Guidebook for Appellants (Civil & Family Matters)
4.1 Getting judgment
The Court of Appeal may:
- dismiss your appeal (confirm the decision of the previous decision-maker).
- allow the appeal and order a new trial or hearing.
- allow the appeal and change the previous order.
The judges will sometimes give their decision immediately after hearing the appeal. This is called an oral decision or a decision from the bench. Other times, the judges will “reserve” their decision, which means that they will provide a written decision at a later date.
The Court of Appeal registry office will contact you when the written decision is ready and you can pick it up. Or, the written decision may be emailed or mailed to you when it is released.
The Court of Appeal’s decision is final unless the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa agrees to hear your case. Further information can be found on its website. Here is contact information for the Supreme Court of Canada:
Supreme Court of Canada
301 Wellington Street
The court and its judges have the discretion to award costs of a chambers application and of an appeal and each case is decided individually. These costs cover a portion of the expenses incurred on the application or appeal. If you are not successful, you usually have to pay costs to the other party or parties and this can amount to hundreds or, in some cases, thousands of dollars.
The scale of costs is set out in the Tariff in The Court of Appeal Rules (Civil).
4.3 Court orders
An order needs to be prepared when a judge has given a decision in chambers and a judgment needs to be prepared when the court has given a decision after the appeal hearing. The parties, not the court, are responsible for preparing an order or judgment. Any party can prepare the order or judgment, but usually the successful party does so.
You draft an order by starting with the draft order served and filed on the chambers application and making any changes to it that are necessary based on what the chambers judge decided. You draft a judgment by starting with one of Form 10a, Form 10b, Form 10c or Form 10d and making any changes to it that are necessary based on what the court decided.
After you draft the order or judgment, you must serve a copy of the proposed order or judgment on the other party or parties to the appeal so that they can raise (with the registrar) any concerns that they have about whether the order or judgment is consistent with the decision made by the judge or the court (Rule 57.1). They have at least three days to do this.
Once you have given the other party or parties at least three days to raise concerns with the registrar, you can file the order or judgment with proof that you have served the document on the other party or parties, at the Court of Appeal’s registry office. You will need to file as many copies of the order or judgment as you want returned to you, plus one for the court’s file. At this time, you will have to pay an issuing fee of $20.
Enforcing your court order or judgment
There are different ways to enforce a court order or judgment, depending on what was ordered and whether the other parties are willing to comply. You might need to return to court to take enforcement proceedings if the other parties do not willingly comply with the decision of the Court of Appeal. All enforcement proceedings take place in the court where the matter originally commenced. An overview of your options is available on the Court of Queen’s Bench website under Enforcing Orders. A lawyer can advise you which options are best.