In the U.S. Supreme Court's case, 'Monasky v. Taglieri', an opinion was rendered regarding how jurisdiction findings related to 'Habitual Residence' under the Hague Convention are determined.

Could parties who have lost previous cases appeal their cases given the new standard if the standards applied in their cases were in error?

If appeals can be made, or not, what doctrine/law clarifies this? What is the time window for such appeals?

3 Answers 3


The appellant would still be expected to file within the required time limits (30 days after the would-be appellant's judgment in the lower court). A judge of the court of appeal has the discretion to extend time, but this is subject to established criteria. For example, the criteria in British Columbia are (Morden v. Pasternak, 2022 BCCA 268; citing Davies v. C.I.B.C. (1987), 15 B.C.L.R. (2d) 256 (C.A.)):

  1. Was there a bona fide intention to appeal?

  2. When was the respondent informed of the intention?

  3. Would the respondent be unduly prejudiced by an extension of time? 

  4. Is there merit in the appeal?

  5. Is it in the interest of justice that an extension be granted?

If the highest court in the country had recently issued a decision clearly favouring the appellant, I predict this would weigh in favour of granting an extension of time under the "merit in the appeal" factor. However, that factor is not dispositive, and it will not excuse a long delay.

This might seem harsh, but there is an interest in finality and a concern about prejudice to the respondent. And if the appellant thought they had an argument on appeal, they could have appealed within the time limit to potentially challenge the precedent themself.


Generally speaking, a new precedent that would have been controlling in a case, can be applied until the decision in the other case is final and all direct appeals from the other case have been exhausted.

But, only rarely could a new precedent be used to reopen a civil case once all direct appeals are exhausted and the judgment in that case is final.

Most of the case law is in the area of criminal case appeals and collateral attacks on convictions in habeas corpus petitions.

The most likely situation for a collateral attack on a judgment to be successful due to a new precedent in a civil case would be one that implied that the court in which the final order was entered lacked jurisdiction over the case. But generally speaking, the circumstances under which a judgment can be collaterally attacked once it is final are very narrow.

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    I recall a past question about this on the site that addressed this issue perhaps in greater depth. Jan 17, 2023 at 13:16

In the United States, the ability to appeal a case after a higher court renders a favorable opinion depends on the specific circumstances of the case and the stage of the legal proceedings. Generally speaking, parties who have lost a case at the trial level may appeal the decision to a higher court, and if the higher court issues a favorable opinion, the case may be remanded back to the trial court for further proceedings. However, once a case has been fully resolved and all appeals have been exhausted, it is generally not possible to re-open the case based on a change in the law or a new legal standard.

In the case of Monasky v. Taglieri, if the parties who lost previous cases can demonstrate that the standards applied in their cases were in error and that the new standard established by the Supreme Court would have resulted in a different outcome, they may be able to appeal their cases. The specific process for doing so would depend on the state and federal court system involved, but generally it would require a motion for a new trial or a writ of habeas corpus.

The time window for such appeals is also determined by the jurisdiction and the court system involved. In most cases, parties have a limited time period in which to file an appeal, known as the statute of limitations. The time limits for filing an appeal can vary depending on the type of case and the court that heard the case.

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