Tuesday, March 27, 2012

How to Appeal to the RCJ Court of Appeals - Civil Division


Information for Family Care Proceedings

Family law relies heavily on the Judge forming his or her own view about what is the 'best' thing to do. Although the law provides framework for making the right decision (what information to consider/ how to evaluate the evidence to reach a decision), it does not indicate an exact order to make.  Therefore, it is understood that there is more than one "right" answer in Family Law
If you do not agree with an order [or part of an order] and you can show that you have reasonable grounds, you can request permission to appeal*. (You will usually need permission when appealing the decision of a Judge of the High Court or a County Court). It is recommended that you do this at the time of the hearing upon which the order is made.  The Judge will most likely refuse as he has just drafted/executed the order in question.  At which time you can then apply for permission at the Court of Appeal - Civil Division.
* Permission to appeal will only be given where the court considers that your appeal has a real prospect of success.  An appeal must be based on relevant grounds (reasons for appealing). An appeal court will only allow an appeal against a decision that was either:
  • Wrong, or
  • Unjust because of a serious procedural or other irregularity in the lower court proceedings
The appeal court is unlikely to overturn a decision where no real difference would be made to the outcome of the case; or if the appeal would involve re-examining the factual investigation undertaken by the lower court
Applications to appeal a County Court (Family) decision on an order which falls under the Children Act 1989 &/ or Adoption & Children Act 2004 [e.g. Care Order or Placement Order] need to be submitted to the Court of Appeal - Civil Division.
Appeals to the Court of Appeal are covered by Civil Procedure Rules Part 52 (a different set of rules than other family related appeals, which are covered by Family Procedure Rules Part 30A)

** NOTE **
On occasion, when a lower court grants permission to appeal, it may exceptionally direct that your appeal be referred to the Court of Appeal.  Such instances are if it considers that it raises an important point of principle or practice, or there is some other important reason for the Court of Appeal to hear it (in which case Form N460 'Reasons for allowing or refusing permission to appeal' will be sent to you from the court)
If you seek an application to appeal an order at the Court of Appeal, you will need to complete an Appellant's Notice (Form N161) using the Form Guidance Notes for completing the application (Form N161A)
 You must file the Appellants Notice and all other required documents at the Civil Appeals Office. Applications are only accepted via post or in person at the address indicated below:
Civil Appeals Office Registry 
Room E307, East Block
Royal Courts of Justice
London WC2A 2LL

Office hours are Monday to Friday 10:00am to 4:30pm
Telephone:        020-7947-7882
or                       020-7947-6533
Fax:                    020-7947-6740
DX: 44450 STRAND
RNID Typetalk: 18001 (text)
                          18002 (voice)
Applications via Email or fax will not be accepted
If you file your application in person, fees must be paid before you file your documents in the Room E01 (Ground Floor - East Block) Royal Courts of Justice. The cashier will 'stamp' your notice with the amount you have paid.

You will need to pay £235.00* for an Application (e.g. Appeal Notice, Permission to Appeal or Extension of Time for Appealing) and it is required at the time of submitting your application to the Royal Court of Justice [RCJ].  Acceptable methods of payment are in cash, by bankers' draft, crossed cheque or Postal Order.

Postal Orders, drafts &/or Cheques must be made payable to "HMCTS" which must be endorsed - on the back - with your name, address and title of the case. It must also be crossed "Account Payee"
* If you can demonstrate severe financial hardship (e.g. if you are receiving state benefit such as Income Support), you may be entitled to remission of the court fees. If you believe you may be entitled to remission of the court fees please download Form EX160A from the website. Alternatively, you can contact the Appeal Court Office, and they can send you an application form.
Below I have listed the forms you will find contained within a Court of Appeal Civil Division Appeal Pack:
Form 206 (Notes for Guidance)
Applying for Permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal – Civil Division
Form N161
Appellant’s Notice
Form N161A
Guidance Notes on completing Form N161
Time Limits for Appealing to the Court of Appeal – Civil Division
Fee Remission Checklist
Form 200
Civil Appeals Office Fees
Form 201
Routes of Appeal
Form 202
How to Appeal to the Court of Appeal
Form 204
How to prepare an Appeal Bundle for the Court of Appeal
Form 205
Sources of help for unrepresented appellants (Litigants in Person)

Other Forms/Leaflets which you may find useful:
N244 – Application Notice
Separate Application notice for additional applications you wish to make at the same time as submitting your Appellant’s Notice
EX340 – ‘I want to Appeal’
Information on making an appealing or to the High Court or a County Court [available from either court].  It is available to download from www.hmcourtsuk
N460 Reasons for Allowing or refusing permission to appeal (including referring to Court of Appeal)
Document the court will send to you in the event your appeal is refused or if it is accepted but referred to Court of Appeal

For further guidance, please log onto the Civil Appeals website:
Also, you can review and download the Civil Procedure Rules Part 52 from the Justice website [Civil Procedure Rules Part 52]: (if you are not automatically directed to the site, you may manually enter the following URL into the address bar of your web-browser http://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part52

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