399 A.2d 34 (D.C. 1979), 12672, Trilon Plaza Co. v. Allstate Leasing Corp.

Docket Nº:12672.
Citation:399 A.2d 34
Party Name:TRILON PLAZA COMPANY et al., Appellants, v. ALLSTATE LEASING CORPORATION, Appellee.
Case Date:February 21, 1979
Court:Court of Appeals of Columbia District
 
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Page 34

399 A.2d 34 (D.C. 1979)

TRILON PLAZA COMPANY et al., Appellants,

v.

ALLSTATE LEASING CORPORATION, Appellee.

No. 12672.

Court of Appeals of Columbia District

February 21, 1979

Submitted Dec. 1, 1978.

Page 35

Mark P. Friedlander, Washington, D. C., was on brief, for appellants.

Stephen M. Trattner, Washington, D. C., was on brief, for appellee.

Before NEWMAN, Chief Judge, and KELLY and MACK, Associate Judges.

NEWMAN, Chief Judge:

Appellants challenge the propriety of an order directing them to pay attorney's fees of $1,800 to appellee. Appellee moves to dismiss the appeal as untimely. To decide this motion, we must determine whether the appealable order is that dated February 7, 1977, which awarded attorney's fees, or that dated August 25, 1977, which fixed the amount thereof. Concluding that the August 25 order is the appealable one, we deny the motion to dismiss. Finding no abuse of discretion in the award of attorney's fees, we affirm.

On January 25, Allstate Leasing Corporation (Allstate) obtained a writ of replevin to seize certain theater chairs and accessories

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from appellants (Trilon) arising from a breach of contract between the parties. Pursuant to the January 25 order, on two occasions, Deputy United States Marshals tried to enter the theater where the property to be replevied was located, but were denied entry. Allstate filed a motion to compel. On February 7 the court ordered that Trilon: (1) was to open the door to the theater on February 8; (2) was assessed costs and attorney's fees for its noncompliance with the writ of replevin; (3) was to pay Allstate $1,000 per day for each day Trilon failed to comply with the writ; and (4) had until February 17 to show cause why it should not be held in contempt of court. The writ of replevin was executed the following day. On March 1, Trilon filed a motion for clarification with regard to that portion of the February 7 order dealing with attorney's fees and contempt. On August 25, 1977, after a hearing on the matter, the court issued an order that assessed against Trilon $1,800 for Allstate's attorney's fees in accordance with the February 7 order and vacated the order to show cause, the writ of replevin having been executed. Notice of appeal was timely filed from the August 25 order.

I.

The sole basis for our jurisdiction in this matter is D.C.Code 1973 s 11-721(a)(1) which provides that this court has jurisdiction to review "all final orders and judgments of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia." In the federal and state courts as well as in this court, what constitutes a "final order" for the purpose of appellate jurisdiction has been the subject of much discussion. [1] We have held that an order to be final must "dispose ( ) of the whole case on its merits so that the court has nothing remaining to do but to execute the judgment or decree already rendered." McBryde v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., D.C.App., 221 A.2d 718, 720 (1966). See Burtoff v....

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