Citizens Advice Bureau


Petty Debts Court - appeals

Extent: Jersey
September 1999
Updated 9 July 2015

Words you may need to know


An Appeal is when you take your case to a higher court after it has been decided in a lower court because you do not agree with the decision made by the lower court.


The Appellant is the name given to someone who takes an appeal.


The Magistrate is the judge in the Petty Debts Court


Trial by jury is when a case is heard before a judge assisted by a panel of men and women. In Jersey a jury has 12 members .

If you do not agree with a judgement in the Petty Debts Court, you might be able to appeal against it.

The Loi (1902) sur la Cour pour le recouvrement de menues dettes (appels)' is the law that sets out   the procedure for making an appeal and when it applies.

The law only gives the right to apply for an appeal on a point of law and then only with the Magistrate’s consent. However, if the appeal application is refused the person can apply to the Royal Court for permission to appeal.


A question of law (or ‘ point of law’) is a question which can only be answered by applying relevant legal principles.  This is different from a question of fact, which is based on facts and evidence. You  can draw conclusions or learn from those facts. You cannot appeal against a question of fact.


To show the difference between a point of law and a point of fact the following example, which has been simplified, has been taken from a well- known resource.

     Question of fact: Did Mr. and Mrs. Jones leave their 10 year-old child home alone with their baby for 4 days?

     Question of law: Does leaving a baby with a 10-year old child for 4 days fit the legal definition of child neglect?


In the Royal Court questions of fact are usually tried and decided upon by a jury, questions of law are always resolved by a judge, or someone similar. Findings of fact will almost never be overturned by a higher court but decisions based on questions of law are often reconsidered on appeal and a different decision made.


Note: There is no appeal procedure for eviction hearings in the Petty Debts Court although the Court can arrange for a stay of the eviction.