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Kaelter v. Sokol

Supreme Court of Kansas

January 23, 2015

JANET S. KAELTER, Appellee,
v.
STEVEN L. SOKOL, Appellant, and In re Parentage of BENJAMIN SARBEY SOKOL, A Minor Child, By His Mother JANET S. KAELTER,
v.
STEVEN L. SOKOL

Review of the judgment of the Court of Appeals in an unpublished

Judgment of the Court of Appeals affirming the district court is vacated. Appeal dismissed.

SYLLABUS

BY THE COURT

1. An appellate court exercises unlimited review over jurisdictional issues and has a duty to question jurisdiction on its own initiative. When the record discloses a lack of jurisdiction, the court must dismiss the appeal.

2. A final decision under K.S.A. 2013 Supp. 60-2102(a)(4) generally disposes of the entire merits of a case and leaves no further questions or the possibility of future directions or actions by the district court.

3. The term " final decision" in K.S.A. 2013 Supp. 60-2102(a)(4) is self-defining and refers to an order that definitely terminates a right or liability involved in an action or that grants or refuses a remedy as a terminal act in the case.

Joseph W. Booth, of Lenexa, argued the cause, and Jennifer Benedict, of Jennifer Benedict Law Office, L.L.C, of Independence, Missouri, was with him on the briefs for appellant.

Ronald W. Nelson, of Ronald W. Nelson, P.A., of Lenexa, argued the cause and was on the briefs for appellee.

BILES, J., MICHAEL J. MALONE, Senior Judge, assigned.[1]

OPINION

Page 1211

Biles, J.

An appellate court exercises unlimited review over jurisdictional issues and has a duty to question jurisdiction on its own initiative. When the record discloses a lack of jurisdiction, the appellate court must dismiss the appeal. In re T.S.W., 294 Kan. 423, 432, 276 P.3d 133 (2012). This is one of those instances.

We hold that the district court did not enter a final appealable order as required by K.S.A. 2013 Supp. 60-2102(a)(4) before this [301 Kan. 248] appeal was initiated. Therefore, the Court of Appeals lacked jurisdiction when it affirmed the district court. See Kaelter v. Sokol, 300 P.3d 115, 2013 WL 1876444, at *8 (Kan. App. 2013) (unpublished opinion). For that same reason, the Court of Appeals lacked jurisdiction ...


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