Butler v. Heartland Manufacturing, Inc.

Butler v. Heartland Manufacturing, Inc.

GA Court of Appeals, 2/13/24


Per Curiam

Topics: Appealable Order; Settlement

In this action for negligence, breach of contract, and product liability, defendants Camping World, Inc. and Heartland Manufacturing Company moved to enforce the parties’ settlement agreement. In September 2023, the trial court granted the motion, ordering plaintiffs Robin Butler, John Butler, and Jorden Butler (the “Butlers”) to execute the settlement agreement within ten days of the entry of the order, provide the settlement documents and W-9 tax forms to defendants’ counsel, and, upon receipt of the defendants’ payment of $6,000 as agreed, dismiss their lawsuit with prejudice. The Butlers appealed that order. Under OCGA § 5-6-34(a)(1), however, authorizes appeals from final orders, and an order granting a motion to enforce a settlement agreement “is not final until the trial

court expressly enters final judgment on that order.” Here, the record does not show that the trial court has made the settlement agreement the judgment of the court. Because no final judgment had been entered, the Butlers were required to follow the interlocutory appeal procedures–including obtaining a certificate of immediate review from the trial court – to appeal the order granting the motion to enforce the settlement agreement. See OCGA § 5-6-34(b). They did not, so the appellant court DISMISSED for lack of jurisdiction.

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