If a party wishes to appeal against a decision of a district court, the party must file a declaration of intent to appeal against it within seven days from the issue of the decision. The declaration of intent to appeal must be filed with the district court either orally or in writing.
After deciding the case, the district court provides the parties with written appeal instructions, and the instructions are also available in the registries of district courts. These written appeal instructions, appended to the decision of the district court, also indicate the court of appeal to which the appeal is to be addressed and the information to be given in the appeal document. The appeal must be filed within thirty days from the date on which the district court pronounced or issued its decision. An appeal not filed within the determined time limit is not taken up for consideration.
The appeal document must indicate:
1. the district court decision that is being appealed against
2. in which respects the decision of the district court is being appealed against
3. what amendments are requested in the decision of the district court
4. the grounds for the requested amendments and how, in the appellant’s opinion, the reasoning of the district court is erroneous
4a. the grounds for granting leave for continued consideration in a matter for which such leave is required and the reasons based on which the appellant considers that such grounds exist, if this is not otherwise apparent in the appeal document
5. the evidence to be invoked and what the appellant intends to prove with each piece of evidence, and
6. a possible request for holding a main hearing in the court of appeal.
In the court of appeal, the parties to a civil case must not refer to other circumstances or invoke other evidence than those presented in the district court, unless they prove that they had not been able to refer to the circumstance or evidence in the district court or that they had had a justifiable reason for not doing so.
When the appeal document arrives at the court of appeal, the court begins to prepare the appellate matter.
If the appeal document is defective, the court of appeal may request the appellant to provide supplementary information within a set period. An appeal will always be ruled inadmissible if the request for supplementary information is not observed and the appeal is so defective that it cannot serve as a basis for court proceedings.
As a rule, the court of appeal requests the party opposing the appellant to present a written response to the appeal. When requesting the response, the court serves the respondent on appeal with the appeal and the appended documents.
A court of appeal decides cases either in a written procedure or in a main hearing. In a written procedure, the court of appeal decides the case on the basis of written trial documents without the parties being present. If an oral preparatory hearing or a main hearing is held in the case, the court of appeal summons the appellant to appear at the court. The summons also indicates the consequences of failure to appear. The appellant is summoned to the main hearing under threat that otherwise the case will be discontinued for the parts to be heard in the main hearing and the decision of the district court will remain unchanged for the parts in question.
A party may also be ordered to appear in person in a main hearing under threat of a fine, if hearing the party is necessary for resolving the case. If the party, despite the threat of a fine, fails to appear, the court may order him or her to be brought to the hearing.
A summons to appear at a main hearing is served on the parties by a process server, by post or by phone.