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Appealing against a judgment in a civil action

The judgment of a District Court in a civil action can be appealed in the Court of Appeal. The party that wishes to appeal must do so in writing within three weeks of the pronouncement of the judgment.

The final date for appeal is stated in the judgment. The appeal is sent to the District Court. The District Court sends the appeal and all the documents in the case to the Court of Appeal, which re-hears the case. The appeal procedure is given in more detail in the judgment.

The procedure in the Court of Appeal

In certain cases leave to appeal is required if the Court of Appeal is to hear the case. A legally trained person at the Court of Appeal examines the case and presents a verbal report to three judges. The judges then decide whether or not the District Court has adjudicated the case correctly. If, among other things, there is reason to believe that the Court of Appeal would arrive at a conclusion different to that of the District Court, the Court of Appeal will grant leave to appeal. The judgment states whether leave to appeal is required and, if so, the procedure.

When an appeal has been received by the Court of Appeal the court in most cases sends the appeal to the counterparty to give the counterparty the opportunity to respond to what is stated and to adduce evidence. The counterparty's views are then in most cases sent to the party that has lodged the appeal (the appellant).
In a civil action there are limitations on parties in the Court of Appeal adducing new circumstances or evidence. During the hearing in the Court of Appeal the Court of Appeal decides whether the parties have done so and whether or not it will be allowed.

Main hearing in the Court of Appeal

Many civil actions are decided in the Court of Appeal without a main hearing. The Court of Appeal decides if a hearing is required. If the case is decided without a main hearing, a legally trained person at the Court of Appeal presents the case to three or four judges. The judges also read through the documents belonging to the case. Based on the documents the judges decide on the outcome of the case.

Appeal to the Supreme Court

The Court of Appeal is in practice the highest instance in the majority of cases. The Supreme Court can examine cases which are appealed from one of the six Courts of Appeal in the country. Generally, leave to appeal is required if the Supreme Court is to examine a case. Leave to appeal is granted if the Supreme Court judgment or decision could provide guidance in how other similar cases are to be adjudicated ('precedent'). An assertion that the Court of Appeal has adjudicated the matter incorrectly is therefore not normally sufficient reason for leave to appeal to be granted.

What should I do to ensure compliance with the judgment?

You can apply to the district court for a decision in a case on custody, a child's residence or access to be implemented (called 'enforcement'). Read more under the menu 'Family/Parents and children'.

The enforcement officer can, for example, assist you to get the person who owes you money to pay. Read more under the menu 'Debts and payment'.

Senast ändrad: 2017-03-10

Where are the Courts of Appeal located?

There are six Courts of Appeal in Sweden:

  • Svea Court of Appeal in Stockholm 
  • Göta Court of Appeal in Jönköping 
  • Scania and Blekinge Court of Appeal in Malmö 
  • Court of Appeal for Western Sweden in Gothenburg 
  • Court of Appeal for Southern Norrland in Sundsvall 
  • Court of Appeal for Northern Norrland in Umeå

Each Court of Appeal has a geographical catchment area, a court circuit.

Read more about the courts of appeal.