The appeal to the High Court is only when a party is dissatisfied with a decision of a Tribunal Magistrate after a hearing, and the grounds (reasons) can only be based on a question of law or that the claim was outside of the jurisdiction of the Small Claims Tribunals.
If there is a discontinuance or transfer order by the Tribunal Magistrate, made respectively under section 5(5) and section 7 of the Small Claims Tribunals Act (Cap 308) (the Act), this is not appealable under section 38(1) of the Act which provides as follows:
Section 38. — (1) Any party to proceedings before a tribunal may appeal to the High Court against an order made by the tribunal under section 35(1) —
(a) on any ground involving a question of law; or
(b) on the ground that the claim was outside the jurisdiction of the tribunal
Before an appeal to the High Court, the leave (permission) from the District Judge must be obtained. This application for leave (permission) has to be filed within 14 days from the date of the Order by the Tribunal Magistrate.
If leave (permission) is obtained from the District Judge, the "Notice of Appeal" and other related document(s) must be filed within one month from the date of the Order of the District Judge granting leave (permission) to appeal. The stamp fees payable together with the security of cost will also have to be paid before the Appeal to the High Court will be deemed filed.
Stay of Execution
The provisions of the Act and the Rules are reproduced as follows::
Appeal does not operate as a stay of execution
Section 42. — (1) An appeal against an order made by a tribunal under section 35 (called in this section a tribunal's section 35 order) does not operate as a stay of execution of that order, unless the tribunal, a District Court or the High Court orders otherwise.
(2) A stay of execution of a tribunal's section 35 order is subject to such conditions as the tribunal, a District Court or the High Court (as the case may be) thinks fit to impose, including conditions as to costs, payment into the tribunal, District Court or High Court (as the case may be) or the giving of security.
(3) The High Court may order a stay of execution of a tribunal's section 35 order only if — (a) a District Court has given leave under section 38(1A) to appeal against the tribunal's section 35 order; and (b) no application was made to the tribunal or any District Court for a stay of execution of the tribunal's section 35 order.
(4) Any order made under this section on an application for a stay of execution of a tribunal's section 35 order is final and is not subject to an appeal.
Stay of execution pending appeal
Rule 28A. An application for the stay of a tribunal's order pending appeal under section 42 of the Act must be filed in the appropriate Form.
Legal advice/ legal representation
No officer of the State Courts or the Small Claims Tribunals can give legal advice as regards any query concerning your legal option or legal position.
If you are uncertain as to your legal option or legal position, you should seek legal advice before filing an appeal. In particular, companies must be represented by a lawyer at the hearing of an appeal at the High Court.
Though parties need not engage legal representation for their application for leave (permission) from District Judge to appeal to the High Court, they are at liberty to do so.