Practice Direction 52B - appeals in the County Court and high court
Contents of this Practice Direction
This Practice Direction is divided into the following sections –
Section I –Application
Section II– Venue for appeals and filing of notices and applications
Section III – Extending time in which to appeal
Section IV – Initiating an appeal
Section V – Case managing the appeal; orders of the court
Section VI – Conduct of the appeal
Section VII – Determination of applications
Section VIII –Hearings
1.1 This Practice Direction applies to –
(a) appeals within the County Court (from a District Judge to a Circuit Judge);
(b) appeals from the County Court to the High Court; and
(c) appeals within the High Court (from a Master, a District Judge sitting in a District Registry, a Registrar in Bankruptcy, a Registrar of the Companies Court, a Costs Judge or an officer of the High Court to a judge of the High Court).
2.1 Appeals within the County Court, appeals from the County Court and appeals within the High Court to a judge of the High Court must be brought in the appropriate appeal centre and all other notices (including any respondent's notice) and applications must be filed at that appeal centre. The venue for an appeal within the County Court will be determined by the Designated Civil Judge and may be different from the appeal centre.
2.2 The tables at the end of this Practice Direction set out the Appeal Centres for each circuit.
3.1 A party may apply to the lower court for an extension of time in which to file an appellant’s notice. The application must be made at the same time as the appellant applies to the lower court for permission to appeal.
3.2 Where the time for filing an appellant's notice has expired, the appellant must include an application for an extension of time within the appellant's notice (form N161 or, in respect of a small claim, form N164) stating the reason for the delay and the steps taken prior to making the application.
3.3 The court may make an order granting or refusing an extension of time and may do so with or without a hearing. If an order is made without a hearing, any party seeking to set aside or vary the order may apply, within 14 days of service of the order, for a hearing.
4.1 An appellant’s notice (Form N161 or, in respect of a small claim, Form N164) must be filed and served in all cases. The appellant’s notice must be accompanied by the appropriate fee or, if appropriate, a fee remission application or certificate.
4.2 Documents to be filed with the appellant’s notice: The appellant must file with the appellant’s notice–
(a) three copies of the appellant’s notice and one additional copy for each respondent;
(b) a copy of the sealed order under appeal;
(c) where an application was made to the lower court for permission to appeal, a copy of any order granting or refusing permission to appeal together with a copy of the reasons, if any, for allowing or refusing permission to appeal; and
(d) grounds of appeal, which must be set out on a separate sheet attached to the appellant's notice and must set out, in simple language, clearly and concisely, why the order of the lower court was wrong or unjust because of a serious procedural or other irregularity (Rule 52.21(3)).
4.3 Applications in the appeal: Any application to be made in the appeal (for example, for a stay of the order of the lower court, or for an extension of time) should be included within the appellant’s notice. Any application for a transcript at public expense should be made within the appellant’s notice.
5.1 The appeal court may make orders for the case management of an appeal.
5.2 When making a case management order, the court may dispense with any requirements of or directions made in this Practice Direction.
6.1 Service of appellant’s notice on the respondent: The appellant must file a certificate of service of the appellant’s notice with the court as soon as practicable after service.
6.2 Transcript of the judgment of the lower court or other record of reasons: Except where the claim has been allocated to the small claims track, the appellant must obtain a transcript or other record of reasons of the lower court as follows –
(a) where the judgment has been officially recorded, the appellant must apply for an approved transcript as soon as possible and, in any event, within 7 days of the filing of the appellant’s notice;
(b) where the judgment under appeal has been handed down in writing, the appellant must obtain and retain a copy of the written judgment;
(c) in any other case, the appellant must cause a note of the judgment under appeal to be made and typed. The parties to the appeal should agree the note, which should then be sent to the judge of the lower court for approval. The parties and their advocates have a duty to make, and to co-operate in agreeing, a note of the judgment.
6.3 Appeal bundle: As soon as practicable, but in any event within 35 days of the filing of the appellant’s notice, the appellant must file an appeal bundle which must contain only those documents relevant to the appeal. The appeal bundle must be paginated and indexed.
