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Orange County Divorce Blog

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Appealable Orders

Not every order made in family law proceeding after a judgment is entered can be appealed. In addition, not every appeal should stay the family court proceedings. This was the subject of Elizabeth Wong v. Amy Ju Wong.

This was a dispute between two women who were married at different times to Wallace Loy Tim. Amy Ju Wong was divorced from Wallace in 1996 when a judgment was entered in the divorce. She filed a motion in their case after he passed away alleging that his estate owed her money. The second wife, Elizabeth Wong, was still married to Wallace when he passed away and became the person to represent his estate.

The family court issued several orders during the proceedings before a trial on the merits could be heard. The first wife appealed the orders, and the trial court stayed the prosecution of the case until the matter was heard by the appellate court. Two of the orders were injunctions, two were discovery related orders, and the fifth was an order for joinder. The first wife appealed all of the orders.

The appellate court dismissed the appeals in regards to discovery and joinder and allowed the appeals dealing with injunctions to proceed. The appellate court recognized that one of the difficulties of this case is that California Code of Civil Procedure section 904.1 states that an appeal may be taken from an order that is made after a judgment has been entered. In this case, a judgment had been entered. Nonetheless, the appellate court found that only the orders that related to injunctions are appealable. Even though the remaining orders are post judgment, they do not pass the three tests required to appeal a post judgment order: the first test is that the issue must be different from the issues decided in the judgment, the second test is that the order affects the judgment or relates to its enforcement, and the third test is that the order is not preliminary to a later judgment. In this case, the remaining issues on appeal were preliminary to a later judgment and were therefore not available for appeal. In addition, the appellate court stated that the case should not be stayed at the trial level to accommodate the appeal as is usually the case.

Caliifornia Civil Code of Procedure Section (a) states,

“An appeal, other than in a limited civil case, is to the court of appeal. An appeal, other than in a limited civil case, may be taken from any of the following: (1) From a judgment, except an interlocutory judgment, other than as provided in paragraphs (8), (9), and (11), or a judgment of contempt that is made final and conclusive by Section 1222. (2) From an order made after a judgment made appealable by paragraph (1).”

If you need legal advice and are looking for a family law lawyer in Orange County to address a procedural issues or any other divorce matter such as legal separation, annulment, custody, child support, spousal support and/or property division, please consider Treviño Law in your divorce attorney search. Trevino Law is located in Laguna Hills right off Lake Forest exit to both the 405 and 5 freeway.

Although the posting of this information can be considered free legal advice for a divorce in Orange County, it does not address other factors which may play a significant role in a particular dissolution. Circumstances in your divorce may alter the results in your dissolution.

Please note that this legal advice does not establish a family law attorney-client relationship. This is a legal advertisement for Treviño Law, Inc.