Dixon v. DixonAnnotate this Case
Respondent-appellee Billie Dixon moved to dismiss petitioner-appellant John Dixon’s appeal due to mootness and lack of jurisdiction because the appeal was taken without a N.D.R.Civ.P. 54(b) certification. This action started in October 2013 when John sought an accounting of the Shirley A. Dixon Revocable Trust, removal of Billie as trustee, court supervised administration of the trust, reimbursement of the trust for unauthorized distributions, and his attorney fees expended in the action. After trial on remand the district court granted John’s request for supervised administration of the trust and denied the remaining requests for relief. On December 11, 2020, Billie filed a Petition for Order Allowing Trustee to Make Final Distribution and Allowing Termination of the Trust. On December 28, 2020, John filed objections to the petition, and on the same day the court granted Billie’s petition. On February 26, 2021, John appealed the district court’s order granting the petition. On April 12, 2021, Billie moved to dismiss the appeal. On April 24, 2021, the district court granted Billie’s motion for stay, ordering “that its Order Allowing Trustee to Make Final Distribution and Allowing Termination of the Trust (Doc. ID# 239), and any attempts to enforce that Order, are hereby stayed, effective March 29, 2021, pending completion of the appeal in this matter filed by Petitioner John W. Dixon.” Thereafter, Billie moved to dismiss this appeal as moot and for lack of N.D.R.Civ.P. 54(b) certification. The North Dakota Supreme Court concluded the latter issue was dispositive: the Supreme Court was without jurisdiction to adjudicate the appeal because the trust was court-supervised, and the last order was not final as to all matters relating to the trust.