Magistrates and Judges do not always get their decisions right. Parties in litigation in Queensland who are unsuccessful in Court, may have a right of Appeal to a higher Court.
If a Magistrate makes a Judgment against you, you may be able to Appeal that Judgment to a single Judge of the District Court of Queensland. The District Court sits in an Appellate Jurisdiction in such cases, and has a function as an Appellate Court for Appeals from the Magistrates’ Court. The Judge will look at the evidence that was before the Magistrate and consider the grounds of the Appeal. If the Magistrate erred in fact or law, the Appeal may succeed and the Judge has power to make various Orders, such as setting aside the Judgment and ordering costs.
Our firm was recently successful on an Appeal for one of our clients. The Magistrate dismissed our client’s Application to set aside a Summary Judgment order that was granted in the absence of our client. On Appeal to the District Court, the Judge ruled that the appeal should be allowed and the decision and judgment of the Magistrate should be set aside. This had the result that our client was able to defend the matter appropriately in the Magistrates’ Court.
If the District Court or the Supreme Court gets a decision wrong, the Court of Appeal also hears Appeals. The Queensland Court of Appeal generally has 3 judges hearing each Appeal.
We also have experience in conducting Appeals in the Queensland Court of Appeal, the highest Court in Queensland, and to the High Court of Australia for special leave.
In the Federal Jurisdiction, a decision of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia may be appealed to the Federal Court of Australia. The Federal Court of Australia sits as an Appellate Court where appropriate. Sometimes the Full Court of the Federal Court will hear an Appeal, where there are 3 judges hearing the one matter.
If you are unsatisfied with a decision of a Magistrate or a Judge, you should act quickly, because there are generally time limits on Appeals. In most cases, a Notice of Appeal should be lodged within 28 days, but you should seek independent legal advice as early as possible if you are considering appealing a decision. There are circumstances where you can apply for leave to appeal if you are out of time in lodging an appeal.
Proper experience in running Appeals is essential. Aitken Whyte Lawyers are focused on results. Our commercial and civil litigation and disputes team will advise you on the proper course to take if you would like to appeal a Judgement or decision.
Aitken Whyte Lawyers can assist you with an Appeal in any QLD Court Jurisdiction.
Aitken Whyte Lawyers
11/8 Pikki Street,
Maroochydore Qld 4558
Ph: +617 5408 0655
Fax: +617 3211 9311