Castro v. Patane (CA1 5/24/11)

It has been over two years since we complained about memorandum decisions; things haven’t changed (yeah, we’re shocked, too), so time to do it again.

This is an order dismissing an appeal for lack of jurisdiction. The details of the case – a mess involving foreclosure – aren’t important. Appellant’s brief argued only about a non-appealable order (contrary to what her docketing statement said, to which the court apparently looked when denying an earlier motion to dismiss, though there’s no indication that anybody’s going to be sanctioned). It takes the court about a page to deal with that.

So why is the decision eleven pages long?

Because of eight pages of “Facts and Procedural History.” And even that mere heading has its own footnote (this is Division One, remember): it tells us that the facts are undisputed.

So who in the world is the court talking to? Does it really think that anybody needs to read that? Nobody will, nobody benefits, and nobody cares. The parties know the facts and procedural history. There isn’t any remand to worry about. The Supreme Court won’t touch this with a ten-foot pole but even if it did a Petition can easily enough handle undisputed facts. 

A few of them help explain why the court had denied the motion; it’s courteous of the court to do that but one sentence could have done it nicely. Eight pages of undisputed facts in a memorandum order that has very little to do with any of them?  In a reported decision this would be bad enough – and often is. Here it’s beyond ridiculous.