In the Netherlands, if you object to a judgment (court order or ruling) rendered by a subdistrict court or district court, you (as the appellant) can in most cases lodge an appeal against that judgment. The case is then re-assessed by a judge of the court of appeal during the appeal proceedings. An appeal can only be lodged by a lawyer and if the financial interest involved in the case exceeds € 1,750.-.
In summons proceedings, an appeal is lodged by serving a notice of appeal on the counterparty (the respondent) and submitting that notice to the court of appeal. In application proceedings, an appeal is lodged by submitting an appeal application to the court of appeal. The term within which an appeal can be lodged is in principle 3 months, commencing as from the first day after the judgment date. The term for lodging an appeal against a judgment in interlocutory proceedings is four weeks.
In the notice of appeal, the court of appeal is requested to (partially) reverse the judgment of the court by whom that judgment was delivered. The lawyer of the appellant is not yet under any obligation to explain why the judgment is being disputed. The lawyer is required to explain in a statement of appeal why the court’s judgment should be reversed in the summons proceedings. The respondent’s lawyer is then required to respond to that statement of appeal in a statement of reply.
There are five options to choose from after the written round:
During an appeal in application proceedings, the appellant’s lawyer is already required to explain why he disputes the judgment when he submits the appeal application. In such proceedings, the respondent is under no obligation to respond in writing. It is sufficient for him to provide a verbal response at the hearing. During the hearing, the court of appeal, together with both parties, assesses which means of reaching a solution best fits the situation: mediation, settlement or judgment rendered by the court.
In the Netherlands, appeal proceedings end when the Dutch court of appeal delivers judgment (court order or ruling) if the parties are unable to reach a settlement, in which the appeal is either granted or rejected. If the appeal is granted, the judgment of the court is reversed and new judgment is delivered by the court of appeal. If the appeal is partially granted, the judgment of the court is reversed and new judgment is delivered by the court of appeal. If an appeal is rejected, the judgment of the court of the first instance is confirmed.
The court of appeal may furthermore rule that the unsuccessful party has to (partially) pay the costs of the proceedings incurred by the other party. It often takes a long time before the final judgment is delivered, so take this into consideration.
In the Netherlands, you have the possibility to appeal to the Supreme Court if you disagree with the final judgment.