Opinion:Laubach v. Laubach, 2022 OK 78
Subject matter:Procedure
Date Decided:September 27, 2022
Trial Court:District Court of Blaine County; Judge R. Reddick
Route to this Court:Certiorari from decision of Court of Civil Appeals, Division III
Facts:Following divorce, the mother sought approval from the trial court to move across the state with the couple’s children. The father objected and among numerous orders issued by the trial court in the case was a “minute order” dated April 17, 2018. The Court of Civil Appeals dismissed the portion of the father’s appeal related to the “minute order” as untimely. The OKSCT granted certiorari for the limited purpose of addressing the appealability of such court minutes, minute orders, minutes, and summary orders.
Standard of Review:Not stated. 
Analysis:For a trial court ruling to trigger the jurisdictional commencement of time to appeal, it must be a judgment, decree, or appealable order, which has been reduced to writing in conformance with 12 O.S. Supp. 1007 §696.3 (must have a caption including the name of the court, the names and designation of the parties, the file number of the case, and the title of the instrument; must also have a statement of disposition, including relief awarded, signature and title of the court and other matters approved by the court). In addition, 12 O.S. Supp. 1007 §696.2 provides what shall not constitute a judgment, decree or appealable order (minute entry, verdict, letter to a party). 

By order, 2021 OK 41, the Court amended Rule 1.21 to mirror the aforementioned statutes, adding language to clarify that a minute, minute order or minute entry, among other informal writings, could not qualify as an appealable order. Today the Court again definitively pronounces that written instruments titled “court minute,” “minute order,” “minute,” or “summary order” cannot meet the definition of an order which triggers the procedural time limits for an appeal, regardless of their substance, content, or length.