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Could anyone please explain to me my options. I am appealing against a possession order from a District Judge to a Circuit Judge. I have a hearing for permission to appeal in two weeks time. I am worried if permission is denied, can I appeal to the next level above, Appellate Court or Supreme Court? My case is in public interest, the Judgement was biased to Local Authority. Despite that I am a litigant in person and a secure tenant, my recent research in Possession claims confirmed to me that Judgement was obviously wrong and unfair.

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You need to look at rule 52 of the Civil Procedure Rules. This says that appeals from a County Court lie to the High Court (probably the Chancery Division in this case), and that permission to appeal can be granted either in the County Court or the High Court. It also says (52.1(4)) that permission to appeal is usually decided without a hearing (on paper), but that the appellant may apply for a reconsideration at an oral hearing; it would be sensible to check exactly what the Circuit Judge will be doing.

It appears that you are not distinguishing properly between the appeal and the application for permission. If your appeal is dismissed by the High Court, it may be possible (if you get permission) to go to the Court of Appeal; but it's premature to worry about that now, since if permission is refused, there will be no appeal, and the Court of Appeal could not consider the case even if it wanted to.

The Circuit Judge will not determine the merits; his job is solely to determine whether there is a "compelling reason" (52.6(1)) for the appeal to be heard. This usually means that the judgment arguably made an identifiable error of fact or law, which the High Court needs to decide on. There is no point saying that the judgment was biased or unfair; you need to say exactly what error you think should be corrected.

When the Circuit Judge has heard all the arguments, he will give his decision. If permission is granted, you will need to file an appellant's notice in the High Court, and contact the Chancery Listing office; I imagine the County Court staff will be able to help with the details. If it is refused, the order will say (52.3(3)) whether a further application for permission may be made, and to whom. If he is acting in the High Court (this will be set out in the heading of the order you receive), there is nothing further to be done: the Court to which the appeal would lie has refused to hear it. If he is acting as a County Court judge, you may have the right to apply to the High Court to reconsider the decision (52.3(2)(b)); but you should definitely consult a solicitor before doing so, no matter how strongly you feel. This is not just another roll of the dice which may be lucky. There will be considerable costs: there are time limits that have to be observed: you have to draw up an appellant's notice: and in the end the High Court Judge will merely consider, on paper, whether a colleague on circuit made a decision that was obviously wrong, which is statistically unlikely.

  • my appeal to County Court forwarded to a Circuit judge in RCJ. the Judge ordered a transcript, to serve Appeal bundle and an oral hearing for permission. not received a transcript yet as an ongoing issue of judgement with tapes and further approval for editing. my argument on a number of legal points that were addressed in previous appeals that were not considered in my case and showed why the decision is not consistent with Rent Act 1977 and Act 1985 for parting with possession. my evidence in living my property were not considered including Facebook photos and neighbours witness statements. – kensington Oct 21 '18 at 7:24
  • The Circuit judge decided to invite me for an oral hearing for permission when he considered my request on the appeal papers. Is this good sign that he did not refuse it straight away.? – kensington Oct 21 '18 at 7:28
  • I did not asked for permission to appeal when District judge delivered her decision. I made an appeal by completing the Appeal Application within 21 days, which include application for permission and stay execution. – kensington Oct 21 '18 at 7:33
  • That's a bit clearer, and could usefully have gone in the question. If he directed an oral hearing it means your case is not hopeless, but equally it's not self-evident. The transcript of the judgment will be the most important evidence; if you have not received it two weeks before the hearing you should consider asking for an adjournment (and should definitely chase the transcribers, saying that a High Court Judge needs this transcript). I can also say that the answer to your actual question is: If the Judge refuses permission to appeal, there are no further steps you can take. – Tim Lymington supports Monica Oct 21 '18 at 8:40
  • much appreciated. I provided my skeleton argument but since then I read many case laws which gave further legal points to argue. I am planning to add this in a document as "additional info to Skeleton Arg". can I just e-mail it to Court or add it the bundle or can this cause me any issues. if I attend the permission hearing without Skeleton and explain the issue, is that can go against me. At this stage, do I need to serve the respondent with Appeal bundle for permission or after being granted. cheers – kensington Oct 21 '18 at 8:52

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