This article focuses on the rules for determining finality and appealability of judgments under section 2505.02 and Ohio R. Civ. P. 54(B). To that end, this article addresses not only the various categories of "final orders" but also the procedural mechanisms by which interlocutory appeals are taken from judgments on one part of a case while the rest of the case remains pending. The objective of this article is two-fold. First and foremost, it provides a resource and guide to appellate practitioners and trial court judges for understanding the "final order rule" and for navigating its various provisions in the courts of appeals. The second objective is to address some of the theoretical problems and inconsistencies underlying the Ohio Supreme Court's jurisprudence in this area and, where possible, to suggest a more consistent approach to adjudicating whether a judgment is final and appealable. The process for determining finality and appealability is much more complex and convoluted than it needs to be and the goal of this article is to contribute to the paragraph five of the syllabus (Ohio 1966). Moreover, when the parties to an appeal neglect to raise and brief a jurisdictional issue themselves, the appellate court is required to raise it sua sponte and dismiss an appeal which is not from a final appealable order. See In re Murray, 556 N.E.2d 1169, 1174 n.2 (Ohio 1990); Whitaker-Merrell v. Geupel Constr. Co., 280 N.E.2d 922, 924 (Ohio 1972). When in doubt, practitioners may file successive notices of appeal whenever an order arguably appears to be final and appealable so as to preserve the right to appeal and to protect them from liability. Such practice clogs the court system even further and is a waste of judicial resources. See Mark J. Chumky, Fairness and Finality: Rethinking Final Appealable Orders Under Ohio Law, 64 U. CIN. L. REv. 143 (1995). Gray v. Youngstown Mun. Ry. Co., 117 N.E.2d 27, 31 (Taft, J., concurring) (Ohio 1954) (emphasis in original). In re Estate of Pulford, 701 N.E.2d 55, 56-57 (Ohio Ct. App. 1997) (Ford, P.J., writing for a unanimous court). Specific records are not kept as to the number of dismissals for jurisdictional reasons in general or lack of a final order in particular. However, I have worked on innumerable cases over the years that have been dismissed for that very reason. bench's and the bar's understanding of these rules and also make the process simpler and more consistent.
Gary L. Garrison, Appellate Jurisdiction in Ohio over Final Appealable Orders, 50 Clev. St. L. Rev. 595 (2002-2003)