Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Final Order

On Thursday of last week, the Mississippi Supreme Court decided Wigington v. McCalop located here.  Two doctors were divorced.  Three years later the ex-husband asked the court to reopen the case on the grounds the settlement agreement was procedurally and substantively unconscionable. The chancellor  declined to set aside the divorce settlement agreement but  established a procedure by which Chad and the couple’s minor child, L.P., might be reunited and begin a father-child relationship. Chad appealed and  Laura cross-appealed.  The Court dismisses the appeal. “Because the chancellor retained jurisdiction to supervise the reunification process and to revisit the case in six months for further review, the order and opinion did not constitute a final, appealable judgment. Therefore it is, not appropriate for consideration on direct appeal. Accordingly, we dismiss and remand.”

This case illustrates that if anything is left open, the judgment is not a final appealable order.  These kind of cases are having me to consider to put Rule 54 certifications in every order presented that I believe to be a final order. 

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