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Appeal against civil or criminal judgement

Verified 01 January 2022 - Directorate of Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister), Ministry of Justice

It is possible to retry a case for which a first decision has been made. The case is then reviewed and retried by the Court of Appeal. All parties involved in the trial (plaintiff, defendant, prosecutor...) may appeal. The call must be made within certain time limits.

Civil judgement

All parties to the trial have the opportunity to appeal, applicant as defendant. This right may be exercised by a single party or by all parties.

In matters of pardons (i.e. cases where there is no opponent, such as an adoption), this right belongs to the person concerned by the decision. But it can also be exercised by the people to whom the judgement was passed notified.

An appeal is possible when the decision specifies that it is made in first spring. The call is not possible when it indicates that it is made in first and last spring. The only possible remedy is then appeal.


the magistrates examining the cassation appeal do not retry the case. They verify that the law and procedure have been applied.

Only a decision having decided the merits, i.e. having decided the dispute or certain points of the dispute, may be appealed.

The time limit to appeal is1 month for civil judgments.

However, this time limit is reduced for some decisions.

It is 15 days in the following situations:

  • In matters of grace (adoption, change of matrimonial regime, tutels for example...)
  • Referral Orders or in the form of references
  • Interim measures orders divorce
  • Orders of the restoration or judgments during the restoration
  • Decisions enforcement judge
  • Rejection orders query

There is a 10-day period for reorganisation or liquidation.

The appeal period shall be increased by 1 month for the part which remains in overseas while the decision was made in mainland France. The same applies to decisions taken overseas for the person residing in the metropolitan area.

The appeal period is increased by 2 months for the person remaining in the foreigner.

Call time starts from meaning of the decision by a bailiff, notification by transplant or upon delivery of the decision at a public hearing.

Even if the judgement has not been served, a party who attended the hearing cannot appeal more than 2 years after the judgement has been delivered.


if you want legal aid (AJ) to appeal, you must file this application during the appeal period. AJ's request interrupts the time limit for an appeal, i.e. a new appeal period starts from the decision of the AJ's office.

The decision of the first judge shall be enforceable even if a party appeals, unless the judge decides otherwise and gives reasons. This means you can enforce judgement even disputed you appeal (for example, the payment of damages, the return of an object).


it is possible to request referenced the first president of the court of appeal to stop provisional execution.

The case is completely retried by the Court of Appeal.

A new application cannot be submitted to the Court of Appeal unless it is the consequence or complement of the original application.

Example :

If the judgement is made on the wall next to your neighbour, you cannot ask the court to rule on his hedge.

Representation by lawyer is required.

However, there are exceptions for the following procedures:

  • Protection of adults (guardianship, curatorship, family authorisation...)
  • Contentious prud'homal (representation may be provided by a union advocate)
  • Overindebtedness
  • Placement of a child by the child judge
  • Parental authority (partial or total delegation and withdrawal)
  • Case of the Joint Rural Lease Court
  • Social pole case (social security, disability, etc.)

General case

A lawyer is required to appeal. He is the one who takes the steps.

The statement shall be made at the Registry of the Court of Appeal, together with a copy of the contested decision.

Who shall I contact


remedies and approaches are always indicated in the meaning by bailiff or notification by transplant.

If your resources are insufficient, you can benefit legal aid to cover all or part of these costs.

Tuttle and protection of major

You must complete form cerfa n°15774.

Declaration of Civil Appeal (without representation)

The statement must be made at the Registry of the Protection Dispute Judge.

Who shall I contact


remedies and approaches are always indicated in the meaning by bailiff or notification by transplant.

The use of a lawyer is not mandatory

You must complete form cerfa n°15774.

Declaration of Civil Appeal (without representation)

The statement must be made at the Registry of the Court of Appeal. The relevant court of appeal may not be in the same city as the court that issued the original judgement.

Who shall I contact

Example :

For a judgement given in Lille, the Court of Appeal of Douai is competent.


remedies and approaches are always indicated in the meaning by bailiff or notification by transplant.

All parties to an appeal procedure must pay a tax stamp in the amount of €225 where the use of a lawyer is compulsory. Beneficiaries of legal aid are exempt from this stamp.

This electronic tax stamp is purchased online or at tobacco offices equipped to sell it.

If you wish to challenge the appeal decision, you must file a appeal.

The appeal does not prevent the execution of the decision.

Who shall I contact

In case of an abusive appeal (for example, only to delay the execution of the judgement), you may be fined up to €10 000 and to pay damages.

Criminal judgement

All decisions of criminal courts may be appealed:

  • Correctional Tribunal
  • Court of Assisi
  • Investigating judge
  • Judge of enforcement

The appeal may relate to all or part of the decision.


if the decision was made by default (the warned is not present and has not been informed of the summons), the remedy is opposition, the case will then be retried by the court that issued the decision.

Call time is 10 days. It is 1 month if the person resides outside Metropolitan France.

The deadline shall run from the date of the decision at the hearing.

If the parties were not present or represented by a lawyer, the period shall run from meaning or notification of the decision.


if one of the parties appeals, the others have an additional 5 days to appeal.

The execution of the judgement shall be suspended: the penalty is not implemented. If the appeal also concerns civil interests, they cannot be recovered, that is, they cannot be paid for.

The case is retried by the Court of Appeal.

If the person is detained, detention may be continued by the judge. He has to justify his decision.

But it is possible that detention could be in a penal institution, if it offers better conditions of detention than a detention centre.

A lawyer is not required to appeal.

All parties may appeal:

  • Warned or accused if the decision is a judgement of the court of assises
  • Civil
  • Counsel for the parties
  • Civilian responsibility (e.g. the parents of a convicted minor child)
  • Public Prosecutor

The appeal shall be lodged by declaration at the registry of the court which issued the decision (at the registry of the judgement house if the person is detained).

Who shall I contact


the civil party can only appeal against civil interests. That is, it can contest the amount of compensation obtained, but not the penalty imposed on the perpetrator or the relief.

The procedure is free. However, the convicted person will have to pay a fixed procedural fee (€169).


it is possible to ask legal aid to appeal and be assisted by counsel at the appeal court hearings.

The decision of the Court of Appeal may be challenged by appeal.

The judges of the Court of Cassation do not retry the case, but check that the law has been applied. They can confirm the decision or order that it be retried.