District Court of Western Australia

Magistrate Court General Appeals

A decision of a Magistrate in the civil jurisdiction of the Magistrates Court may be the subject of an appeal to the District Court. An appeal may be commenced both in relation to the final judgment of the Magistrate and any order made by the Magistrate in the course of the proceedings An appeal may be made to the District Court in relation to a minor case, however the Court only has limited grounds on which it may review a decision of this kind.

A decision of a Magistrate in a minor case, subject to conditions, may be appealed to the Court of Appeal.

A decision under the Residential Tenancies Act (1987) may be reviewed by a Supreme Court Justice under Section 36 of the Magistrates Court Act (2004) and in accordance with Order 56A of the Rules of the Supreme Court (1971).

An Appeal against the decision of a Magistrate in civil proceedings must be commenced within 21 days of that decision.

The appeal involves a rehearing of the original case on the material and evidence that were before the Magistrate. The Judge may allow further evidence to be filed, but only in exceptional circumstances and with the leave of the Court. It is necessary for the appellant to show some error by the Magistrate. However, once an error is established, the Judge can make any order that the Magistrate could have made.

There will be an initial directions hearing before a Registrar of the District Court. Should the Appeal not be dismissed by the Registrar and when it is ready for the final hearing, it will be listed before a Judge.

It will be the Judge's role to decide the application afresh based on all the evidence presented to the Magistrate, and any other evidence or information the Judge may decide to receive.

An appeal is commenced by the appellant filing a serving an appeal notice. The relevant forms are set out at the end of this webpage. The Court has produced a Procedure Guide to assist parties to an appeal.

If you do appeal after 21 days, you must apply to the court to seek leave to appeal out of time by circling yes for “Is an Extension of Time Required?” on the Form 6 and file and serve an affidavit in support. The affidavit should be filed with the appeal papers.

There is a filing/hearing fee for an individual or corporate entity to commence the appeal, these fees are set out in the District Court's Fee Chart - Item 5.

The law governing appeals from Magistrates Court decisions to the District Court is found in Magistrates Court (Civil Proceedings) Act 2004 (WA) Part 7 and District Court Rules 2005 (WA) Part 6.

Last updated: 1-Sep-2023

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