is the tribunal's decision final?
Church law requires an automatic appeal of affirmative decisions.
If the decision is affirmative (i.e. the marriage is, in fact, proved to be invalid), it has no effect until a second affirmative decision is issued. The ordinary Appellate Tribunal for the Archdiocese of Hartford is the Diocesan Tribunal of Providence, Rhode Island. Affirmative decisions are automatically forwarded to this Tribunal for review unless one of the parties or the Defender of the Bond lodges a formal appeal. A formal appeal may be brought before either the Diocesan Tribunal of Providence or the Roman Rota at the Vatican directly. Such formal appeals may involve additional fees. A formal appeal must be made in writing within three weeks of notification of the first decision. When the work of the Appellate Tribunal is completed, the parties will be notified of the final decision by the Metropolitan Tribunal.
If the first decision is negative (i.e. the marriage is not provided invalid), either the Petition or Respondent may appeal the decision either to the Diocesan Tribunal in Providence or to the Roman Rota. Should the Court of Appeals reverse a decision in a given case, the Court of Third Instance would be the Roman Rota at the Vatican.