Civil appeals are broken down into two categories: appeals of a final order, and appeals of a nonfinal order. Final orders “end all judicial labor in a case.” In other words, these are the orders that come at the end of cases, and most appeals are in fact taken of final orders.
Non-final orders are orders that a trial judge enters in the middle of an ongoing case. Depending on the type of order, it may be possible to put a halt to the proceedings and file an appeal. These nonfinal appeals are limited by Fla. R. App. P. 9.130, which allows for a nonfinal appeal to be taken in certain situations. The Rule reads:
Appeals to the district courts of appeal of nonfinal orders are limited to those that:
- Concern venue;
- Grant, continue, modify, deny, or dissolve injunctions, or refuse or dissolve injunctions;
- The jurisdiction of the person;
- The right to immediate possession of property, including but not limited to orders that grant, modify, dissolve, or refuse to grant, modify, or dissolve writs of replevin, garnishment, or attachment;
- In family law matters:
- The right to immediate monetary relief;
- The rights or obligations of a party regarding child custody or time-sharing under a parenting plan; or
- That a marital agreement is invalid in its entirety;
- The entitlement of a party to arbitration, or to an appraisal under an insurance policy;
- That, as a matter of law, a party is not entitled to workers’ compensation immunity;
- Whether to certify a class;
- That, as a matter of law, a party is not entitled to absolute or qualified immunity in a civil rights claim arising under federal law;
- That a governmental entity has taken action that has inordinately burdened real property within the meaning of section 70.001 (6)(a), Florida Statutes;
- The issue of forum non conveniens;
- That, as a matter of law, a party is not entitled to immunity under section 768.28, Florida Statutes;
- That, as a matter of law, a party is not entitled to sovereign immunity; or
- That, as a matter of law, a settlement agreement is unenforceable, is set aside, or never existed.
- Grant or deny the appointment of a receiver, or terminate or refuse to terminate a receivership; or
- Grant or deny a motion to disqualify counsel.
One of the most common nonfinal orders that occur in a trial case are orders dealing with discovery. While discovery orders are not included in the above list, these orders have been successfully appealed using a writ of certiorari. In these limited situations, the reviewing court will hear an appeal of a non-final order where it appears that there will be no full, adequate and complete remedy by appeal after final judgment. The timeline to file a writ of certiorari is the same for filing a traditional appeal, with one important difference. Petitions asking for a writ are to be filed with argument section and supporting record within thirty days, as opposed to a traditional appeal, where only the short, one-page notice of appeal is to be filed within thirty days. Regardless, it is extremely important to contact an appellate attorney as soon as you receive the ruling you wish to appeal.
If you are looking to appeal a final or non-final order, contact us to set up a consultation with one of our attorneys, (727)954-3720.
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