Can You Appeal a Judgement or Order from a Master?
If you are not successful with an application in front of a Master, you may choose to file an Appeal. An Appeal of a Master’s decision is then reviewed by a Justice at the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench and may be reversed or changed.
Standard of Review
An Appeal of a Master’s Judgment or Order is commonly described as an Appeal de novo. Meaning “anew,” or starting over. For example, the decision by the Master may be appealed to a Justice, which may hear the application again. However, the Court has clarified the standard of review of a Master’s decision is that of correctness, although, the threshold to admit new evidence is low.
Further clarification is provided under Rule 6.14(3) of the Alberta Rules of Court, Alta Reg 124/2010, which provides an Appeal of a Master’s decision is “on the record” but expressly provides for “additional evidence”:
6.14(3) An appeal from a master’s judgment or order is an appeal on the record of proceedings before the master and may also be based on additional evidence that is, in the opinion of the judge hearing the appeal, relevant and material.
The record of proceedings consists of:
- the application before the Master,
- affidavits and other evidence filed by the parties respecting the application before the Master,
- any transcript of proceedings before the Master, which must be ordered and paid for by the appellant, unless the Court determines, or the parties agree, that transcripts are not needed, and
- the Master’s Judgment or Order and any written reasons given for the decision.
There are important timelines to keep in mind when you are considering to Appeal a Master’s decision. A Notice of Appeal must be filed and served on the respondent to the Appeal within 10 days after the Master’s Judgment or Order is entered. Once the Notice of Appeal has been filed and served, the appellant must file and serve within one month,
- any transcript of proceedings,
- any additional evidence, and
- any further written argument.
When considering whether you should Appeal a Master’s Order or Judgement it is important to seek legal advice, so you know the likelihood of success, and don’t miss any applicable deadlines. Please contact our office to speak with a lawyer.