Sanford v. CenturyTel of Mo., LLCAnnotate this Case
Sanford purchased CenturyLink's internet and phone services. CenturyLink’s “Internet Services Agreement” contains a mandatory arbitration clause for “any and all claims, controversies or disputes of any kind.” Months later, Sanford filed a class action, alleging that CenturyLink violated the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act, RSMo 407.020, by charging a “Universal Service Fund Surcharge” on high-speed internet services. The court ordered the parties to conduct discovery solely on the issue of arbitrability and subsequently denied arbitration, citing the issue of consideration On August 18, 2014, 39 days after entry of the order, CenturyLink filed a notice of appeal under RSMo 435.440. The Supreme Court of Missouri dismissed. Section 435.4401 makes orders denying arbitration immediately appealable. Under Rule 81.04(a), any such appeal must be filed “not later than 10 days after the judgment or order appealed from becomes final.” CenturyLink was incorrect in believing that, under Rule 81.05(a)(1), the 10-day period did not begin to run until 30 days after the court entered its order. Rule 81.05(a)(1) delays the effective date of a judgment for 30 days so that the trial court has continuing jurisdiction to modify or amend its ruling before it becomes final and appealable. An interlocutory order, however, remains interlocutory throughout the case (Rule 74.01(b)). The fact that a statute makes an interlocutory order appealable does not make Rule 81.05(a)(1) applicable; it is not a judgment or dispositive order.