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Hecksher v. Fairwinds Baptist Church, Inc.

Supreme Court of Delaware

April 30, 2014

KIMBERLY HECKSHER, Plaintiff Below, Appellant,
v.
FAIRWINDS BAPTIST CHURCH, INC., a Delaware corporation, FAIRWINDS CHRISTIAN SCHOOL, a Ministry of Fairwinds Baptist Church, Inc., Defendants Below, Appellees

Submitted: March 25, 2014.

Motion for Reargument filed 5/2/14;

Denied 6/12/14.

Case Closed June 13, 2014.

Editorial Note:

This decision has been designated as "Table of Decisions Without Published Opinions." in the Atlantic Reporter.

Court Below -- Superior Court of the State of Delaware in and for New Castle County. C.A. No. 09C-06-236.

Before HOLLAND, JACOBS and RIDGELY, Justices.

OPINION

Jack B. Jacobs, Justice.

ORDER

This 30th day of April 2014, it appears to the Court that:

(1) The plaintiff/appellant seeks to appeal the Superior Court's February 28, 2013 order granting the defendants/appellees' motion for summary judgment.[1] The appellees have moved to dismiss the appeal on the basis that a motion for sanctions remains pending in the Superior Court. The Clerk issued a notice pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 29(b) (" Rule 29(b)" ) directing the appellant to show cause why the appeal should not be dismissed for failure to comply with Supreme Court Rule 42 (" Rule 42" ) when taking an appeal from an apparent interlocutory order.

(2) In her response to the motion to dismiss and notice to show cause, the appellant agrees that a motion for sanctions is pending in the Superior Court. Nonetheless, she opposes dismissal of the appeal, arguing that the Superior Court's February 28, 2013 order is final because a decision on the pending motion for sanctions " will not alter, moot, or revise the summary judgment decision."

(3) Having carefully considered the parties' positions, the Court concludes that the appeal must be dismissed as premature. Absent compliance with Rule 42, the jurisdiction of this Court is limited to the review of final judgments of trial courts.[2] " The policy underlying the final judgment rule is one of efficient use of judicial resources through disposition of cases as a whole, rather than piecemeal." [3] The policy against piecemeal litigation applies to this ongoing litigation.

NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED that the appeal is DISMISSED pursuant to Rules 29(b) and 42. The filing fee paid by the appellant shall be applied to any future appeal filed by her from the final order entered in the case.


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