6.4 Documents relevant to the appeal:
(1) Subject to any order made by the court, the following documents must be included in the appeal bundle–
(a) a copy of the appellant’s notice;
(b) a copy of any respondent’s notice;
(c) a copy of any appellant’s or respondent’s skeleton argument;
(d) a copy of the order under appeal;
(e) a copy of the order of the lower court granting or refusing permission to appeal together with a copy of the judge's reasons, if any, for granting or refusing permission;
(f) a copy of any order allocating the case to a track;
(g) a transcript of the judgment of the lower court or other record of reasons (except in appeals in cases which were allocated to the small claims track and subject to any order of the court).
(2) The following documents should also be considered for inclusion in the appeal bundle but should be included only where relevant to the appeal –
(a) statements of case;
(b) application notices;
(c) other orders made in the case;
(d) a chronology of relevant events;
(e) witness statements made in support of any application made in the appellant’s notice;
(f) other witness statements;
(g) any other documents which any party considers would assist the appeal court.
6.5 Service of the appeal bundle: A copy of the appeal bundle must be served on each respondent –
(a) where permission to appeal was granted by the lower court, at the same time as filing the appeal bundle;
(b) where the appeal court has granted permission to appeal, as soon as practicable after notification and in any event within 14 days of the grant of permission;
(c) where the appeal court directs that the application for permission to appeal is to be heard on the same occasion as the appeal, as soon as practicable and in any event within 14 days after notification of the hearing date.
6.6 Late documents: Any relevant document which is obtained or created after the appeal bundle has been filed (for example a respondent’s notice or a skeleton argument) should be added to the appeal bundle as soon as practicable and, in any event, no less than 7 days before the hearing of the appeal or any application.
7.1 Applications made in the appeal, including applications for permission to appeal under rule 52.3(2)(a) or rule 52.13(3), may be determined with or without a hearing.
7.2 Where the court refuses an application for permission to appeal without a hearing, the appellant (or, where appropriate, the respondent) may request the application to be reconsidered at a hearing.
7.3 Where the court determines any other application without hearing the respondent (including an application for permission to bring the appeal out of time) any party affected by the determination may apply to have the order set aside or varied.
7.4 Any request or application made under this section must be made within 7 days of service of notification of the determination upon the person making the application. Where any such request or application is made –
(a) a copy of the request or application must be served on all other parties at the same time; and
(b) the court will give directions for the determination of the application.
8.1 Attendance at permission hearings: Where a respondent to an appeal or cross-appeal attends the hearing of an application for permission to appeal, costs will not be awarded to the respondent unless–
(a) the court has ordered or requested attendance by the respondent;
(b) the court has ordered that the application for permission to appeal be listed at the same time as the determination of other applications;
(c) the court has ordered that the hearing of the appeal will follow the hearing of the application if permission is granted; or
(d) the court considers it just, in all the circumstances, to award costs to the respondent.
8.2 Respondent’s documents: A respondent who has been served with an appeal bundle and who considers that relevant documents have been omitted may file and serve on all parties a respondent’s supplemental appeal bundle containing copies of other relevant documents. The supplemental appeal bundle must be filed and served as soon as practicable after service of the appeal bundle, but in any event not less than 7 days before the hearing.
8.3 Skeleton arguments: Subject to any order of the court, the parties to the appeal should file and serve skeleton arguments only where –
(a) the complexity of the issues of fact or law in the appeal justify them; or
(b) skeleton arguments would assist the court in respects not readily apparent from the papers in the appeal.
Table A – Table of appeal centres for each circuit
|Birmingham CJC||Birmingham CJC|
|Chester CJC|| |
|Manchester CJC||Manchester CJC|
|Conwy & Colwyn||Wrexham|
|Merthyr Tydfil||Cardiff CJC|
|Newport (Gwent)||Cardiff CJC|
|Welshpool & Newtown||Wrexham|
|Aldershot & Farnham||Winchester|
|Newport (Isle of Wight)||Winchester|
|Torquay & Newton Abbot||Torquay & Newton Abbot|
|Weymouth & Dorchester||Winchester|
|Bury St Edmunds||Cambridge|
|Central London CJC||Central London CJC|
|Clerkenwell & Shoreditch||Clerkenwell & Shoreditch|
|Mayor's and City||Mayor's and City|
Table B – Appeals from the County Court or within the High Court: Appeal centres for each circuit
|North Eastern Circuit||Leeds|
|South Eastern Circuit||Royal Courts of Justice|