Frequently Asked Questions

This information is intended to give you basic information and explain the procedure in the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador. It is not intended to give you legal advice. Registry staff at the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador will do as much as they can to help you but they are not allowed to give you legal advice.

  1. What is the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador?
  2. What can the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador do with the decision appealed?
  3. How can I contact the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador?
  4. Where is the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador located?
  5. What are your hours of operation?
  6. What is the registry?
  7. Are Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador hearings open to the public?
  8. How is the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador structured?
  9. Who are the judges of the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador?
  10. What are the judges called?
  11. What do people wear in the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador?
  12. Can every case be appealed?
  13. Who can start an appeal?
  14. Is there a time limit on appealing?
  15. Can an appeal be filed after the time limit expires?
  16. If my filing deadline falls on a statutory holiday or weekend, what should I do?
  17. Can I represent myself or must I hire a lawyer to appear before the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland
    and Labrador?
  18. What if I don’t know which lawyer to hire or cannot afford to hire a lawyer?
  19. How much does it cost to file an appeal?
  20. What methods of payment are accepted by the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador?
  21. I am representing myself. Where can I get more guidance on how to advance my appeal?
  22. What happens in a Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador hearing?
  23. When does the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador make its decision in a case?
  24. Are there costs if I lose my case?
  25. Can I appeal a Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador decision?

1. What is the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador?

The Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador is the highest Court in the province. Only a few cases from Newfoundland and Labrador are heard each year by the Supreme Court of Canada, so the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador is the Court of last resort for most cases in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador hears appeals from decisions of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador, General and Family Divisions; some decisions of the Provincial Court; and decisions of certain administrative tribunals.

^ Top of Page

2. What can the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador do with the decision appealed?

An appeal is not a rehearing of a case. An appeal is different from a trial. In an appeal, the person who lost in the lower court argues the judge made a mistake. For example, the judge in the lower court may have used the wrong law. You should identify the mistake you think the judge made. This is very important. The Justices of the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador cannot change another judge’s decision unless there is an error. The lower court’s function is to hear the evidence and come to a decision. The Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador can only change that decision if the lower court made a mistake as to the law or in relation to evidence.

The Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador can dismiss the appeal (i.e. find in favour of the Respondent); allow the appeal (i.e. find in favour of the Appellant) and order a new trial; or allow the appeal and change the order of the lower court.

Through its judgments the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador also clarifies the law and develops consistent legal principles to be applied in all cases in the other courts of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

^ Top of Page

3. How can I contact the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador?

You can contact the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador at:

Telephone: (709) 729-0066 Email: coaregisty@appeal.court.nl.ca
For more information see http://www.court.nl.ca/appeal/about-the-court/contact-information/

^ Top of Page

4. Where is the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador located?

The Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador is located at 287 Duckworth Street, St. John’s, NL. The Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador sits in St. John’s.

^ Top of Page

5. What are your hours of operation?

The registry office hours are: 9:00 am–5:00 pm Monday to Friday.
Summer hours (mid-June to mid-September): 9:00am–4:30 pm Monday to Friday.

The registry is closed for lunch from 1:00 pm–2:00 pm Monday to Friday.
The registry is closed on all statutory holidays.

^ Top of Page

6. What is the registry?

The registry is the public office of the Court and is located on the first floor of the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador. It is where you go to file Court documents, such as the Notice of Appeal. Registry staff carry out the day-to-day administration of the Court in such areas as scheduling and monitoring the flow of documents required for appeals. They organize case files and documents and attend Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador hearings, call the Court to order and ensure that the proceedings are recorded.

^ Top of Page

7. Are Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador hearings open to the public?

Yes, as a general rule, Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador hearings are open to the public.

^ Top of Page

8. How is the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador structured?

The Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador consists of the Chief Justice of Newfoundland and Labrador (who is also the Chief Justice of the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador) and five (5) other full-time judges. Semi-retired (supernumerary) judges may also form part of the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador at any given time. Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador judges usually sit in panels of three judges to hear appeals.

