 14 days after the date of the refusal. You need to file an Originating Application 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 on an application

File an appeal under Order 18 (Division 3) of the Rules of Court 2021

If the decision was after trial

File an appeal under Order 19 (Division 2) of the Rules of Court 2021

If the decision was made by a State Courts district judge or magistrate on an application, file an appeal under Order 18 (Division 3) of the Rules of Court 2021.

Key facts

Refer to the following on how to appeal under Order 18 (Division 3) of the Rules of Court 2021

Who can file

A party in a State Courts civil case.

What can be appealed

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

When to file and serve

  • (If permission is not needed):
    • within 14 days after the date of the decision; or
    • in a case where you request to make further arguments, within 14 days after: 
      • the district judge or magistrate affirms, varies or sets aside the decision after hearing further arguments; or
      • the parties are informed, or it is deemed, that the district judge or magistrate does not require further arguments.
  • (If permission is needed) within 14 days after the date of the decision granting permission.

The time for filing an appeal does not start to run until after the District or Magistrate Court has heard and determined all matters in an application, including costs.

The General Division of the High Court may extend the time for filing and serving the notice of appeal at any time. The District or Magistrate Court may extend the time for filing and serving the notice of appeal if the appellant applies for such extension before the time expires.

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

Security for costs
  1. (Magistrate's Court) $3,000
  2. (District Court) $5,000
Written submissions
  1. First 10 pages or less exceeding the limit: $10 per page
  2. Every subsequent 10 pages or less: N + $10 per page (where “N” is the fee payable per page for the previous 10 pages), subject to a maximum of $100 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, visit the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau to file the Notice of Appeal (Form 35 to Appendix A2 of the State Courts Practice Directions 2021) via eLitigation. You will need to pay the filing fees.

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.

Parties to the appeal must file and serve on all parties who have an interest in the appeal written submissions (including any bundle of authorities) on why the District Judge’s or Magistrate’s decision is to be upheld, set aside or varied, in accordance with the timelines prescribed in O 18 r 21(5)  . The written submissions must include submissions on the appropriate cost orders to be made in the appeal.

The written submissions are limited to 35 pages. The General Division of the High Court may allow this page limit to be exceeded in special circumstances. Written submissions exceeding the page limit may be subject to additional fees. You may apply for a waiver, refund, deferment or apportionment of such fees to the General Division of the High Court.

Security for costs

You must provide security for the respondent’s costs of the appeal and file a certificate for security for costs in Form 36 to Appendix A2 of the State Courts Practice Directions 2021 at the time the notice of appeal is filed.

The security must be:

a. in the form of a solicitor’s undertaking in Form 37 to Appendix A2 of the State Courts Practice Directions 2021 which must be filed and served on the respondent;

b. deposited in the Registry or with the Accountant-General; or

c. in any other form acceptable to the parties.

The security must be provided in the following amounts:

a. $3,000 for an appeal against a decision in a Magistrate’s Court action;

b. $5,000 for an appeal against a decision in a District Court action.

Any party may apply to the appellate Court to vary or waive the amount of security for costs to be provided.

Request for further arguments

Aside from an appeal, you may also make a request to the district judge or magistrate for further arguments after he or she has given his or her decision.

The request must be made by letter to the Registrar of the State Courts and served on all parties to the application.

The request must be filed before the earlier of the following:

a. the time at which the judgment or order relating to the decision is extracted

b. the 15th day after the date on which the decision is made.

The request must set out the proposed arguments briefly and include a copy of any authority cited.

The registrar will inform you within 14 days after receiving the request whether the district judge or magistrate requires further arguments. If the registrar does not inform you of this, it is deemed that the district judge or magistrate does not require further arguments.

If the decision was made by a State Courts district judge or magistrate after trial, file an appeal under Order 19 (Division 1) of the Rules of Court 2021.

Key facts

Refer to the following on how to appeal under Order 19 (Division 1) of the Rules of Court 2021.

Who can file

A party in a State Courts civil case.

What can be appealed

An appeal against any judgment of a Magistrate’s Court or District Court given —

a. in a trial, including a case where judgment is given or the action is dismissed at trial because one or more parties are absent;

b. after damages are assessed or accounts are taken by a district judge; or

c. in an application for a committal order for contempt of court

Note that “trial” is defined to mean the hearing on the merits of an originating claim or an originating application and includes all applications taken out or heard on the same day as such hearing and at any time after the commencement of such hearing until the giving of the judgment.

When to file

Within 14 days after: 

  • (If permission to appeal is not needed) the date of the judgment.
  • (If permission to appeal is needed) the date of decision granting permission. 

