Bringing an appeal against a judgment
If you do not agree with a decision (order or judgment) of the subdistrict court or the district court in your case, you (as appellant) can bring an appeal in most cases. On appeal, the substance of a case will be reviewed by a judge of the court of appeal. An appeal can only be brought with the assistance of a lawyer and if the case involves a financial interest of more than € 1,750.
How to bring an appeal
An appeal in summons proceedings is brought by serving a notice of appeal on the other party (the respondent) and sending this notice to the court of appeal. An appeal in petition proceedings is brought by sending an appeal application to the court of appeal. The period within which an appeal can be brought is in principle three months and commences on the first day after the day of the judgment. A period of four weeks applies for a judgment in preliminary relief proceedings.
Notice of appeal and statement of appeal
In the notice of appeal, the court of appeal is asked to quash the judgment of the court, in full or in part. The appellant’s lawyer does not yet have to explain why the judgment is not accepted. The lawyer explains in a statement of appeal why the judgment of the court in the summons proceedings has to be quashed. In response, the lawyer of the respondent submits a statement of defence.
Five possibilities after the written round
There are five possibilities after the written round:
- the court of appeal invites both parties to a hearing to provide additional information;
- one of the lawyers asks the court of appeal for a hearing in which an oral explanation may be given (oral arguments);
- the court gives an interim judgment in which additional evidence is requested (e.g. the questioning of witnesses or experts);
- the court of appeal gives a preliminary opinion on the case and gives the parties the opportunity to reach a solution together (a settlement);
- the court of appeal gives a final judgment (final ruling) based on the written round.
Mediation, settlement or judgment
On appeal in petition proceedings the lawyer of the appellant has to explain at the time of submitting the appeal application why he does not agree with the judgment. In these proceedings, the respondent is not obliged to respond in writing; it is sufficient for the respondent to give an oral response during the hearing. During the hearing, the court of appeal investigates with both parties which solution method seems most appropriate in this situation: mediation, settlement, or a court decision.
(Partially) well-founded or unfounded appeal
If the parties have not agreed a settlement, the appeal proceedings end by a decision (order or ruling) of the court of appeal in which the appeal is declared well-founded or unfounded. If the appeal is declared well-founded, the judgment of the district court is quashed and the court of appeal gives a new ruling. If the appeal is declared partially well-founded, the judgment of the court of first instance is partly upheld. In case of a declaration that the appeal is unfounded, the judgment of the court of first instance is confirmed.
Order to pay the costs of the proceedings
In addition, the court of appeal may rule that the party that is found against will have to pay all or part of the costs of the proceedings that were incurred by the other party. Often the final ruling takes a long time, so keep this in mind.
If you do not agree with the final ruling, there is the option to bring an appeal to the Dutch Supreme Court.