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CLINTON A. JACKSON v. LEONARD C. BENNETT

Civil procedure — Notice of appeal — Timeliness

… (Clinton) Jackson hired Leonard Bennett to represent him in a civil suit. Bennett withdrew his representation of Jackson in January 2013 because Jackson had not paid him for his work. Bennett then sued Jackson for the unpaid fees. A trial on Bennett’s suit commenced and, on September 8, 2015, the jury returned a verdict in Bennett’s favor. The trial court signed a “Hearing Sheet” that same day, which stated that the “Hearing [S]heet shall act as [an] Order of the Court.” This Hearing Sheet was docketed on September 18, 2015. On October 21, 2015, Jackson filed a “Motion for a Final Order of Judgment” in the trial court, requesting that the court enter an order of judgment so that, Jackson argued, he could then file an appeal. On October 26, 2015, the trial court provided Jackson with a copy of the original Hearing Sheet, which indicated that judgment had been entered in favor of Bennett back on September 8, 2015.

On November 9, 2015, Jackson filed a notice of appeal. Jackson later renewed his “Motion for a Final Order of Judgment.” On February 3, 2016, the trial court denied Jackson’s renewed motion and struck his notice of appeal. Jackson now appeals from the trial court’s decision to strike his notice of appeal.

Read the opinion here: