How to Process a Mental Disorder Appeal

This guide is intended to help you prepare your notice of appeal. Office staff cannot provide legal advice or complete your appeal on your behalf. For more information about appeals and procedures, please refer to the Criminal Appeal Rules.

Appeal by an Unrepresented Appellant (Part XX.I - Mental Disorder)

What is an appeal under Part XX.1 - Mental Disorder?

An appeal under Part XX.I - Mental Disorder involves a review of a decision (disposition) made by a court finding a person not criminally responsible on account of mental disorder, or a review of a placement decision by a Review Board.

Do I require a lawyer?

No, but you are automatically entitled to get a lawyer through Legal Aid Ontario if you apply for one in this type of case. If you choose to represent yourself, the court will appoint an amicus curiae ("friend of the court") to assist with your appeal. The amicus lawyer does not represent you or take instructions from you, but he or she but can make legal arguments on your behalf.

How do I begin an appeal?

If you wish to appeal your disposition, you must file a copy of a notice of appeal (Form E). The person in charge of the hospital will provide you with the required form. The patient advocate can help you fill it out. Once you've filled out the Form E, the person in charge of the hospital is responsible for sending it to the Court of Appeal.

What is the deadline to file the notice of appeal?

You must fill out and give your completed notice of appeal to the person in charge of the hospital within 15 days from the day you received a copy of the reasons for the disposition.

What if my time to file an appeal has expired?

Don't worry. If you give the person in charge the Form E after the 15-day period appeal period has passed, the court will treat your notice of appeal as a request to extend the time to appeal. If the notice of appeal is filed within 6 months of the reasons for disposition, your request to extend the time to appeal will automatically be granted. If the notice of appeal is filed more than 6 months after the reasons for disposition, the court will ask the Crown for submissions on whether or not to grant the extension of time.

It is best to file your notice of appeal as quickly as possible. That way, your appeal can be heard quickly, with maximum time before your next scheduled review at the ORB.

What will happen once the notice of appeal has been filed?

The Registrar of the Court of Appeal will send a copy of the notice of appeal to the Ontario Review Board, in order to request the original papers, and to the Ministry of the Attorney General (Crown Law-Criminal Division).

Am I required to file other documents?

No. The Ontario Review Board is responsible for sending the original papers and exhibits to the Court of Appeal office. The Ministry of the Attorney General (Crown Law Office-Criminal Division) will prepare the appeal book, provide you with a copy, and file 3 copies with the Court of Appeal. If you are represented by a lawyer, that lawyer will file a factum (written argument) on your behalf. If you choose to represent yourself, you can file a factum if you choose. If you choose to represent yourself, amicus curiae will file a factum for the court's benefit.

When will my appeal be heard?

The Ministry of the Attorney General (Crown Law - Criminal Division) will notify you in writing of the hearing date. The court aims to schedule appeals from ORB dispositions as quickly as possible after receiving the notice of appeal.

Who will make the arrangement for me to appear in court?

The Crown and the person in charge of the hospital will make the necessary arrangements. Please tell the person in charge if you require any accommodation (for example, an interpreter) well in advance of the hearing.

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