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Rehearings and appeals

Printable version: Rehearings and appeals (PDF, 404KB)

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Rehearings

Either party can apply to the Disputes Tribunal for a rehearing within 28 days of the order or agreed settlement.

You can apply online, download the form (PDF, 716 KB) or get a form from your local court. 

There is no fee to apply for a rehearing.

Grounds for a rehearing

You can apply for a rehearing if you believe that something prevented the proper decision from being made; for example, the relevant information was not available or a mistake was made.

For example:

  • you did not received the letter notifying you of the date of the hearing
  • you or your witness was unexpectedly unable to attend the hearing for a valid reason
  • the referee made a material error in the amount of money you were ordered to pay
  • After a hearing where the referee approved an settlement, you discover facts that:
    • are directly relevant to the dispute, and
    • could not, with reasonable effort, have been known before the hearing, and
    • would have had a bearing on whether you would have agreed to the settlement.

A rehearing will not be granted just because you disagree with the decision.

What happens next?

The same referee who heard the original case will consider the application and decide whether to grant a rehearing. You may have to attend a short hearing to argue why a rehearing should be granted.

If a rehearing is granted, it will usually be conducted by a different Referee.

What if I am out of time?

Along with your application, you will also need to file an Application for Extension of Time to Apply for Rehearing (PDF, 17 KB).  You will need to include the reasons why you are applying outside of the 28 days.

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Appeals

Either party can appeal to the District Court within 28 days from the date of the Tribunal order.

Download and complete a Notice of Appeal Form (PDF, 805 KB) and file it at the District Court where your original Disputes Tribunal claim was heard. The cost for an appeal is $200.00.

At the appeal, you can choose to be represented by a lawyer if you wish. If you use a lawyer for the appeal you will have to pay your lawyer's fees.

Grounds for an appeal

There is only one ground for appealing a decision of the Tribunal. This is that the referee conducted the proceedings (or a tribunal investigator carried out an inquiry) in a way that was unfair and prejudiced the result of the proceedings.

What happens next?

Once a Notice of Appeal has been filed the Referee will prepare a report about the hearing. We will 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 will need to attend a hearing before the judge. We will notify you and the other party of the date, time and venue of this hearing.

The judge will look at:

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

The judge will only consider whether or not there has been procedural unfairness that prejudicially affected the result of the proceedings. An appeal is not a rehearing of the facts.

What types of decisions can the judge make?

The judge can:

  • dismiss the appeal, or
  • cancel the tribunal's order and order a rehearing, or
  • cancel the tribunal's order and transfer the proceedings to the District Court.

What if I'm out of time?

If it is more that 28 days since the Tribunal made its order, you cannot file an appeal unless you have applied for and been granted, an extension of time by a District Court Judge.

To apply for an extension of 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 oppourtunity to file a notice of oppositions.

This is a more complex process that what you have experienced in the Disputes Tribunal.  You may wish to seek legal advice.  Further information is available in the District Court's guide for self-represented litigants.

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Does a rehearing or appeal stop an order from being enforced?

  • Filing an appeal acts as a stay of enforcement of an order. However, if a party applies, the Tribunal may order that the enforcement process be resumed.
  • Filing an application for rehearing does not act as a stay of enforcement. You can obtain a separate stay of proceedings form from your local District Court.

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