Filing Notice of Appeal After Denial of a Motion for New Trial In Arizona

In Barassi v. Matison, 130 Ariz. 418, 419-20, 636 P.2d 1200, 1201-02 (1981), the Arizona Supreme Court held that a notice of appeal filed after the denial of a motion for new trial but before the entry of final judgment was sufficient to secure appellate jurisdiction. Because the lower court's substantive decision had become final, and only ministerial tasks remained to accomplish the entry of a final judgment, the court reasoned that dismissal of such a premature notice of appeal would "punish the appellant for being too diligent." Id. at 421, 636 P.2d at 1203. The court pointed out, however, that appellate courts lack jurisdiction when "a litigant attempts to appeal where a motion is still pending in the trial court or where there is no final judgment." Id. at 422, 636 P.2d at 1204.