Blos v. Blos

Rule 83 only applies to final Rule 78 judgments, not post-decree rulings, and doesn't extend the time to appeal

Does the filing of a Rule 83 motion extend the time to appeal a post-decree ruling?

Facts and Procedural History

This opinion involves two consolidated cases. In each case, the appellant filed a Rule 83 motion challenging a post-decree ruling. The Rule 83 motion was denied, and the appellant filed a notice of appeal more than 30 days after the original post-decree ruling was entered.

The question is whether the filing of the Rule 83 extended the time to appeal. If it did, then the appeal is timely. If not, the appeal is untimely.

Ruling

Confirming and expanding upon Yee v. Yee, the court dismissed both appeals and held that Rule 83 does not extend the time for appeal, and cannot be used to challenge a post-decree ruling.

Rule 83 specifically refers to a final judgment entered under Rule 78(b) or (c):

A motion under this rule must be filed not later than 25 days after the entry of judgment under Rule 78(b) or (c). This deadline may not be extended by stipulation or court order, except as allowed by Rule 4(b)(2).

A post-decree ruling is not a final judgment under Rule 78; rather, it is a “special order made after final judgment,” and does not require a certification of finality to be appealable. Rule 83 only applies to a certain subset of judgments–those entered under Rule 78(b) and (c). Post-decree rulings do not fall within that definition and therefore Rule 83 cannot be used to challenge them.

  • A final judgment is typically a consent decree or other initial judgment in a case. That judgment must include a certification of finality under Rule 78(b) or (c) to be appealable.
  • A final order in a post-decree case is not a final judgment, and does not require a certification of finality to be appealable. Instead, the question is whether the judgment fully resolves the petition.
  • Even if a post-decree order mistakenly includes Rule 78(b) or (c) language, it’s still a “special order made after final judgment” and Rule 83 doesn’t apply.
  • Rule 85 should still work for post-decree orders because Rule 85 doesn’t specifically reference Rule 78 judgments.

Blos v. Blos, 1 CA-CV 21-0639 FC, 2022 WL 969571 (App. Mar. 31, 2022).