Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Is a post-judgment discovery order appealable?

What's the state of the law about the appealability of post-judgment discovery orders?
  • "In Macaluso v. Superior Court (2013) 219 Cal.App.4th 1042 (Macaluso), a third party appealed an order compelling further responses and documents at a judgment debtor’s examination. The appellate court concluded the order was appealable as an order after judgment pursuant to section 904.1, subdivision (a)(2)."
  • In "Fox Johns Lazar Pekin & Wexler, APC v. Superior Court (2013) 219 Cal.App.4th 1210, 1215 (Fox Johns), the same appellate court concluded a post-judgment discovery order made in the course of a proceeding to obtain information pertaining to a judgment debtor’s assets is not appealable. The Fox Johns court had second thoughts about Macaluso. In a footnote it stated: “We are aware of the recent opinion from this court issued after oral argument here, wherein the court held that a third party may appeal an order overruling all of the third party’s objections to the subpoena and granting a motion to compel compliance with the subpoena. (See Macaluso v. Superior Court (2013) 219 Cal.App.4th 1042.) We think the better approach here, on the unique facts before us where it is not clear if the superior court will be issuing further orders regarding the very discovery at issue, is to treat the appeal like a petition for writ of mandate.” (Fox Johns, at p. 1218, fn. 4.)"
  • Today, 2/6 concludes here: "Because it is rarely certain whether the trial court will be issuing further discovery orders, the better approach in general is to treat such orders as not appealable. Allowing an appeal of each discovery order will invite unnecessary delay and facilitate the concealment of assets. So we join our colleagues in Fox Johns and part company with them in Macaluso. We treat this appeal as a petition for writ of mandate."
Also of note today, this SLAPP opinion affirming an order granting an anti-SLAPP motion, finding that the media exception to the public interest exemption applies.