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process of an appeal

What is The Process of an Appeal?

The appeal process in Ontario can be challenging and it needs to be submitted in the correct way to give your case the best possible chance of success. Understanding how the procedure works is vital but it can be confusing for those who aren’t experts in law.

Here where we can help. Read on as we look at an overview of the appeals process to give you an idea of the steps you’ll need to take. By the end, you should be much more comfortable with how your case can proceed.

Grounds for Appeal

Before you start an appeal process, you must understand what ground you may have to appeal a court decision. Importantly, you can’t appeal solely on the grounds of knowing you’re innocent, you have to prove an error has been made. In Ontario, the grounds for appeal include:

Errors of Fact – It applies when you believe the judge has made a factual error in their decision, like when the decision is made based on insufficient evidence.

Errors of Law – This applies if there is evidence that there was a misapplication or misinterpretation of the law. Finding these errors of law is an example of why it’s vital to hire an expert criminal appeal lawyer.

Procedural Mistakes – It applies if there were procedural errors during the trial process, including when the correct trial procedures were not followed or when evidence was improperly admitted.

Sentence Appeal – This applies if either party disagrees with a judge’s sentence at the end of a trial. For example, the defence may claim that the sentence was disproportionately large compared to the crime. Whereas the prosecution can argue that the sentence was too lenient.

The Leave to Appeal

Keep in mind that not all court cases are admissible in the Ontario Court of Appeal. You may need to obtain a Leave of Appeal if you want your case heard by the appeal court. This is the permission you get from the court to present your appeal.

If you need a Leave of Appeal, you must serve a notion to obtain it within 15 days of the court order your appeal against. Moreover, you must file the notion with the Ontario Court of Appeal within five days of serving it.

When you acquire a Leave of Appeal, your next step is to serve and file a Notice of Appeal. This must be done within seven days of the permission being granted.

the leave to appeal

Launching and Appeal Where You Don’t Need a Leave

If you don’t require a Leave of Appeal, you start by serving and filing a Notice of Appeal, along with the grounds for your appeal. You must also submit proof that both these documents have been served on the other party to the Ontario Court of Appeal.

This proof should be provided as an affidavit indicating where and how the necessary documents were served to the other party. Alternatively, an admission by the other party that they were served will also suffice.

The notice of appeal must be served within 30 days of the order you appealing against. Then, you have 10 days to file the Notice of Appeal with the Ontario Court of Appeal. In some cases, you may be extended the timelines if you provide sufficient proof that you were prevented from filing your appeal in a timely manner.

Perfecting Your Appeal

Once you’ve filed the Notice of Appeal, you must start working on perfecting your appeal, which involves filling all the necessary paperwork you want to present at the hearing. For example, you should file an exhibit book, an appealing book, an appealing factum, and if necessary, the transcript of oral evidence.

You must also provide proof that you served all these documents to the other party as well before filing with the Court of Appeal.

If a transcript of evidence is required, you must complete the process of rendering it within 60 days after receiving formal notice that the evidence transcription has been made. If this form of evidence isn’t needed, you must perfect your appeal within 30 days of filing the Notice of Appeal.

Once you file all the necessary documents, your next step is to file a Certificate of Perfection, which enables you to complete the perfection process.

When the court is satisfied that your appeal has been perfected, it places it on the list of appeals ready to be heard, which will happen sometimes in the next six months. Depending on the nature of your appeal, you may be assigned a hearing date right away or later on. Likewise, based on the circumstances of your case, it may be heard by one judge or, more commonly, a panel of three judges.

The respondent will also prepare their case and present it during the appeal hearing. After hearing the position of both parties on the appeal, the appeal court makes its decision whether to uphold the original judgment, overturn it, or order a new trial.

perfecting your appeal

Final Thoughts

The appeal process in the Ontario Court of Appeals involves filing several documents, including a notion for a Leave of Appeal, a Notice of Appeal, and other information like an appeal book containing all the relevant documents and transcripts used in the previous trial.

The Leave of Appeal may not be needed, but if it is, you can only file a Notice of Appeal if you’ve obtained it. The other party must be served with all the relevant documents, and you must provide proof of service.

Once you’ve filed your notice, the court evaluates it and assigns a hearing date, during which you and the respondent can present their case. If you need help with your appeal, then contact AGP LLP today. We can guide you through the steps to give your case the best chance of success.

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