A Matter of Judgment

In Arikawa v. Superior Court (Oct. 5, 2017, B283862) [nonpub opn.], we obtained a “peremptory writ of mandate,” issued only when the legal error is clear, and there is no need for further briefing and argument.  The trial court had granted a summary judgment motion, but only actually signed the order granting summary judgment, never an actual “judgment.”  At our suggestion trial counsel requested the court sign the judgment so an appeal could proceed, but the trial court declined, essentially ruling the order granting summary judgment was “good enough” and for all practical purposes a “judgment.”

The Court of Appeal disagreed, reiterating no appeal can be taken from an order granting summary judgment, directing the court to enter an actual judgment.  So, if you lose on summary judgment and the prevailing party stalls out getting the court to sign an actual “judgment,”  — generally in order to prevent an appeal or attempt to argue the time for appeal has lapsed — file your own request with the trial court for judgment, even though that judgment is against you, so you can proceed with the appeal.

Read the — short — opinion:

http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/nonpub/B283862.PDF