The time for filing an appeal and for filing an application for permission to appeal does not start to run until after the District or Magistrate Court has heard and determined all matters in the trial, including costs. A direction that costs are to be assessed is regarded as a determination on the issue of costs.

The General Division of the High Court may extend the time for filing and serving the notice of appeal on the appellant’s application made at any time. The District or Magistrate Court may extend the time for filing and serving the notice of appeal if the appellant applies for such extension before the time expires.

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) $3,000
  • (District Court) $5,000

File the Notice of Appeal

$600

Written submissions

Appellant’s Case: $600

Appellant’s Reply: $300

Fees for pages in excess of page limit:

a. First 10 pages or less exceeding the limit: $10 per page

b. Every subsequent 10 pages or less: N + $10 per page (where “N” is the fee payable per page for the previous 10 pages), subject to a maximum of $100 per page.

Core Bundles

Fees for pages in excess of page limit:

a. First 10 pages or less exceeding the limit: $10 per page

b. Every subsequent 10 pages or less: N + $10 per page (where “N” is the fee payable per page for the previous 10 pages), subject to a maximum of $100 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. 

1. Provide security for costs

Security for costs

You must provide security for the respondent’s costs of the appeal and file a certificate for security for costs in Form 36 to Appendix A2 of the State Courts Practice Directions 2021 at the time the notice of appeal is filed.

The security must be:

a. in the form of a solicitor’s undertaking in Form 37 to Appendix A2 of the State Courts Practice Directions 2021which must be filed and served on the respondent;

b. deposited in the Registry or with the Accountant-General; or

c. in any other form acceptable to the parties.

The security must be provided in the following amounts:

a. $3,000 for an appeal against a decision in a Magistrate’s Court action;

b. $5,000 for an appeal against a decision in a District Court action.

Any party may apply to the appellate Court to vary or waive the amount of security for costs to be provided.

If you decide to deposit the security for costs with the Accountant-General’s Department, you may wish to refer these steps (see paragraph 22 of the State Courts Practice Directions):

  • 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 and serve the Notice of Appeal via eLitigation

    Visit the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau to file a Notice of Appeal (Form 35 to Appendix A2 of the State Courts Practice Directions 2021).If the court accepts the filing of your application documents, the Service Bureau will inform you to return to collect the Notice of Appeal issued by the court.

    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, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court 2021): 

    • By leaving the document at or by posting it to:
      • the person’s usual or last known address or the business address of the person’s solicitor; or
      • the entity’s registered or principal office, or if none exists, its last known place of business or its solicitor’s address.
    • 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.
    • In any manner provided under written law.

    3. 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.

    Note: If no written grounds of decision are issued within 12 weeks after the date of filing of the notice of appeal, you must apply in writing to the Registrar to proceed with the appeal and for a copy of the record of proceedings.

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

    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.

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

    Within 28 days after date on which the Registry notifies parties that the record of proceedings is available, you must file and serve:

    a. the record of appeal;

    b. the Appellant’s Case;

    c. the Appellant’s core bundle of documents, with the written judgment or grounds of decision of the lower Court and the extracted order of the lower Court in a separate volume; and

    d. the Appellant’s bundle of authorities.

    If you fail to do the above within the specified time, the appeal is deemed withdrawn unless the appellate Court otherwise orders.

    The Appellant's Case must contain the following:

    a. a succinct summary of the facts, the decision of the lower Court, contentions to be made at the appeal and the orders sought from the General Division of the High Court;

    b. detailed submissions on the facts and the legal issues, including the relevant authorities, highlighting any new points not raised in the lower Court;

    c. references in the right-hand margin to the relevant pages in the record of appeal and the Appellant’s core bundle of documents;

    d. submissions on the appropriate costs orders to be made on appeal;

    e. submissions on the amount of costs and disbursements that should be awarded in respect of all parties to the appeal;

    f. the name and signature of the Appellant’s solicitor.

    Within 14 days after the Respondent’s Case is served on you, you must file and serve:

    a. the Appellant’s Reply (if any);

    b. the second core bundle (if necessary); and

    c. the Appellant’s second bundle of authorities (if any).

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

    The Appellant’s Reply (if any) must contain the following:

    a. the Appellant’s detailed submissions in reply to the respondent’s submissions;

    b. references in the right-hand margin to the relevant pages in the record of appeal, the Appellant’s core bundle of documents, the respondent’s core bundle of documents (if any), and the second core bundle (if any);

    c. the name and signature of the Appellant’s solicitor.

