Pending Motion For Rule Renders Divorce Judgment Non-Appealable

The Carillos had a particularly difficult divorce case. Nine days before a judgment was entered, Carlos filed a motion for a rule to show cause why Anna should not be held in contempt of court. The judgment resolved all issues concerning custody and distribution of marital assets.

The motion for a rule was not resolved until five months later, when the court denied it. Carlos appealed within 30 days of the order on the rule, asking for review of the judgment. Anna moved to dismiss the appeal of the judgment. She argued that the pending motion for a rule did not change Carlos’s obligation to appeal the judgment within 30 days of the time it was entered. Because Carlos waited for the court to rule on the pending motion for a rule, Anna maintained, the appellate court did not have jurisdiction to rule on the appeal of the judgment.

The First District Appellate Court ruled that it did have jurisdiction to consider the judgment. “Because the order of January 18 [the judgment] lacked language making it immediately appealable, it did not become appealable until the court entered its July 11 order denying the motion for a rule to show cause.”

The case, IRMO Carrillo, No. 1-06-2274 (4/13/07), is available by clicking here.