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, also the other party may 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 notice 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 instructions for appeal 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 A counter-appeal will lapse if the actual appeal is withdrawn, lapses or is ruled inadmissible or if the appellant is not granted leave for continued consideration. However, the counter-appeal will not lapse if the appeal is withdrawn only during the main hearing.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). The response must indicate
- case management data, such as the names of the parties and the record number of the case
- declaration as to whether the respondent accepts or contests the appellant's claims
- comments on the grounds for the appellant’s claims and a statement of the circumstances which the respondent wishes to refer to
- the evidence presented by the respondent and the facts that are to be proven by means of the evidence.
When requesting the response, the court of appeal also serves the respondent with the appeal and the related documents.
A court of appeal may adjudicate cases 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 presence of the parties. If an oral preparatory hearing or main hearing is held in the case, the court of appeal summons the respondent to appear in such hearing. The summons also indicates the consequences of failure to appear. The respondent is summoned to the main hearing under the threat of a fine, if his or her presence is necessary for hearing the case. If the respondent, 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 is summoned under threat that if he or she is absent, the case may be decided despite the absence.
A party may be summoned to a main hearing by way of a process server, by letter or by phone.