Apply for an appeal

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Either party can appeal to the District Court within 20 working days from the date of the Tribunal order.

How to appeal

You need to fill in a Notice of appeal.

Notice of appeal form [PDF, 209 KB]

File it at the District Court where your original Disputes Tribunal claim was heard.

The cost for an appeal is $200.

At the appeal, you can choose to be represented by a lawyer. If you use a lawyer you’ll have to pay your lawyer's fees. If you can’t afford a lawyer you may be able to get legal aid.

Legal aid(external link)

You can also find free community legal help(external link) 

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Grounds for an appeal – the reason you can give for appealing

There is only 1 ground for appealing a Tribunal decision. This is that the referee ran the hearing (or a Tribunal investigator carried out an inquiry) in a way that was unfair and which had an effect on the result.

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What happens next?

Once you’ve filed a Notice of appeal, the referee will write a report about the hearing. We’ll send a copy of the report to you and to the other party before the appeal is heard.

The appeal will be dealt with by a District Court judge. You’ll need to go to a hearing before the judge. We will tell you and the other party the date, time and place of this hearing.

The judge will look at:

  • the grounds for appeal
  • the referee's report.

The judge will only look at whether or not the hearing was run in a way that was unfair and which had an effect on the result. An appeal is not a rehearing of the facts.

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Types of decisions the judge can make

The judge can:

  • dismiss the appeal
  • cancel the Tribunal's order and order a rehearing
  • cancel the Tribunal's order and move the case to the District Court.

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If you run out of time to appeal

If it’s more than 20 working days since the Tribunal made its order, you can’t file an appeal unless you have applied for, and been given, more time by a District Court judge.

This is a more complex process than you’ll have found in the Disputes Tribunal.  You may want to get legal advice. 

To apply for more time you must:

  • file an interlocutory application on notice and a supporting affidavit
  • pay the filing fee of $250
  • serve the application and affidavit on the other parties, who have an opportunity to file a notice of oppositions.

Find out more about going to court without a lawyer(external link)

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Orders can’t be enforced while an appeal is in progress

Filing an appeal acts as a stay of enforcement of an order (stops the order being enforced until the appeal is decided). However, if a party applies, the Tribunal may order that enforcement continue.

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