Guidebook for Sentence Appeals
2.1 Finding the court’s criminal forms
To find the court’s criminal forms, go to the criminal forms page of the court’s website here:
If you are in custody, the correctional centre or penitentiary where you are being held will also have copies of these forms or be able to obtain copies for you.
2.2 Filing a notice of appeal
To let the court know you want to appeal, you must first file a notice of appeal in Form A. The same form is used for a conviction appeal. If you are appealing both your conviction and sentence, you need to fill out only one form.
You must sign and file the original notice of appeal.
When to file
You must file your notice of appeal within 30 days after the date that your sentence was imposed. If you want to file a notice of appeal after the 30-day limit, you must ask the court to extend the time allowed for you to file your notice.
If you wish to apply for release on bail until your conviction appeal, see: How to apply for release on bail pending appeal.
Write your grounds of appeal
On the notice of appeal form, write your grounds of appeal in the space provided. State your particular complaint about the sentence that relates to any or all of the three categories of excessive sentence, illegal sentence, or error in principle.
If you have difficulty wording your grounds of appeal, use both of the following grounds, which should be broad enough to cover any sentence appeal and which usually allow you to add more grounds later:
- “The sentence is unduly harsh and excessive given my background and the circumstances of the offence.”
- “Such further grounds as I may advise and this Honourable Court may permit.”
Where to file your notice of appeal
2.3 Filing a late Notice of Appeal
Maybe you did not know you had a right to appeal and only learned of that right after the appeal period. Or maybe you planned to appeal but something outside your control caused a delay. In such cases, send your notice of appeal to the registry office anyway. The registrar will contact the Crown to see whether it will consent to late filing.
If the Crown will not consent to late filing, you will have to file an application for an extension of time to appeal to be heard by a judge in chambers using Form N supported by an affidavit in Form O. For information about how to complete these forms, call or write to the registry office.
2.4 Applying for court-appointed lawyer (Section 684 application)
In some cases, you can get a court-appointed lawyer under section 684 of the Criminal Code.
You can apply if:
- you have filed a notice of appeal,
- you have no money to hire a lawyer for your appeal, and
- you applied to Legal Aid and were refused by the local office and by the head office in Saskatoon.
Take the following steps:
- Apply to the local office of Legal Aid. You can find a list of legal aid offices here: http://www.legalaid.sk.ca/contact/office_list.php
- If the local office of Legal Aid denies you representation, obtain a written copy of the denial decision and appeal that decision to the head office of Legal Aid in Saskatoon – the local office will provide you with instructions about how to do this when they deny you representation.
- If the head office of Legal Aid also denies you representation, obtain a written copy of that denial decision and prepare a notice of motion in Form I and an affidavit in Form J. You will need to insert a chambers date into your notice of motion. You can find out when the court’s next chambers dates are by telephoning the registry office at (306) 787-5382 or by looking here. In your affidavit, you should tell the court about:
- your financial situation,
- your education and knowledge of the court process,
- the complexity of your case,
- your grounds of appeal (the main points you will argue), and
- the reasons why you believe that you need a lawyer to organize and present your case.
- Send a copy of your notice of motion, affidavit and the letters from Legal Aid (local office and head office) to Court Services Branch of the Ministry of Justice and Attorney General (the address is on the bottom of Form I) and file a copy of this material at the Court of Appeal’s registry office at least three days before the chambers date inserted in your notice of motion.
If you are in custody when the application is heard, arrangements will be made by the registry office for you to appear by telephone before a judge of the court in chambers.