How Parcel Partitions Can be Appealable

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on March 12, 2014

Who knows – maybe some owners end up changing their minds about the transfer of property. It does make sense from a practical standpoint given the close attachment some people have with their cars, homes or lands. The question is this: where do we draw the line?real estate

Specifically, in this case between Lambert and Teisina, the Trustee in the matter specified that the defendant actually owned an interest in a specific parcel of land, moving for a summary judgment in favor of the defendant for partition of that interest, including the remainder of the parcel. This meant the parcels of land would be sold at a public auction, releasing ownership from the defendants in the case.

Everything went smoothly from there with the parcels selling to the Trustee with a confirmation order in place. However…. The defendants actually appealed right then and there. They said ‘no.’ They changed their mind. Can they do that? This, of course, went to the Intermediate Court of Appeals (ICA) for deliberation, dismissing the defendant’s assertion out of of a lack of jurisdiction, actually, as to no final judgment being in place.

However, the Supreme Court dismissed that order from the ICA, remanding it back to the appellate court for immediate disposition. It makes perfect sense when you think about it, though – if there is no ‘final judgment’ in place as of yet, legally and technically, a party can ‘appeal’ it if necessary. This specifically, of course, addressed the apparent narrow and relaxed view of how a “finality rule” should be assessed in regards to the transfer of property.

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