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December 5, 2012

Appellate Jurisdiction

Under the Courts of Justice Act, appeals relating to amounts greater than $50,000 must be made to the Court of Appeal.  Appeals of judgments relating to amounts under $50,000 are to the Divisional Court.  Where only a portion of a judgment is appealed, does the jurisdiction change?

In Grammatico v. Chambers, 2012 ONSC 6518 (Div. Ct.), the parties disagreed on whether the proper court to hear an appeal was the Divisional Court or the Court of Appeal.  The substantive judgment involved sums greater than $50,000, the threshold imposed by s. 19(1.2) of the Courts of Justice Act for appeals to the Court of Appeal. The defendant argued that it sought to appeal an interest component relating to costs, rather than the substantive judgment.  Since the amount would be less than $50,000 the defendant's position was that the appeal was to the Divisional Court.

Justice Eberhard held that the appeal was to the Court of Appeal.  The jurisdiction for appeal must be determined by the aggregate of the sums awarded.  The fact that only one part of the decision was under appeal did not determine jurisdiction.

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