Section 79B of the Civil Procedure Rules – The court has power to summarily reject an Appeal. The Court has the opportunity in the first instance to peruse the record of appeal and if they find there are no sufficient ground for interfering with the decree, the court may reject the Appeal. If the court does not reject the Appeal, then it proceeds to hearing. The fact that the court has admitted your appeal does not mean you cannot get a default judgment so if you do not appear, the court can dismiss the Appeal for default, it can also allow the Appeal for default. So just like a hearing, you are required to appear at the hearing but unlike the High Court you do not have to appear for the Hearing in person. You may find that in a case where the appellant does not wish to appear but would like the Appeal to proceed in that case you will file a declaration in writing that you do not wish to be present in person or through an advocate. In such a case you must then file two copies of your sole arguments which you desire to submit, once you file the two copies one will be served on the respondent and the other is retained in the court file. The option is also available to the Respondent, they can file their response in writing.
Suppose the Appellant appears and the Respondent does not appear, there will be an ex parte decision. You can always apply to set aside an ex parte judgment but you must show sufficient cause for not appearing.
PROCEDURE AT THE HEARING OF AN APPEAL
The procedure is that the Appellant has the right to begin. After hearing the Appellant in support of the appeal, if the court finds that the Appeal has no substance it can dismiss the appeal without calling the Respondent. Additional of parties or amendments can be done in the Court of Appeal as well.
POWERS OF THE APPELLATE COURT
Upon hearing the Appeal the Appellate Court may exercise the following powers:
1. It can opt to determine the case finally;
2. Remand the case;
3. Frame issues and refer them for retrial;
4. Take additional evidence or require such evidence to be taken;
5. Order a new trial;
The court will take various options depending on the grounds raised in the Appeal. The Appeal Court will confine you to points.
1. To determine the case finally – this power is exercised by the court where the evidence on the record is sufficient to enable the Appellate Court to pronounce Judgment and to finally determine the case and this is the most common option of the court of appeal. It is where from the record they are able to understand the problem and determine the case. It is usually the case.
In certain cases the record of appeal may not be sufficient to enable the Court to pronounce Judgment or to enable it finally determine the Appeal. In which case they will opt to remand the case.