Jul 07, 2021
What if I want to appeal a ruling before my case is over (i.e., before there is a “final judgment”)?

A “final judgment” is usually required before filing an appeal, but a trial court’s ruling or order can be challenged before a “final judgment” either (1) because a statute makes it appealable, or (2) by filing a writ petition. Seeking review by appeal is different from seeking review by writ petition. A party aggrieved by an appealable order or judgment has a right to an appeal (i.e., the appellate court must review it), whereas a petitioner challenging a non-appealable ruling via writ petition only obtains review in the appellate court’s discretion. Writ review occurs only in extraordinarily rare circumstances.

Examples of pre-judgment, appealable orders include: injunction orders, orders on motions to disqualify counsel, orders on anti-SLAPP motions to strike, and orders of dismissal.

In California family law and probate cases, many court orders can be immediately appealed even if they are made before the final judgment.