As a respondent on appeal

If a party is content with the decision of a district court, there is no need for action on the party’s own initiative.

However, if the opposing party appeals against the decision of the district court, the other party may also decide to appeal against the decision even if he or she initially was content with it. This opportunity to appeal is called filing a counter-appeal. No declaration of intent to appeal is required for filing a counter-appeal.

A counter-appeal must be filed within two weeks after the end of the appellant’s appeal period. The appeal instructions accompanying the decision of the district court also include instructions for filing a counter-appeal. A counter-appeal will lapse if the actual appeal is withdrawn, lapses or is ruled inadmissible or if the appellant is not granted leave for continued consideration. However, the counter-appeal will not lapse if the appeal is withdrawn only during the main hearing.

When necessary, the court of appeal requests a response to the appeal from the opposing party (respondent on appeal). The response must indicate:

  • case identification data, such as the case number and the names of the parties
  • declaration as to whether the respondent accepts or contests the appellant's claims
  • the views of the respondent on appeal on the grounds for the appellant’s claims and a statement on the circumstances which the respondent wishes to invoke
  • evidence to be presented by the respondent on appeal and the facts that he or she wishes to prove with the evidence.

In the court of appeal, the parties to a civil case must not refer to other circumstances or 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 requesting the response, the court of appeal also serves the respondent on appeal with the appeal and the related 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 materials, without the parties being present. If an oral preparatory hearing or main hearing is held in the case, the court of appeal summons the respondent on appeal to appear at the court. The summons also indicates the consequences of failure to appear. The respondent on appeal is summoned to the main hearing under threat of a fine, if his or her presence is necessary for the consideration of the case. If the respondent on appeal, despite the threat of a fine, fails to appear, the court may order him or her to be brought to the hearing. In other cases, the respondent on appeal is summoned under threat that if he or she is absent, the case may be decided despite the absence.

A summons to appear at a main hearing is served on the parties by a process server, by post or by phone.

Published 1.8.2019