January 7, 2014
LR RANCH CO., Plaintiff and Appellant,
WILLIAM MURNION, Defendant and Appellee.
Defendant and Appellee William Murnion has moved to dismiss this appeal on grounds that the notice of appeal was prematurely filed, because the District Court has not yet entered a final judgment—the amount of attorney fees awarded has yet to be determined. Appellant LR Ranch Co. has filed written objections to the motion to dismiss the appeal, in which it points out that Murnion has filed a Notice of Entry of Judgment in the District Court. LR Ranch states it filed its notice of appeal out of concern that it might lose its right to appeal if it failed to do so when it did.
Pursuant to M. R. App. P. 4(1), a notice of appeal may be filed following "a final judgment [that] conclusively determines the rights of the parties and settles all claims in controversy in an action or proceeding, including any necessary determination of the amount of costs and attorney fees awarded, " (Emphasis added.) Moreover, "[a]n appeal from a judgment draws into question all previous orders and ruling excepted or objected to which let up to and resulted in the judgment." M. R. App. P. 4(4)(a).
We conclude that the motion to dismiss this appeal as premature is well-taken. Therefore,
IT IS ORDERED that the motion to dismiss this appeal is GRANTED, without prejudice to the filing of an appeal after final judgment has been entered by the District Court.
The Clerk is directed to provide copies of this order to all counsel of record.