What Happens If You Lose an Appeal

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what happens if you lose an appeal

While trying to change the outcome of your case—what happens if you lose an appeal becomes a serious concern.

So, here is the answer to your worry: 

If your case is related to criminal and civil law and the lower provincial and territorial courts refuse your appeal—you can claim to the superior provincial and territorial courts.

If your case is regarding federal law, and you appeal, the federal court’s judge can tell the decision-maker to review your case. But if the federal court doesn’t order that, the original decision will be final outcome.

If you want to disagree with the Provincial/ Territorial Courts of Appeal and Federal Court of Appeal, you can request the Supreme Court of Canada.

But getting the Supreme Court to hear your case is difficult. Considering that, the decision will be whatever the Provincial/ Territorial Courts of Appeal and Federal Court of Appeal.

Keep reading if you want more information regarding the appeal process in Canada.

How Many Times Can You Appeal a Court Decision

How many times you can appeal depends on the complexity of the case and the rules specific to each jurisdiction in Canada.

For instance, as mentioned earlier, if you are allowed, you can even reach Supreme Court, which is NOT easily accessible.

Regardless, generally, there are two levels of appeal in the Canadian court system:

First-Level Appeal

Most cases begin at the trial level, where a judge or jury makes a decision. If you are dissatisfied with the trial court’s decision, you can typically appeal it to a higher court. 

Second-Level Appeal

Suppose you are still unhappy with the decision made at the first-level appeal. In that case, you may be able to appeal further to the highest court in the province or territory, usually the Supreme Court of Canada.

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How Long Does an Appeal Take in Canada

Usually, it takes four months for the appeal board to deliver a decision. Then again, appeals can range from several months to several years.

Nevertheless, check the two following sections for more details:

Duration of First-Level Appeal

Appeals at the Court of Appeal level can often take several months to be heard and decided.

The time from filing the notice of appeal to the actual hearing date can depend on the court’s schedule and the complexity of the legal issues involved.

Duration of Second-Level Appeal

If the case proceeds to the Supreme Court of Canada, the timeline can be extended.

The court has discretion over which cases it will hear. So, all appeals won’t be granted to be heard.

If leave is granted, the preparation and scheduling of the appeal can take additional time.

What Is the Family Law Appeal Process

The process for appealing a family law decision in Canada is similar to other appeals.

It allows parties unhappy with a decision made in a family law matter at the trial level to have that decision reviewed by a higher court.

Here is a summary of the family law appeal process in Canada:

1. Trial Level

In family law matters a judge will decide on issues such as child custody, child support, spousal support, property division, and other disputes related to family matters.

2. Notice of Appeal

If one of the parties disagrees with the trial judge’s decision, they may initiate the appeal process by filing a “Notice of Appeal” with the appropriate appellate court. The Notice of Appeal outlines the legal reasons for challenging the trial judge’s decision.

3. Appellate Court

In most provinces and territories, family law appeals are heard by the Court of Appeal. However, some regions have specialized family law appellate courts or divisions to handle family law matters.

4. Appeal Record

The party initiating the appeal, the appellant, compiles the “Appeal Record,” which includes all relevant documents from the trial proceedings, such as transcripts, evidence, and exhibits.

5. Written Submissions

Both parties usually submit written arguments, known as “factums,” outlining their legal positions and why they believe the trial judge’s decision should be upheld or overturned.

6. Oral Hearing

There are instances where the appellate court schedules an oral hearing for both parties to present their arguments before a panel of judges. During the hearing, each party is given a limited time to present their case.

7. Court’s Decision

Once all evidence, arguments, and relevant laws have been reviewed, the appellate court will make a decision. The court has the option to either uphold the trial judge’s decision, alter it, or call for a new trial in specific situations.

8. Second-Level Appeal (Supreme Court of Canada)

In certain situations, a party may have the opportunity to pursue an additional appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court holds the authority to decide which claims it will consider and may not approve an appeal for all family law cases.

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Appealing a Civil Court Decision: How Does It Work?

If a civil court in Canada gives you an unfavorable decision, you have the option to appeal it.

The process for appealing may differ slightly depending on the province or territory where the case was heard. However, here is a general overview of how it usually works:

1. Review Your Options

Before proceeding with an appeal, it is important to establish if you have legitimate reasons for doing so. Seeking the advice of a qualified civil litigation lawyer can help you evaluate the strength of your case and the prospects of succeeding on appeal.

2. Notice of Appeal

To initiate the appeal process, you must file a “Notice of Appeal” with the appropriate appellate court within 30 days of the trial judgment being issued. The Notice of Appeal outlines the challenging issues and the relief you seek.

3. Appeal Record

The appellant (the party filing the appeal) is responsible for compiling the “Appeal Record.” This includes all relevant documents from the trial proceedings, such as transcripts, exhibits, pleadings, and court orders. The Appeal Record is provided to the respondent (the other party) and the appellate court.

4. Factum and Book of Authorities

Both parties must prepare written arguments known as “factums.” The appellant’s factum presents the legal arguments supporting the appeal, while the respondent’s factum defends the trial judgment. A “Book of Authorities” containing legal authorities (cases, statutes, etc.) cited in the factums is also prepared.

5. Oral Hearing

An oral hearing is often scheduled before a panel of appellate judges. During the hearing, each party can present their arguments orally, respond to questions from the judges, and clarify their positions.

6. Court’s Decision

After reviewing the Appeal Record, factums, oral submissions, and relevant legal authorities, the appellate court will decide. The court may uphold the trial judgment, modify it, or order a new trial in certain circumstances.

7. Second-Level Appeal

Sometimes, you might have the opportunity to request permission to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. Nonetheless, the Supreme Court has the right to choose which cases it will review and usually only examines matters that are of national significance or involve critical legal concerns.

Summarizing: What Happens If You Lose an Appeal

Appealing a court decision in Canada can be complicated and time-consuming, with the duration varying based on the case’s complexity and level of appeal.

It involves submitting written arguments, compiling an appeal record, and possibly an oral hearing before a judge panel.

Seeking legal help is crucial to navigate this process strategically and increase the chances of a favourable outcome, whether it’s a family law matter, a civil dispute, or a criminal case.