Interlocutory appeal
An interlocutory appeal (or interim appeal), in the law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

 of civil procedure
Civil procedure
Civil procedure is the body of law that sets out the rules and standards that courts follow when adjudicating civil lawsuits...

, is an appeal
An appeal is a petition for review of a case that has been decided by a court of law. The petition is made to a higher court for the purpose of overturning the lower court's decision....

 of a ruling by a trial court that is made before the trial itself has concluded. Most jurisdictions generally prohibit such appeals, requiring parties to wait until the trial has concluded before they challenge any of the decisions made by the judge
A judge is a person who presides over court proceedings, either alone or as part of a panel of judges. The powers, functions, method of appointment, discipline, and training of judges vary widely across different jurisdictions. The judge is supposed to conduct the trial impartially and in an open...

 during that trial. However, many jurisdictions make an exception for decisions that are particularly prejudicial to the rights of one of the parties. For example, if a party is asserting some form of immunity from suit, or is claiming that the court completely lacks personal jurisdiction over them, then it is recognized that being forced to wait for the conclusion of the trial would violate their right not to be subjected to a trial at all.

Federal courts

The Supreme Court of the United States
Supreme Court of the United States
The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the United States. It has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all state and federal courts, and original jurisdiction over a small range of cases...

 delineated the test for the availability of interlocutory appeals, called the collateral order doctrine, for United States federal courts
United States federal courts
The United States federal courts make up the judiciary branch of federal government of the United States organized under the United States Constitution and laws of the federal government.-Categories:...

 in the case of Lauro Lines s.r.l. v. Chasser, 490 U.S. 495
Case citation
Case citation is the system used in many countries to identify the decisions in past court cases, either in special series of books called reporters or law reports, or in a 'neutral' form which will identify a decision wherever it was reported...

 (1989), holding that under the relevant statute such an appeal would be permitted only if:
  1. the outcome of the case would be conclusively determined by the issue;
  2. the matter appealed was collateral to the merits
    Merit (legal)
    Merits is a legal concept referring to the inherent rights and wrongs of a legal case, absent of any emotional or technical biases. The evidence is solely applied to cases decided on the merits, and any procedural matters are discounted.-External links:*...

    ; and
  3. the matter was effectively unreviewable if immediate appeal were not allowed.

The Supreme Court created the test in the case Cohen v. Beneficial Industrial Loan Corp., 337 U.S. 541 (1949), where it was applied to a requirement of bond to be posted in certain stockholders derivative actions by plaintiffs, in anticipation of being liable for defendant's attorney's fees. Since the substantial deterrent effect of the statute would be meaningless if not enforceable at the outset of litigation, but did not touch on the merits of plaintiff's claim, the Court allowed interlocutory appeal from the trial court's decision. 337 U.S. at 546-47. The doctrine was restricted in Digital Equipment Corp. v. Desktop Direct Inc., 511 U.S. 863 (1994), which added an explicit importance criterion to the test for interlocutory appeals, holding that relief on a claim of immunity from suit because of a previous settlement agreement could not come through interlocutory appeal. The Supreme Court stated that the only matters of sufficient importance to merit a collateral appeal were "those originating in the Constitution or statutes". 511 U.S. at 879.

Several U.S. statutes directly confer the right to interlocutory appeals, including appeals from orders denying arbitration
Arbitration, a form of alternative dispute resolution , is a legal technique for the resolution of disputes outside the courts, where the parties to a dispute refer it to one or more persons , by whose decision they agree to be bound...

, , and some judicial actions against the debtor
A debtor is an entity that owes a debt to someone else. The entity may be an individual, a firm, a government, a company or other legal person. The counterparty is called a creditor...

 upon filing bankruptcy proceedings, (a). There is a major split in the United States courts of appeals
United States courts of appeals
The United States courts of appeals are the intermediate appellate courts of the United States federal court system...

 as to whether a stay of proceedings
Stay of proceedings
A stay of proceedings is a ruling by the court in civil and criminal procedure, halting further legal process in a trial. The court can subsequently lift the stay and resume proceedings. However, a stay is sometimes used as a device to postpone proceedings indefinitely.-United Kingdom:In United...

 should issue in the district court
United States district court
The United States district courts are the general trial courts of the United States federal court system. Both civil and criminal cases are filed in the district court, which is a court of law, equity, and admiralty. There is a United States bankruptcy court associated with each United States...

 while interlocutory appeals on the arbitrability of disputes are decided. Compare Bradford-Scott Data Corp., Inc. v. Physician Computer Network, 128 F.3d 504 (7th Cir. 1997), and Britton v. Co-op Banking Group, 916 F.2d 1405 (9th Cir. 1990). An interlocutory appeal under the collateral order doctrine usually merits a stay of proceedings while the appeal is being decided. Currently, the Second and Ninth Circuits have refused to stay proceedings in the district court while an arbitration issue is pending [See, Motorola Credit Corp. v. Uzan, 388, F.3d 39, 53-4 (2d Cir. 2004; Britton v. Co-Op Banking Group, 916 F.2d 1405, 1412 (9th Cir. 1990)]. The Seventh, Tenth and Eleventh Circuit courts conversely hold that a non-frivolous appeal warrants a stay of proceedings. See, Bradford-Scott Data Corp. v. Physician Computer Network, Inc., 128 F.3d, 504, 506 (7th Cir. 1997); Blinco v. Green Tree Servicing, LLC, 366 F.3d 1249, 1251-2 (11th Cir. 2004); McCauley et al. v. Halliburton Energy Services, Inc., 161 Fed. Appx. 760 (10th Cir. 2005).

State courts

In California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, interlocutory appeals are usually sought by filing a petition for writ of mandate with the Court of Appeal. If granted, the writ directs the appropriate superior court
Superior Courts of California
The Superior Courts of California are the superior courts in the U.S. state of California with general jurisdiction to hear and decide any civil or criminal action which is not specially designated to be heard in some other court or before a government agency...

 to vacate a particular order. Writs of mandate are a discretionary remedy; such petitions are almost always denied due to the state's public policy of encouraging efficient litigation of civil actions on the merits in the superior courts.

In New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

, various interlocutory appeals can be found under the Civil Practice Law and Rules section 5512. This section, along with a writ of mandamus are the only exceptions to filing an appeal only after the final judgment has been given.

In Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

, parties to both civil and criminal cases may apply for supervisory writs in one of the state's five geographic Circuit Courts of Appeal, seeking to review a ruling or order of the district court. As the name implies, the Court of Appeal's power to consider a writ application stems from its supervisory jurisdiction over the district courts. Such jurisdiction is discretionary, and thus the appellate court may issue an action granting or denying the writ, or may decline to consider the merits of an application altogether. In practice, taking writs is far more common in criminal matters and most often involves objections to a district court's pre-trial rulings on defense motions
Motion (legal)
In law, a motion is a procedural device to bring a limited, contested issue before a court for decision. A motion may be thought of as a request to the judge to make a decision about the case. Motions may be made at any point in administrative, criminal or civil proceedings, although that right is...

 to suppress evidence
Motion to suppress
In common law legal systems, a motion to suppress is a formal, written request to a judge for an order that certain evidence be excluded from consideration by the judge or jury at trial...

, statements, or identifications. An application for supervisory writs is also the mechanism for seeking review of a district court's decision to grant or deny a petition for post-conviction relief. A party aggrieved by the Court of Appeal's ruling on a supervisory writ may then apply for supervisory writs in the Louisiana Supreme Court
Louisiana Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of Louisiana is the highest court and court of last resort in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The modern Supreme Court, composed of seven justices, meets in the French Quarter of New Orleans....

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