    Note: The Appellant’s Case, the Respondent’s Case and the Appellant’s Reply (if any) are subject to the following page limits, unless the General Division of the High Court otherwise orders:

    a. Appellant’s Case — 35 pages;

    b. Respondent’s Case — 35 pages;

    c. Appellant’s Reply — 20 pages.

    The Appellant’s core bundle of documents (excluding the written judgment or grounds of decision of the lower Court and the extracted order of the lower Court), the Respondent’s core bundle of documents and the second core bundle are subject to the following page limits, unless the General Division of the High Court otherwise orders:

    a. Appellant’s core bundle of documents (excluding the written judgment or grounds of decision of the lower Court and the extracted order of the lower Court) — 55 pages;

    b. Respondent’s core bundle of documents — 35 pages;

    c. Second core bundle — 25 pages.

    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.

    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 heard or dealt with, you may file and serve on the parties to the appeal a notice of withdrawal in Form 34 to Appendix A2 of the State Courts Practice Directions 2021 stating that you do not intend to proceed with the appeal.

    Upon the filing of Form 34, and if there are no outstanding issues relating to costs or other matters, the appeal is deemed withdrawn, and 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. In such event, the security for costs would be returned to you.

    If there are any such outstanding issues relating to costs or other matters and the parties do not consent to the intended withdrawal of the appeal, you may request in writing to the appellate Court for directions on those issues. No oral arguments are to be made unless the appellate Court otherwise directs. The Registrar may, upon receiving such a request, remove the appeal from the list of appeals and give directions on the making of written submissions for the request, for the court to issue orders or directions on any issue as to costs or otherwise that remains outstanding between parties to the appeal.

    For more information, refer to Order 18 Rule 12 and Order 19 Rules 10 and 17 of the Rules of Court 2021.

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

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

    If costs have been awarded against you, the deposit will be utilised to satisfy costs that have been awarded against you and the balance (if any) will be returned to you.

    You will first receive a Notice of Appeal from the party who filed the appeal.

    If the decision was made on an application

    You must file and serve on all parties who have an interest in the appeal written submissions (including any bundle of authorities) on why the District Judge’s or Magistrate’s decision is to be upheld, set aside or varied in accordance with the timelines prescribed in Order 18 Rule 21(5).

    If the decision was made after trial

    After that, you will receive the record of appeal, the Appellant's Case and the appellant’s core bundle of documents.

    You will need to file and serve the Respondent's Case, the Respondent’s core bundle of documents (if necessary) and the Respondent’s bundle of authorities within 28 days after the Appellant serves the abovementioned documents on you (Refer to Order 19 Rule 17(8) of the Rules of Court 2021 for more information.)

    If you fail to file and serve the Respondent’s case within the specified time, you will not be allowed to make submissions at the hearing of the appeal unless the appellate Court otherwise orders.

    The Respondent's Case must contain:

    a. succinct summary of the contentions to be made at the appeal and the orders sought from the General Division of the High Court;

    b. detailed submissions on the facts and the legal issues, including the relevant authorities, highlighting any new points not raised in the lower Court;

    c. references in the right-hand margin to the relevant pages in the record of appeal and the Respondent’s core bundle of documents (if any);

    d. if the Respondent intends to submit that —

    (i) the lower Court’s decision should be varied should the appeal be wholly or partially allowed where the Respondent has not appealed against the decision of the lower Court; or

    (ii) the lower Court’s decision should be affirmed on grounds other than those relied upon by that Court, the Respondent must state so in the Respondent’s Case and set out the reasons for the Respondent’s submissions;

    e. submissions on the appropriate costs orders to be made on appeal;

    f. submissions on the amount of costs and disbursements that should be awarded in respect of all parties to the appeal;

    g. the name and signature of the respondent’s solicitor.

    The Respondent’s Case is limited to 35 pages. The Respondent’s core bundle of documents is limited to 35 pages. The General Division of the High Court may allow the page limit to be exceeded in special circumstances and unless the court otherwise orders, upon the payment of the fees and additional fees prescribed for the filing of pages in excess of the page limit.

    If you are not represented by a lawyer, visit theLawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau to file the Respondent's Case. The estimated fee is $600. (This does not include additional fees payable to the LawNet & CrimsonLogic Service Bureau.)

    You will have to serve the documents on the other parties. This means giving them a copy of the document in any of the following ways (according to Order 7 Rule 3(c) of the Rules of Court 2021): 

    • By leaving the document at or by posting it to:
      • the person’s usual or last known address or the business address of the person’s solicitor; or
      • the entity’s registered or principal office, or if none exists, its last known place of business or its solicitor’s address
    • 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.
    • In any manner provided under written law.

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

    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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