RULE 58.

218

Rule 58: Entry of Judgment.

Entry of a judgment or an order of final disposition is effective when a judgment containing one of the following is marked on the face by the clerk as filed for entry:


(1) the signatures of the judge and all parties or counsel, or

(2) the signatures of the judge and one party or counsel with a certificate of counsel that a copy of the proposed order has been served on all other parties or counsel, or

(3) the signature of the judge and a certificate of the clerk that a copy has been served on all other parties or counsel.
Following entry of judgment the clerk shall make appropriate docket notations and shall copy the judgment on the minutes, but failure to do so will not affect validity of the entry of judgment. When requested by counsel or pro se parties, the clerk shall forthwith mail or deliver a copy of the entered judgment to all parties or counsel. If the clerk fails to forthwith mail or deliver, a party prejudiced by that failure may seek relief under Rule 60.

[As amended effective July 1, 1980; by order entered January 31, 1984, effective August 20, 1984; by order entered March 10, 1993, effective July 1, 1993; and by order effective July 1, 1997, and by order effective July 1, 2005.]

Advisory Commission Comments.

This Rule is designed to make uniform across the State the procedure for the entry of judgment and to make certain the effective date of a judgment. Under this Rule, unless otherwise ordered by the court, the effective date of a judgment is the date of its filing with the clerk after being signed by the judge, even though it may not be copied or entered on the minute book until a later date.

Advisory Commission Comments [1980].

This [1980] amendment adds the requirement that a judgment or other action of the court cannot be filed until it bears not only signature of the judge [which in 1980 was required under then-numbered Rule 58.02], but also (1) the signatures of all parties or their counsel or (2) a certificate of counsel or the clerk that copies of the judgment or action of the court have been served on all parties or counsel of record. The purpose of this amendment is to provide notice to all parties or their counsel before judgment becomes final to allow either party to file a timely appeal. [1980.]

Advisory Commission Comments [1984].

This rule [then-numbered Rule 58.03] introduces the concept of notice of entry of judgment. Occasionally, it is foreseeable that a judgment, order or decree will not be entered promptly upon submission to the judge although a party contemplates filing an appeal, motion for a new trial or similar post trial motion. When a party anticipates such a judgment, decree or order will not be promptly entered, the party may be assured of notice of entry by employing this Rule 58.03. [1984.]

T.R.C.P. 5.02 requires service on counsel when a party is represented. [1984.]

Advisory Commission Comments [1993].

The amended rule changes the holding of Yearout v. Trusty, 684 S.W.2d 612 (Tenn. 1984), which required a copy of the judgment signed by only one lawyer to be mailed to opposing counsel bearing the "date of entry." That was an impossible requirement, as the judgment could not be entered – and could not have an entry date – until a copy had been mailed to opposing counsel.

The rule is also abbreviated and carries a new title.

Advisory Commission Comments [1997].

The second sentence is amended to make the right to notice of the judgment entry date meaningful. A lawyer or party who requests a copy of the judgment stamped with the entry date should not be prejudiced by a clerk's failure to comply with the request.

Advisory Commission Comments [2005].

The rule is amended to allay concerns raised in Binkley v. Medling, 117 S.W.3d 252 (Tenn. 2003). Upon request the clerk is to mail “forthwith” (immediately, without delay) a copy of the judgment to all concerned. The request and mailing, or failure to mail, do not affect the time for filing a post-trial motion authorized by these rules (e.g., motion to alter or amend, or motion for a new trial) or a notice of appeal. Parties prejudiced by clerical negligence may pursue relief by a Rule 60 motion.

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