When is the Case Over and Does It Matter?

Is your case over?  It is good practice to ensure that you understand whether a case is over, or finalized. Whether a case is final or not determines your options and liabilities going forward. This applies to divorce cases, custody cases, personal injury cases, and other civil cases.

At Christensen Law, in Salt Lake City, Utah, the attorneys handle divorce, family law, personal injury, and other civil matters. They can handle and give you specific advice on your case. However, for your general information, they provide some general guidelines below. The general guidelines should not be used blindly on your own case. You should seek an attorney for specific advice for your specific case.

When is the case over?

Your case is over when the court has adjudicated all claims as to all parties in the case. So, if you sued or were sued for multiple claims, each claim must be finalized. Or, the court must explicitly make its decision on one claim final. Take for example a case where Bob sues Billy for trespass and assault. If the court make a final decision on trespass, but not assault, the case is not over. Though, the court could declare the trespass decision a final judgment. But, it would have to do that explicitly. If there is a final decision on both trespass and assault, the case is over. This example could apply in the family law context as Bob suing Sally for divorce, custody, and child support. Each of those elements is a separate claim.

Why does it matter?

A case that is merely dormant and not final presents certain risks or opportunities. If the case is not finalized, it can be revived. Whether revival of the case is good or bad for you depends on a number of factors. An attorney can help you understand the risks and opportunities and take the next step to help you.

Peter ChristensenWhen is the Case Over and Does It Matter?