Godsy v. Godsy

Decision Date03 March 1975
Docket NumberNo. KCD,KCD
Citation521 S.W.2d 449
PartiesNadine GODSY, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. Sherman M. GODSY, Jr., Defendant-Appellant. 26808.
CourtMissouri Court of Appeals

Robert C. Jones, John C. Russell, Raytown, for defendant-appellant.

Thaine Q. Blumer, Frank S. Krenzky, Kansas City, for plaintiff-respondent.



This is a divorce action wherein the defendant (husband) seeks to appeal from a judgment entered in favor of the plaintiff (wife).

At the very threshold of appellate review this court is faced with a primal question of profound and possibly conclusive significance. Does this court have jurisdiction to entertain the husband's 'appeal'?

The scope of this court's duty to inquire into and determine its jurisdiction in this case, even though none of the parties have directly questioned the matter, finds clarity of expression in Taney County v. Addington, 296 S.W.2d 129, 129(1) (Mo.App.1956):

'Appellate jurisdiction may not be conferred by waiver, acquiescence or even express consent (Collier v. Smith, Mo.App., 292 S.W.2d 627, 630(4), and cases cited in footnote 8; Bowman v. Phelps County, Mo.App., 36 S.W.2d 414(3)); and, although (as in the instant proceeding) none of the parties have questioned our appellate jurisdiction, it becomes our initial duty in each case to inquire into and determine our jurisdiction, sua sponte. Perkins v. Burks, Mo., 61 S.W.2d 756, 757(1); State ex rel. and to Use of Hickory County v. Davis, Mo.App., 292 S.W.2d 322(1); Fort Osage Drainage Dist. of Jackson County v. Jackson County, Mo.App., 264 S.W.2d 792(1).'

With the above admonition in mind, certain salient controlling events bearing upon determination of this court's jurisdiction are hereafter chronologized. The judgment appealed from was entered by the trial court on February 15, 1973. The husband filed a timely motion for a new trial on February 28, 1973. On March 16, 1973, the trial court overruled the husband's motion for a new trial. The trial court, on its own motion, on March 26, 1973, vacated its order of March 16, 1973, overruling the husband's motion for a new trial. Thereafter, on May 29, 1973, the trial court again overruled the husband's motion for a new trial. The husband filed his notice of appeal in the trial court on June 6, 1973. The husband at no time ever sought a special order from this court to appeal from the judgment complained of as provided in Rule 81.07(a), V.A.M.R., and the time to do so thereunder has long since expired.

The above events, and their sequence, are strikingly similar to those in Bank of Thayer v. Kuebler, et al, 219 S.W.2d 297, 298--299 (Mo.App.1949), an action for 'replevin' and 'damages', wherein defendants-appellants' 'appeal' was dismissed for lack of appellate jurisdiction because they had failed to file their notice of appeal 'within the time required by law'. Consequently, this court takes the liberty of quoting at length from Bank of Thayer v. Kuebler, et al, supra, and interpolating in the text thereof in brackets, at appropriate places, the dates of corresponding events in this case and Rules of Civil Procedure (substantively the same as those portions of the code sections and statutes cited and relied on therein) prevailing at the time of the corresponding events:

'(T)here are certain positive limitations in the provisions of the Code beyond which no court is authorized to extend its discretion. One of these is that the court 'may not enlarge the period for filing a motion for or granting a new trial, or for commencing an action or taking an appeal as provided by this code.' Code, Sec. 6(b), Mo.R.S.A. § 847.6(b) (Rule 44.01(b)). Another is that no appeal is effective without a notice of appeal, filed either within ten days after the judgment becomes final, Code, Sec. 129, Mo.R.S.A. § 847.129 (Rule 81.04), or within six months after the judgment has become final, under special order of the appellate courts on application, Code, Sec. 130, Mo.R.S.A. § 847.130 (Rule 81.07(a)). Without timely notice of appeal under one or the other of such sections the appellate court acquires no jurisdiction.

'(3, 4) However, appellants contend that they did file a proper notice of appeal, and that the same was timely. The matter requires our careful consideration of each step taken and its nature, time and effect. It must be conceded that defendants' motion for new trial, filed November 29, 1947 (February 28, 1973), was proper and timely since the judgment was entered November 19, 1947 (February 15, 1973). By the timely filing of such motion the finality of the judgment was suspended. When, within 90 days after the motion for new trial was filed, the court disposed of it by overruling it (February 7, 1948) (March 16, 1973), the judgment then became final, Code, Sec. 116, Mo.R.S.A. § 847.116; Rules of Supreme Court, Rule 3.24 (Rule 81.05(a)). Thereafter the court had no further authority to disturb the judgment or its finality. The 30 day period following the date of the judgment during which the court had control of the judgment had expired. Rules of Supreme Court, rule 3.25 (Rule 75.01). The court term is time longer considered in computation of time in such matters under the new Code, Code, Sec. 6(c), Mo.R.S.A. § 847.6(c) (Rule 44.01(c)). The 90 day period from the date the motion for new trial was filed, at the...

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11 cases
  • Godsy v. Godsy
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • 3 Abril 1978
    ...overruled. He thereafter filed his notice of appeal to this Court, but the appeal was dismissed as not being timely filed (reported at 521 S.W.2d 449). Thereafter, certiorari was denied by the United States Supreme Court at 423 U.S. 887, 96 S.Ct. 181, 46 L.Ed.2d By this time both parties ha......
  • McFadden v. Hartman
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • 26 Septiembre 1984
    ...after that judgment became final. Maxwell v. Maxwell, supra; Phillips v. Frazier, 537 S.W.2d 251 (Mo.App.1976). Compare Godsy v. Godsy, 521 S.W.2d 449 (Mo.App.1975), appeal dismissed, 423 U.S. 887, 96 S.Ct. 181, 46 L.Ed.2d 119 (1975); Camden v. St. Louis Public Service Co., 239 Mo.App. 1199......
  • State ex rel. Steinmeyer v. Coburn
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • 9 Mayo 1984
    ...it rules on a motion for new trial. State ex rel. Berbiglia, Inc. v. Randall, 423 S.W.2d 765, 769 (Mo.1968) (en banc); Godsy v. Godsy, 521 S.W.2d 449 (Mo.App.1975); Hynes v. Risch, 243 S.W.2d 116 (Mo.App.1951); Krummel v. Hintz, 222 S.W.2d 574 (Mo.App.1949); Bank of Thayer v. Kuebler, 240 M......
  • Loomstein v. Medicare Pharmacies, Inc., s. 52313
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • 15 Marzo 1988
    ...period after entry of judgment has passed. See State ex rel. Steinmeyer v. Coburn, 671 S.W.2d 366, 371 (Mo.App.1984); Godsy v. Godsy, 521 S.W.2d 449, 451 (Mo.App.1975), appeal dismissed, 423 U.S. 887, 96 S.Ct. 181, 46 L.Ed.2d 119 (1975). Rule 44.01 prohibits a trial court from extending the......
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