Where no appeal was taken from a final order dismissing third parties, court lost jurisdiction and later order adding them void


Wife believed Husband transferred marital property to his sons to deprive her of the marital estate. Wife filed an amended Petition in an attempt to join the sons and business to the dissolution action. The sons and the business moved to be dismissed. The trial court dismissed and state it was “final and appealable with no just cause for delay.” Wife filed a motion to alter, amend, or vacate, which was denied.

Later, Wife filed a motion to add the sons and business as indispensable parties. The trial court, over objections, added them as parties, but ultimately granted summary judgment. Wife appealed the Order granting summary judgement.

The Court of Appeals dismisses the appeal holding that “because the sons were dismissed with prejudice pursuant to a final and appealable order that was never appealed, the trial court was without subject matter jurisdiction to add the sons back to the litigation.” The court’s order dismissing the sons and business with prejudice was, “in effect, a judgment in their favor on the claims,” and as it was never appealed, the court lost jurisdiction with regard to Wife’s claims against them.

Digested by Elizabeth M. Howell

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