A guide to the civil appeals court
The following information is a general guide to Part 14 Chapter 1 of the 2009 Rules of the High Court of Justice of the Isle of Man (‘the 2009 Rules’). It will be helpful to you to read this guide completely together with the relevant forms before you begin proceedings. However, litigants and their advisors are expected to be familiar with the 2009 Rules of the High Court of Justice.
Things to consider before appealing
If you decide you want to appeal you must act quickly – the time within which you must file your appeal is limited.
You must have proper grounds (reasons) for appeal – a belief that you are right and that the judge got it wrong is not, on its own a sufficient reason for an appeal. Your grounds must show that you think the decision of the lower court was wrong or unjust because the incorrect procedure was followed or because of some other regular method was not followed by the lower court whose decision you are appealing. If you are in any doubt whether you have proper grounds for appeal, you should seek legal advice.
You will usually have to pay a fee when you appeal.
If you lose your appeal you may be ordered to pay the other party’s costs, including the costs of their legal representative(s), if they have one and such costs may be a considerable sum. It may therefore be wise to seek legal advice about the chances of succeeding on an appeal to the appeal court before you proceed with your proposed appeal.
You will not normally be able to appeal a second time. Only exceptionally will second appeals be allowed and only then if the appeal division gives permission. Permission to appeal will only be given if the appeal raises an important point of principle or practice or if there is some other compelling reason for the appeal division to hear it. You may have to pay further substantial fees and costs. Consider carefully whether you wish your application to proceed. The court fee cannot be refunded if you are unsuccessful. You will want to be sure that you will be able to satisfy the tests which the court has to apply.
You must file your appeal notice:
within the time period as may be allowed by a relevant legal rule; or
if there is no legal rule, the time period as may be given by the lower court; or
if the lower court does not give a time limit then within 42 days if it is a final judgment or order, or within 14 days in any other case.
When you file your appeal notice you must serve a copy of the notice on the respondent within 7 days of filing your appeal with the court.
Filing of the appellant’s appeal notice
You must ensure that you file your appeal in the correct division. Except where the appeal is by way of case stated, any appeal, that is filed as a result of a decision from any of the following will be heard and determined by the Appeal Division:
the Civil Division
a court of summary jurisdiction
the Land Court
Court of General Gaol Delivery
a Social Security Commissioner
the Mental Health Review Tribunal
the tribunal established under the Heath Burning Act 2003.
Any other appeal that is filed will be heard and determined by the Civil Division. The fact that you have filed your appeal does not necessarily mean that
the court accepts it is filed to the correct Division; or
the papers are in order.
It remains your responsibility, and not that of the court staff, to ensure that you file your appeal notice in the correct Division.
To file an appeal you should complete form HC11 Appeal Notice (appellant) (Word doc) (PDF) To ensure your appeal papers are in order please fully read form HC11A Notes for appellant (appeal notice) (PDF) together with Chapter 1 of part 14 of the 2009 Rules.
You should file your appeal at or send it to:
The Court Office
Isle of Man Courts of Justice
Isle of Man
How much does it cost?
Appellant’s Notice filed - what happens next?
The court staff will check that you have filed your appellant’s notice in the correct division and completed it, as much as possible. If there are any queries with the notice, or if you appear to have filed it incorrectly the court staff will contact you. If, however, it appears that you have filed it correctly then the notice will be given a claim number and then passed to the court for consideration of directions.
The directions will be given at a hearing unless the court thinks it unnecessary to hold a hearing to give the directions. If a hearing is required you and the stated respondent(s) will be sent notification of the date and time of such hearing. If the directions are given without a hearing you and the respondent(s) will be sent a copy of the directions order which may include a date for the final hearing of the appeal.
You must, unless the appeal court orders otherwise, serve a copy of your appellant’s notice on the respondent(s) as soon as practical but within 7 days after filing it with the court (you must also, again unless the court decides you do not have, serve a copy of the issued appeal on the respondent within 7 days of receiving it back from the Court Office).
Permission to appeal required
If you are appealing the decision of a tribunal, you should check whether you need permission to appeal and, if so, whether you need to ask for that permission from the tribunal appealed against or the Appeal Division. If the permission is required from the appeal court it must be requested in the appellant’s appeal notice.
The Appeal Court will either consider the request for permission administratively or list it for a short hearing. If a short hearing is arranged, you will receive notification of such hearing and you will be able to tell the court why you think permission to appeal should be given. If no hearing is arranged you and the respondent(s) will receive notification of the court’s decision.
What can the respondent do?
If you have filed a request for permission to appeal, then the respondent does need to do anything until he/she receives notification from the court that the permission to appeal has been given, or is not required to continue.
A respondent who:
wants permission to appeal from the appeal court; or
wishes to ask the appeal court to agree with the order of the lower court for reasons different from or additional to those given by the lower court,
must file a respondent’s appeal notice.
The respondent must file his appeal notice within any time limit allowed by the lower court or if that court did not give a time limit then it should be filed within 14 days after:
the date the respondent is served with the appellant’s notice where permission to appeal was given by the lower court, or permission to appeal is not required;
the date the respondent is served with notification that the appeal court has given the appellant permission to appeal; or
the date the respondent is served with notification that the application for permission to appeal and the appeal itself are to be heard together.
When filing an appeal the respondent must use form HC12 Appeal Notice (Respondent) (Word doc) (PDF) which is virtually identical to the appellant’s notice. The respondent will also be able to gain more guidance from forms HC11B Notes for respondent (PDF) and form HC12A Notes for respondent (appeal notice) (PDF). The respondent must, unless the court decides otherwise, serve a copy of his appeal notice on the appellant and any other respondent(s) as soon as practical but not later than 7 days after filing it with the court.
The court will deal with the respondent’s appeal notice and any request for permission to appeal in the respondent’s appeal notice, in the same way as it would with the appellant’s appeal notice.
If you or the respondent wishes to make any other application in connection with your appeal, you may do so either in the appeal notice or by using form HC8A - Application Notice (general) (Word doc) (PDF). The court may deal with these at the same time as any application for permission to appeal or at a separate hearing before the main hearing of the appeal.
Any forms mentioned in this guide can be obtained from the Court Office.
Please remember that this guide can only provide you with general information about the appeal court. It cannot explain everything about court rules, costs and procedures which may affect different appeals in different ways. Litigants and their advisors are expected to be familiar with the 2009 Rules of the High Courts of Justice.