Los Angeles, CA asked in Appeals / Appellate Law for California

Q: 1 gets judgment against 2 and 3, who both appeal. 2’s appeal dismissed, 3's successful. Is 2 subject to judgment still?

Party 1 was the purchaser at a sheriff's sale caused by a junior judgment creditor. Party 3 was a senior judgment creditor. Party 2 was the successor trustee to the original trustee who was the judgment debtor the junior judgment creditor forced a sheriff's sale regarding. Party 2's appeal was dismissed for failure to file an opening brief. Party 3's appeal was successful because the debtor died prior to the Sheriff's levy the Sheriff's sale was based upon, and the trial court determined Party 3's judgment lien was "extinguished" when the debtor died. The court of appeal "reversed" the judgment. There was no statement the judgment was reversed "in part." Simply that the judgment was "reversed."

Is that judgment still valid against Party 2, whose appeal was dismissed for failure to file an opening brief?

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1 Lawyer Answer
John Toby Schreiber
John Toby Schreiber
  • Appeals & Appellate Lawyer
  • Benicia, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: There are too many variables missing in this question to give a definitive answer. In the abstract it would appear that yes, 2 is still subject to the judgment, but this question is more complicated than that. There are a bunch of unanswered questions here: on what basis was 3's appeal successful? Did the reason apply to both 2 and 3 or were the reasons for reversal for 3 unique to 3's appeal? Were 2 and 3 were found liable at trial for the same cause of action or different causes of action? Were any damages awarded against 2 and 3 for the same damages or different damages? Were the damages awarded were joint and several against 2 and 3, meaning that 1 can collect for all of his damages against both 2 or 3 up to the total amount of damages awarded. Was there an apportionment of damages and if so, how much was apportioned to 2? To 3?

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