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What Is a Final Judgment?


A judge can issue various types of court orders depending on what is needed to resolve a fact of a case or the case itself. A court order can be issued at the end of a court hearing or for the purposes of providing a motion to dismiss. This type of court order is referred to as a final judgment, which is also known as a final decision or final decree in some cases.


A final judgment is rendered with the intent of finality. Thus, an appeal with regards to a final judgment must be done at a higher court of law. An appeal is usually made when one of the litigants believe that an error in judgment was made with regards to the judge’s interpretation of the law. In criminal cases, it is possible for a defendant and his or her legal counsel to appeal a final judgment of conviction if the defendant or his or her lawyer believes that a substantive or procedural error occurred. It is also possible for the prosecutor to appeal the final judgment if he or she believes that the punishment is not commensurate to the crime committed.


A final judgment can also appear as the final legal hurdle in a divorce case. It provides a decision for matters regarding spousal support, child support and custody, and division of marital property. A final judgment applies to all civil and criminal cases, and cannot be contested at the court level at which it was given.

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