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Appeal against the Order of the Registrar of the Small Claims Tribunal
Once an Order ( eg : a work order, default order, discontinuance order etc) has been made by the Registrar at the Consultation stage and a party to the dispute is dissatisfied with the Order made, s/he may appeal to the Tribunal.
The appeal to the Tribunal must be made within 1 month from the date of the Order made by the Registrar.
The appeal is made by filing a ‘Notice of Appeal’ (Form 12) with a fee of $20. Filing of the appeal may be done at either the SCT Registry or online. Once filing of the ‘Notice of Appeal’ has been made, the Registrar will issue a notice (Form 13) to all parties concerned informing the time and place for the hearing of the appeal before the Tribunal.
If the appellant fails to attend on the allocated date and time, the Tribunal may dismiss the appeal or make an appropriate Order.
It is important to note that an appeal to the Tribunal does not operate as a stay of execution of the Order made by the Registrar. Enforcement proceedings can run alongside the appeal proceedings.
Appeal againt the Order of the Tribunal
If a person to the dispute is dissatisfied by the order of the Tribunal, s/he may appeal to the High Court.
However, since the order of the Tribunal is treated as final, the grounds of appeal against the Order of the Tribunal are limited. In particular, an appeal could only be made in any of the following grounds : (i) On a question of law; and(ii) when the claim was outside the jurisdiction of the Tribunal.
Before an appeal to the High Court could take place however, leave of the Court would have to be obtained.
An application for leave to appeal to the High Court could be filed at the SCT Registry. However, the time frame to make this application is 14 days from the date when the Tribunal made its Order. The decision of the Court in granting or refusing leave is final.
Once leave has been obtained
Once leave from the court has been obtained, the appellant would need to file a Notice of Appeal at the SCT Registry. Fees are payable on the standard charge of appeal to the High Court and that is $100.
The applicant must file Form 14 (Notice of Appeal) at the SCT Registry within 1 month of the Order of the Tribunal. It is important for the appellant to state in the Notice of Appeal on which part of the Order of the Tribunal that s/he is appealing against. In other words, the appeal may be made in respect of the whole or a specified part of the Order of the Tribunal.
The said form (Form 14) is obtainable at the SCT Registry or, downloadable at https://www.judiciary.gov.bn.
Upon the filing the Notice of Appeal, the appellant must pay a deposit of $500 as security for the Respondent’s costs of the appeal. Once done, a certificate (Form 15) will be issued.
Once filed, the Notice of Appeal will be served to the parties concerned. Hence, the correct address for service should be indicated in the Notice of Appeal. It is also to be noted that, either parties to the appeal may engage a lawyer for the purpose of the appeal.
Petition of Appeal
Within 21 days after the service of the notice of appeal, the appellant shall if s/he intends to proceed with the appeal, file with the Registrar a ‘petition of appeal’ (Form 17). This will then be served to the respondent or, to his/her lawyer.
In the said petition of appeal however, the appellant or his lawyer must provide the particulars of the matters in regard to which the Tribunal is alleged to have erred. It should also be reminded that the appellant shall not be permitted to rely on any ground of appeal other than those set out in the petition.
Failure to file within the time-frame
If the appellant fails to file the ‘petition of appeal’ within the stipulated time of 21 days, the appeal shall be deemed to have been withdrawn.
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