^ Top of Page

9. Who are the judges of the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador?

  • Justice J. Derek Green (supernumerary)
  • Justice B. Gale Welsh
  • Justice Leo D. Barry (supernumerary)
  • Justice Charles W. White
  • Justice Michael F. Harrington
  • Justice Lois R. Hoegg
  • Justice Francis P. O’Brien

^ Top of Page

10. What are the judges called?

The judges’ title, male or female, is “Justice” (for example: Justice Jane Doe, Justice John Doe). During the proceedings the judges may be addressed as “Chief Justice, Justice, Mister Justice or Madam Justice”

^ Top of Page

11. What do people wear in the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador?

The Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador judges, the Court Clerk and lawyers wear black gowns over striped trousers or skirts, black waistcoat and a wing collar white shirt, with white bands (sometimes called tabs) instead of a necktie, for all Court appearances in the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador. Persons attending appeal proceedings should be dressed as they would dress to attend any formal public function.
^ Top of Page

12. Can every case be appealed?

You do not have an automatic right to appeal to the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador in every case. It depends on the kind of case. As a general rule, the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador will hear an appeal from any decision of the Supreme Court General Division or Family Division. However, the Respondent may object to and the Court may refuse to hear an appeal of an uncompleted matter, i.e. an order made during the course of a trial or hearing.

The Court will also hear appeals from some decisions of the Provincial Court. Not all appeals from decisions of the Provincial Court come directly to the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador. Summary conviction appeals, for example, are usually appealed to the Supreme Court, General Division. If one of the parties is still dissatisfied after the appeal is heard in the General Division, that party may, with leave (i.e. permission) of the Court, appeal that decision to the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador.

In some cases, the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador will hear appeals from a decision of a public authority or administrative tribunal, such as the Public Utilities Board. In most cases, however, decisions of public authorities or administrative tribunals are reviewed by a judge of the General Division. The judge’s decision may then be appealed further to the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador.

^ Top of Page

13. Who can start an appeal?

Any party dissatisfied with the decision of a court or administrative tribunal from which this Court hears appeals may appeal that decision. The person who brings the proceeding to the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador is called the Appellant. The Appellant appeals the decision of a lower court or tribunal. The party against whom an appeal is brought and who must respond to the Appellant’s case is called the Respondent.

^ Top of Page

14. Is there a time limit on appealing?

Yes. Appellants must appeal within 30 days after the lower court releases its decision. Appeals from a decision in an uncompleted matter (i.e. an order made during the course of a trial or hearing), must be filed within ten days from the date of the order.

The time limit for appealing a decision from a provincial board or tribunal can be much shorter than 30 days. If you are appealing a decision from a provincial board or tribunal, please check the appropriate statute or Act that governs the board or tribunal you are appealing from to find the applicable time limit.

^ Top of Page

15. Can an appeal be filed after the time limit expires?

Anyone who, for good reason, requires an extension of time for filing the Notice of Appeal must convince a judge of the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador to extend the time by filing an application for an extension of time with the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador. You must file an affidavit in support of your application. The affidavit must set out the reasons why the appeal was not filed during the specified appeal period.

^ Top of Page

16. If my filing deadline falls on a statutory holiday or weekend, what should I do?

You may file your document on the next business day.

^ Top of Page

17. Can I represent myself or must I hire a lawyer to appear before the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador?

You may represent yourself at the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador but it is not recommended. The process of appealing a decision can be complex. The issues on an appeal are usually questions of law. People considering appealing a decision to the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador are encouraged to seek legal advice. It is recommended that you consult with a lawyer about your rights and the remedies available to you.

Please Note: You cannot have another person who is not a lawyer speak on your behalf, unless you obtain leave (i.e. permission) of the Court.

