Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dismissal Of Compulsory Couterclaim Not Appealable Until Original Action Finally Disposed

In The Haven Center, Inc. v. Meruelo (3D09-407), the Third District reversed an appeal of an order granting summary judgment of compulsory counterclaims that included the words of finality because the appellee's original and related action remained pending.  The summary judgment was not reversed and the decision was without prejudice to appeal the granting of the summary judgment after the adjudication of the counterclaims. The court stated:
The adjudication of compulsory counterclaims such as these is “not appealable until a final disposition of the original cause has obtained on the merits.”...Meruelo nevertheless encouraged the trial court to add the words of finality, that Haven Center “take nothing on its counterclaim and go hence without day,” over Haven Center’s objection. We reverse the judgment because it is not, in fact, a final judgment, but we do so without prejudice to the right of the parties to appeal when both the claims and the counterclaims have been fully adjudicated.


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