Can an amendment to a final judgment be used as a basis for an appeal?

California, United States of America

The following excerpt is from Estate of Lock, 122 Cal.App.3d 892, 176 Cal.Rptr. 358 (Cal. App. 1981):

However, the amendment merely corrected a clerical error, an action which the court was at liberty to take even if the earlier decision were deemed a final judgment. (People v. Hartsell (1973) 34 Cal.App.3d 8, 13, 109 Cal.Rptr. 627.) Moreover, the correction was issued after appellant filed notice of appeal, and long after the court made and entered its "Decision" phrased in terms of a final judgment. Appellant was entitled to rely upon this ruling and appeal from it as a final judgment. We thus conclude that the instant appeal should not be dismissed as premature, and proceed to the merits. 5

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