RANDALL WEISS et al. v. MICHAEL D. SMULDERS et al., SC 19096
Judicial District of Hartford
Appellate Jurisdiction; Whether Appellate Court Properly Dismissed the Defendant’s Amended Cross Appeal for Lack of a Final Judgment. The plaintiffs brought this action by a six count complaint alleging the defendants’ breach of an agreement to merge the parties’ businesses. The defendants filed a two count counterclaim. The trial court issued a memorandum of decision that disposed of some of the counts of the complaint and both counts of the counterclaim. The court rendered judgment in favor of the defendants on one count of the counterclaim and in favor of the plaintiffs on the other count. The plaintiffs appealed from the judgment on the counterclaim and the defendants cross appealed, seemingly challenging both the incomplete judgment on the complaint and the judgment on the counterclaim insofar as it found against them on one count. The plaintiffs moved that the Appellate Court dismiss the cross appeal for lack of jurisdiction, claiming that the defendants were only challenging rulings rendered as to their complaint and that an appealable final judgment had yet to be rendered on that pleading. Before the Appellate Court could rule on the motion to dismiss, the trial court rendered a judgment finally disposing of all the counts in the complaint, finding in favor of the plaintiffs on some counts of the complaint and in favor of the defendants on others. The defendants responded by amending their cross appeal pursuant to Practice Book § 61-9 to include a challenge to the judgment on the complaint insofar as it favored the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs then amended their appeal to include a challenge to the judgment on the complaint insofar as it found in favor of the defendants. The Appellate Court subsequently ruled on the plaintiffs’ motion to dismiss, ordering that the defendants’ cross appeal as amended be dismissed insofar as it challenged the judgment on the complaint. The Supreme Court granted the defendants’ petition for certification to appeal and will consider whether the Appellate Court properly dismissed the defendants’ amended cross appeal for lack of a final judgment.