Opinion:Osborn v. Stiger, 2021 OK CIV APP 42
Subject matter:Third-Party Pleadings Under 12 O.S. § 2014
Date Decided:Sept. 7, 2021
Trial Court:District Court of Oklahoma County; Judge Stallings
Route to this Court:Appeal from Order of Dismissal; Assigned to Court of Civil Appeals, Division II. 
Facts:This case involves the parties’ involvement in a stock purchase agreement. Following three years of litigation and a one-day nonjury trial, the district court’s “Journal Entry” was filed in which it explained it had ordered Defendant Debra Diane Stiger, following the nonjury trial, to convert her counterclaim against Plaintiff Jeana Osborn and her crossclaim against Kevin Osborn “to Third-party Practice.” The district court stated that Ms. Stiger “has failed to timely file a Third-Party Petition with Summons against” either Ms. Osborn or Mr. Osborn; therefore, the district court dismissed Ms. Stiger’s counterclaim and crossclaim with prejudice. 
Standard of Review:De Novo
Analysis:The district court’s decision, made after the trial on the merits and three years after the pleading stage, is inconsistent with the general philosophy of the our pleading code, which is that pleadings should give fair notice of the claim and be subject to liberal amendment, liberally construed so as to do substantial justice, and that decisions should be made on the merits rather than on technical niceties. The Court of Civil Appeals the lower court’s decision and remanded with directions for the court to made a decision on the merits of the case. 
Outcome:Reversed and remanded with directions. 
Vote:Barnes, J. (author), Wiseman, J., Blackwell, J. concur. 
Other: No cert. petition filed.