motion for appeal

How to File a Motion for Leave to Appeal 

If you’ve been involved in a legal case and are dissatisfied with the court’s decision, you may wonder about your options for appeal. In Canada, one avenue you may consider is filing a motion for appeal to leave. This process allows you to request permission from a higher court, like the Court of Appeal, to review the decision made by the lower court.

Understanding Motions for Leave to Appeal 

A motion for appeal to leave is a formal request to the appellate court to grant permission to appeal a lower court decision. It is different from a standard appeal, which allows you to appeal as of right without needing permission.

A motion for leave to appeal is necessary in specific situations, such as when the lower court decision is not considered a “final order.” 

Appealing with leave of the court implies that the appellate court has the discretion to decide whether or not to hear your appeal. This means the court will assess the public importance of your case before granting permission to proceed further.

Application for Leave to Appeal

The application for leave to appeal is a document that outlines your arguments for why the appellate court should hear your case.

It should be clear, concise, and persuasive, and it must include specific details about the lower court decision and why you believe it was wrong.

Sample Application Overview

A sample application for leave to appeal might include the following sections:

  • Introduction: Briefly describe the case and the lower court decision.
  • Grounds for Appeal: Explain the specific legal errors you believe the lower court made and the reasons why the case is of importance such that leave should be granted.
  • Argument: Provide detailed arguments and legal reasoning supporting your grounds for appeal.
  • Relief Sought: State the specific outcome you are seeking from the appellate court.
  • Conclusion: Summarize your main arguments and reiterate your request for leave to appeal.

The specific application form and instructions for filing a motion for appeal to leave will vary depending on the jurisdiction.

You can typically find the necessary forms and instructions on the website of the relevant court or by contacting the court clerk’s office.

Timing Your Appeal

Adhere to the strict time limits to file a motion for leave to appeal. In most cases, you must file your motion for leave to appeal within 15 days of the date of the lower court made its decision. Missing this deadline can result in the denial of your appeal.

Preparing and Filing a Motion for Appeal to Leave

This is generally how the appeal process unfolds:

  1. Gather necessary documents and information.
  2. Complete the application form carefully and serve it and file it with the court.
  3. Draft your written argument, outlining your legal reasoning and grounds for appeal.
  4. File your motion with the proper court office, paying any required fees.
  5. Serve a copy of your motion to all other parties involved in the case.
  6. Attend any scheduled hearings or conferences regarding your motion.

Further instructions on how and where to file your motion for leave will be available on the court website or from the court clerk’s office. Be sure to adhere to all formatting and procedural requirements.

To help you prepare, here’s a checklist of required documents and information:

  • The completed form for leave to appeal
  • A copy of the lower court decision
  • Your written argument in support of your appeal
  • Any relevant transcripts or exhibits from the lower court case
  • Proof of service of your motion on all other parties involved in the case

An experienced appeals lawyer can assist you in gathering, preparing, and submitting these documents, increasing the likelihood of approval. They can also request an extension of time on your behalf.

Crafting a Compelling Argument for Your Appeal

Your written argument is your opportunity to convince the appellate court that your case merits their attention. Focus on the following elements:

  • Clearly identify the legal errors you believe the lower court made.
  • Provide strong legal reasoning and support your arguments with relevant case law and statutes.
  • Highlight the importance of your case and the potential consequences of allowing the lower court decision to stand.

Again, a dedicated appeals lawyer can help you compose a robust argument, leveraging the law and facts of your case to achieve the best possible outcome.

FAQs on Motion for Appeal to Leave

Who grants leave to appeal?

An appeal is reviewed by the appellate court, not a trial court. Once filed with the court, the decision to grant or deny leave to appeal is made by a panel of judges.

What are the most common reasons for an appeal to leave to be granted or denied?

Motions for leave to appeal may be granted if the appellate court believes the case raises a significant legal issue. Conversely, motions for leave to appeal are often denied if the appellate court does not believe the issue presented is important enough to warrant their review or if the lower court decision is unlikely to be overturned.

What are the consequences of missing the deadline for filing a motion for leave to appeal?

Failing to meet the deadline for filing a motion for leave to appeal can have significant consequences, including:

  • Loss of the right to appeal
  • Limited options for recourse
  • Potential prejudice to your case

Get In Touch for Expert Guidance

If you are seeking an experienced lawyer to guide you through the process of filing a motion for appeal to leave, contact Allan Rouben. With over 35 years of experience and a proven track record of success, he can provide you with the expert legal representation you need.