Can you appeal an order?

Depending on what kind of order you have, you may be able to appeal it.

Appeals are expensive and complicated. Appeal courts don't overturn the decisions of lower court easily. They can't change a decision just because they might have decided it differently. The lower court has to have made a mistake in the law or completely misunderstood the evidence. Speak to a lawyer before you file an appeal.

There are important time limits for appeals, from as little as 14 days for some interim orders to up to 30 days for others. You must get legal advice and file your appeal before the time limit expires. Don't wait until the last minute. There are strict legal rules about how the days are counted for these time limits.

Important: Appealing an order is very different from changing an order. You appeal an order (to a higher court) when you think the judge has made a mistake about the facts or the law. You have a short period of time in which to bring an appeal. You can apply to change an order anytime (and you go back to the same court where you got your original order). Usually, you change an order because the circumstances have changed. For more information, see our fact sheet When can you change a final order?

If you have a final order

To appeal a final order from Provincial Court, apply to the BC Supreme Court.

To appeal a final order from BC Supreme Court, apply to the BC Court of Appeal.

If you have an interim order

If you have an interim order from Provincial Court, you can't appeal it. But in some cases, you might be able to get a judicial review, which is like an appeal. (For more information, see the Justice Education Society booklet Judicial Review.)

If a Supreme Court master made your interim order, you can appeal it to a Supreme Court judge.

If a Supreme Court judge made your interim order, you can appeal it to the BC Court of Appeal.

If your order was made under the Family Law Act, you can appeal it only if the Court of Appeal gives you permission. This is called getting "leave to appeal."

If you have an order under the Divorce Act, you can appeal it directly to the Court of Appeal.

See Who can help? for more information about how to get legal help with your appeal.

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