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Appeals Regarding Jurisdiction, Process and Venue

A decision overruling an objection to the court’s jurisdiction is not directly appealable.[i]  A trial court’s declination to try a case on the ground that it lacks jurisdiction is a final and appealable decision.[ii]  Pursuant to 28 U.S.C.A. § 1257, if an immediate appeal is not permitted, the appellants would have the choice of suffering the entry of a default judgment or of entering a general appearance and defending on the merits, a decision by a highest state court that the courts of that state have jurisdiction to adjudicate an action based upon sequestration of the defendant’s property in the state is a final judgment reviewable by the Supreme Court.[iii]  A federal district court’s order in a civil rights case declining to retain supplemental jurisdiction over the plaintiff’s state law claims and leaving intact the plaintiff’s federal law claims is an unappealable interlocutory order.[iv]

An order granting or refusing a change of venue is not directly appealable, in the absence of statutory authority to the contrary.[v]  An order denying a motion on forum non conveniens grounds is nonappealable, because it means becoming entangled in the merits of the case in assessing questions such as:

  • the relative ease of access to the sources of proof;
  • the availability of witnesses, and
  • the actual locus of the alleged culpable conduct.[vi]

An order overruling a motion to quash or set aside process is a nonappealable interlocutory order.[vii]  However, an order sustaining a motion to quash or to set aside process or service thereof has the requisite finality for appeal since further prosecution of the action is prevented thereby, and is thus appealable [viii]

[i] Teachy v. Coble Dairies, Inc., 306 N.C. 324, 293 S.E.2d 182 (1982).

[ii] First American Nat. Bank of Iuka v. Alcorn, Inc., 361 So. 2d 481, 24 U.C.C. Rep. Serv. 1240 (Miss. 1978);

[iii] Shaffer v. Heitner, 433 U.S. 186, 97 S. Ct. 2569, 53 L. Ed. 2d 683 (1977).

[iv] Montano v. City of Chicago, 375 F.3d 593 (7th Cir. 2004).

[v] Holdsworth v. U.S., 179 F.2d 933 (1st Cir. 1950);

[vi] Van Cauwenberghe v. Biard, 486 U.S. 517, 108 S. Ct. 1945, 100 L. Ed. 2d 517 (1988).

[vii] Sigman v. R.R. Tydings, Inc., 59 N.C. App. 346, 296 S.E.2d 659 (1982).

[viii] Weiss v. Shapiro Candy Mfg. Co., 124 N.J.L. 534, 13 A.2d 304 (N.J. Sup. Ct. 1940),

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