CHUUK STATE SUPREME COURT APPELLATE DIVISION

Cite as Valentin v. Inek, 15 FSM Intrm. 14 (Chk. S. Ct. App. 2007)

[15 FSM Intrm. 14]

SARLOTE VALENTIN and LYDIA MESIN, on

behalf of themselves and their lineage members,

Appellants,

vs.

ROCKY INEK, WILLY INEK, and SISON INEK,

Appellees.

CIVIL APPEAL NO. 03-2006

ORDER OF DISMISSAL

Hearing: May 2, 2007

Decided: May 7, 2007

BEFORE:

Hon. Camillo Noket, Chief Justice

Hon. Dennis K. Yamase, Temporary Justice*

Hon. Benjamin Rodriguez, Temporary Justice**
 

*Associate Justice, FSM Supreme Court, Chuuk

**Associate Justice, Pohnpei Supreme Court, Kolonia, Pohnpei
 

APPEARANCES:

For the Appellants:  Gideon K. Doone

                                 P.O. Box 882

                                 Weno, Chuuk FM 96942
 

For the Appellees:   Fredrick A. Hartman

                                P.O. Box 222

                                Weno, Chuuk FM 96942

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HEADNOTES

Appellate Review ) Decisions Reviewable

      The general rule is that appellate review of a trial court is limited to the trial courtís final orders and judgments. Final orders and judgments are final decisions. Valentin v. Inek, 15 FSM Intrm. 14, 15 (Chk. S. Ct. App. 2007).

[15 FSM Intrm. 15]

Appellate Review ) Decisions Reviewable; Appellate Review ) Dismissal

     Since a denial of a summary judgment motion is not a final order or judgment and since an order of consolidation is not a final order or judgment and when there is no indication that an interlocutory appeal of those orders is one of the few limited exceptions to the final order or judgment rule that are permitted by the Appellate Rules, the appeal will be dismissed. Valentin v. Inek, 15 FSM Intrm. 14, 15 (Chk. S. Ct. App. 2007).

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COURTíS OPINION

CAMILLO NOKET, Chief Justice:

     At the May 2, 2007 hearing in this matter, the appelleesí counsel orally moved to dismiss this appeal on the ground it was not from a final order or judgment and the appellate court was thus without jurisdiction.  The parties then argued the motion orally.  No party sought to supplement its arguments in writing.  The motion was therefore deemed submitted for our consideration.

     This appeal is from a January 18, 2006 trial court order consolidating two cases and denying Sarlote Valentineís and Lydia Mesinís motion for summary judgment.  It is undisputed that no final judgment has been entered in the consolidated trial court case.  This is an interlocutory appeal. The general rule is that appellate review of a trial court is limited to the trial courtís final orders and judgments.  Final orders and judgments are final decisions. Chuuk v. Davis, 9 FSM Intrm. 471, 473 (App. 2000).  A denial of a summary judgment motion is not a final order or judgment.  Nor is an order of consolidation a final order or judgment.  There is no indication that this interlocutory appeal is one of the few limited exceptions to the final order or judgment rule that are permitted by the Appellate Rules.

     Now therefore it is hereby ordered that this case is dismissed.  Once the trial court proceedings have come to an end, Sarlote Valentine and Lydia Mesin may, or may not, end up as a prevailing party.   If they do not prevail, they may then appeal.  The appellants, in argument, also contend that the trial court justice presiding over the consolidated case below was, or should be, disqualified for certain conflicts of interest.  We note that there is a motion pending in the trial division for that justiceís disqualification.  This appeal cannot be used as a substitute for that process.

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