^ Top of Page

18. What if I don’t know which lawyer to hire or cannot afford to hire a lawyer?

You may contact the following organizations for assistance:
Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador Legal Assistance Clinic
calac@appeal.court.nl.ca

Legal Aid Commission
251 Empire Avenue, Suite 300
St. John’s, NL A1C 3H9
Telephone: (709) 753-7860
Toll-free: 1-800-563-9911
Facsimile: (709) 753-6226

Regional Office Telephone Numbers:

Carbonear (709) 596-7835
Clarenville (709) 466-7138 Toll Free: 1-844-260-7138
Corner Brook (709) 639-9226 Toll Free: 1-844-639-9226
Gander (709) 256-3991
Grand Falls-Windsor (709) 489-9081
Happy Valley-Goose Bay (709) 896-5323
Labrador West (709) 282-3425
Marystown (709) 279-3068, Toll Free: 1-844-340-3068
Stephenville (709) 643-5200 Toll Free: 1-844-304-5263
St. John’s (709) 753-7860
St. John’s Primary Conflict (709) 722-6981
St. John’s Secondary Conflict (709) 753-3706

Public Legal Information Association of Newfoundland

Suite 101, 31 Peet Street
St. John’s, NL A1B 3W8
Telephone: (709) 722-2643, Toll Free: 1-888-660-7788
Facsimile: (709) 722-0054
E-mail: info@publiclegalinfo.com
Website: publiclegalinfo.com 

^ Top of Page

19. How much does it cost to file an appeal?

In addition to any legal fees you may pay, the most common court fees are as follows:

Criminal Notice of Appeal No fee
Civil Notice of Appeal $60.00
Civil Notice of Cross-Appeal $60.00
Order (civil) $60.00
Certified copy $30.00
Tapes or CDs of the appeal hearing $20.00
Search $20.00
Photocopies $0.25 per page

^ Top of Page

20. What methods of payment are accepted by the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador?

The registry of the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador accepts cheques payable to: Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador.

^ Top of Page

21. I am representing myself. Where can I get more guidance on how to advance my appeal?

In addition to the regular Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador Legal Assistance Clinic, the Court website contains guidelines (a general guide to civil appeals and guidelines for each civil form), guide books, and copies of the Court rules and practice notes.
^ Top of Page

22. What happens in a Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador hearing?

The procedure in an appeal hearing is different from a trial. Normally, three judges sit on an appeal, and most appeals last only a few hours. The Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador does not hear witnesses. There are no juries. New evidence (i.e. information that was not presented in the lower court hearing) is rarely considered by the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador. You need leave (i.e. permission) from the Court to introduce new evidence.

The judges are familiar with the appeal before they enter the Courtroom. They have read the summary of facts and the written arguments outlined in the factum filed by each of the Appellant and the Respondent, and they have reviewed the record of the lower Court proceedings as contained in the Appeal Book.

To commence the hearing the Court clerk calls the Court to order. The Appellant speaks first. The Appellant sets out his or her legal argument, which is based on the factum that was filed earlier with the Court. When the Appellant is finished, the Respondent does the same. The judges will ask the Appellant and the Respondent questions as they present their case. At the end of the hearing a Court officer will close or adjourn Court.

^ Top of Page

23. When does the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador make its decision in a case?

The Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador may give its decision orally in Court shortly after the Appellant and the Respondent have presented their cases. Most often the Court will reserve its decision and issue a written judgment at a later date.

^ Top of Page

24. Are there costs if I lose my case?

If your appeal is dismissed in a civil case, the Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador may assess costs against you.
Civil Appeal Rules
Scale of Costs

^ Top of Page

25. Can I appeal a Court of Appeal of Newfoundland and Labrador decision?

In some cases an appeal can be taken to the Supreme Court of Canada, in Ottawa. In most cases leave (i.e. permission) to appeal must be granted by the Supreme Court of Canada. In some criminal cases a party can have an automatic right to appeal. Only a few cases from this province are heard each year by the Supreme Court of Canada.

^ Top of Page