I. JUDGMENT AND JURISDICTION


A. JUDGMENT

Generally, an appeal may be taken only from a final judgment. A judgment is final and appealable when a writing signed by a judge and denominated "judgment" or "decree" is filed. Rule 74.01(a).  A final judgment disposes of all issues, claims, and parties. In the absence of a final judgment, the appeal is premature.

A judgment that disposes of fewer than all parties or claims may be made final for purposes of appellate review if the trial court makes an express determination that there is “no just reason for delay.” Rule 74.01(b). In the absence of this express determination, the appellate court has no jurisdiction. Tendai v. Mo. State Bd. of Registration for the Healing Arts, 77 S.W.3d 1, 2 (Mo. banc 2002).

In a civil case, a motion for new trial or to amend the judgment must be filed within 30 days after the entry of a judgment. Rule 78.04.  The time for filing the motion for new trial or to amend the judgment in a civil case may not be extended either by the trial court or the appellate court. Rule 44.01(b). In civil cases, the judgment becomes final 30 days after the entry of the judgment if no timely motion for new trial is filed. Rule 75.01. In jury-tried cases, allegations of error must be included in a motion for new trial to be preserved for appellate review. Rule 78.07.

If a timely motion for new trial is filed, the judgment becomes final at the expiration of 90 days after the filing of the motion or, if such motion is passed on at an earlier date, the latter of: (1) 30 days after the entry of judgment, or (2) disposition of the motion. Rule 78.06; Rule 81.05(a). A timely filed motion for new trial is overruled if the trial court does not rule on it within 90 days after the date the timely motion is filed.  Rule 78.06.

In a criminal case, the judgment is final when the motion for new trial is overruled, allocution given, judgment and sentence entered in accordance with the jury verdict, and sentence is imposed.  State v. Welch, 865 S.W.2d 434, 435 (Mo. App. 1993). In cases where no sentence is imposed, there is no right of appeal.  State v. Lynch, 679 S.W.2d 858, 860 (Mo. banc 1984). In a criminal case, the motion for new trial must be filed 15 days after return of the verdict.  The time may be extended by the court for one additional period of 10 days. Rule 29.11(b). A motion for new trial is optional in a case tried without a jury.  Rule 29.11(e).  In jury-tried cases, allegations of error must be included in a motion for new trial to be preserved for appellate review. Rules 29.11(d).

B. JURISDICTION

This Court has jurisdiction of all appeals, except where jurisdiction is vested in the Missouri Supreme Court, pursuant to article V, section 3 of the Missouri Constitution, from cases of the following courts:

1. Circuit Courts - See generally § 512.020
2. Associate Circuit Courts - See §§ 512.180.2 and 543.335 for the circumstances under which an appeal may be filed with this Court directly from an associate circuit judge.
3. Probate Courts - See § 472.160 .
4. Administrative Appeals.