Rick Snider and Janan Snider d/b/a RJ Snider Construction, Plaintiff and Appellees
Dickinson Elks Building, LLC, Defendant and Appellant
from the District Court of Stark County, Southwest Judicial
District, the Honorable William A. Herauf, Judge.
T. Foss, for plaintiffs and appellees.
Christopher J. Thompson, for defendant and appellant.
1] Dickinson Elks Building, LLC, appeals after the district
court forfeited a construction lien filed by Rick and Janan
Snider, doing business as RJ Snider Construction, and awarded
the Dickinson Elks attorney's fees. We conclude we do not
have jurisdiction and dismiss the appeal.
2] In December 2011, Snider contracted with Beaver Brinkman
to perform work on real property owned by the Dickinson Elks.
Snider recorded a construction lien in January 2013 for $198,
255.08 against the property after it did not get paid for all
of its work. In May 2014, the Dickinson Elks served Snider
with a demand to start a lawsuit to enforce the lien and
record a lis pendens within 30 days of the demand. Snider
sued the Dickinson Elks in June 2014, seeking foreclosure of
the construction lien and a money judgment for $198, 255.08.
Snider recorded a notice of lis pendens on July 28, 2014.
3] The Dickinson Elks moved for summary judgment, arguing
Snider's complaint should be dismissed because Snider was
not a licensed contractor when it started the work on the
property. The Dickinson Elks also argued Snider did not have
a valid construction lien, because Snider did not record a
lis pendens within 30 days of receiving the demand to enforce
the lien. The district court granted the motion in part and
entered a judgment forfeiting Snider's construction lien
because Snider did not record a lis pendens within 30 days of
receiving the Dickinson Elks' demand to enforce the lien
as required under N.D.C.C. § 35-27-25.
4] The Dickinson Elks subsequently moved for attorney's
fees for successfully contesting the construction lien. The
district court entered a judgment awarding the Dickinson Elks
$2, 994 in attorney's fees.
5] Before reaching the merits of the Dickinson Elks'
appeal, we must first decide whether we have jurisdiction.
Jordet v. Jordet, 2015 ND 73, ¶ 12, 861 N.W.2d
154; In re Estate of Hollingsworth, 2012 ND 16,
¶ 7, 809 N.W.2d 328. The right to appeal is a
jurisdictional matter governed by statute, and we will
dismiss an appeal on our own if we conclude there is no
statutory basis for the appeal and we do not have
jurisdiction, even if the parties do not question the
appealability. Jordet, at ¶ 12;
Hollingsworth, at ¶ 7. Only those orders
enumerated in N.D.C.C. § 28-27-02 and judgments and
decrees constituting a final judgment of the rights of the
parties to the action are appealable. Jordet, at
6] Rule 54(b), N.D.R.Civ.P., preserves this Court's
policy against piecemeal appeals and provides:
If an action presents more than one claim for relief, whether
as a claim, counterclaim, crossclaim, or third-party claim,
or if multiple parties are involved, the court may direct
entry of a final judgment as to one or more, but fewer than
all, claims or parties only if the court expressly determines
that there is no just reason for delay. Otherwise, any order
or other decision, however designated, that adjudicates fewer
than all the claims or the rights and liabilities of fewer
than all the parties does not end the action as to any of the
claims or parties and may be revised at any time before the
entry of a judgment adjudicating all the claims and all the
parties' rights and liabilities.
Bulman v. Hulstrand Constr. Co.,
503 N.W.2d 240, 241 (N.D. 1993). "A party
seeking to appeal must wait until the end of the case, when
all claims have been resolved and final judgment has been
entered, before filing an appeal." ...