One Final Judgment Rule California
Under the "'one final judgment rule,'" an appeal lies only from a final judgment, unless the ruling is otherwise made appealable by statute.
In California, the right to appeal is governed wholly by statute. (Griset v. Fair Political Practices Com. (2001) 25 Cal.4th 688, 696.)
The Court, on its own motion, must dismiss an appeal from a nonappealable order. (See 9 Witkin, Cal. Procedure (5th ed. 2008) Appeal, 14, p. 74.)
Neither Code of Civil Procedure section 904.1 (the statute defining appealable judgments and orders in marital dissolution proceedings) nor any other statutory provision authorizes an immediate appeal from intermediate, procedural rulings made in anticipation of trial.
The practical effect of allowing immediate separate appeals on issues that are not ultimate issues in the lawsuit engenders costly piecemeal disposition and multiple appeals in a single action. (Maranian v. Workers' Comp. Appeals Bd. (2000) 81 Cal.App.4th 1068, 1073.)
Under the so-called "'one final judgment rule,'" an appeal lies only from a final judgment, unless the ruling is otherwise made appealable by statute. (Kinoshita v. Horio (1986) 186 Cal.App.3d 959, 962-963; Code Civ. Proc., 904.1, subd. (a)(1) appeal may be taken from "a judgment" other than "an interlocutory judgment".) a judgment is final for appeal purposes if it decides the parties' rights and duties and effectively terminates the litigation.
"'"Where anything further in the nature of judicial action on the part of the court is essential to a final determination of the right of the parties, the decree is interlocutory and thus not appealable." " (In re Marriage of Griffin (1993) 15 Cal.App.4th 685, 689 minute order valuing community property not appealable where spousal support and other property issues remained to be tried);
See also In re Marriage of Hafferkamp (1998) 61 Cal.App.4th 789, 793-794 no right of appeal from court's tentative decision; Lakin v. Watkins Associated Industries (1993) 6 Cal.4th 644, 651 "despite the inclusive language of Code of Civil Procedure section 904.1, subdivision (b), not every postjudgment order that follows a final appealable judgment is appealable".)
For example, the court in In re Marriage of Levine (1994) 28 Cal.App.4th 585, 589, determined that in a marital dissolution action a postjudgment order of the trial court finding that the court had the authority to approve the sale of certain assets and resolve any sale-related issues was not an appealable order.
The court reasoned, "such an order is one which is 'preliminary to later proceedings' within the meaning of Lakin v. Watkins Associated Industries (1993) 6 Cal.4th 644, 654, 656." (Ibid.)
Moreover, the court found that because the order was "not sufficiently final, it was not appealable pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 904.1, subdivision (a)(2), as an order made after the judgment. . . ." (Ibid.) Similarly, in In re Marriage of Ellis (2002) 101 Cal.App.4th 400, 402-403, the court deemed an order finding a community interest in the husband's health insurance subsidy benefits and the authority to divide that asset was a nonappealable order.
That court explained, "the order determines that the trial court has authority to evaluate and divide the medical subsidy, but it is only preliminary to actually doing so." (Id. at p. 403.)
In addition, "the order could be reviewed upon appeal from the subsequent final judgment on reserved issue that actually divides the asset. In other words, this purported appeal is an 'interlocutory' appeal, which normally is not permitted." (Ibid.)