ON MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE APPEAL OUT OF TIME
ROY NOBLE LEE, PRESIDING JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:
The question here is whether or not this Court will enforce the provisions of Miss. Sup.Ct. Rule 48 and apply that rule to this case.
The genesis of Rule 48 is Moran v. Necaise, 437 So. 2d 1222 (Miss. 1983), where we said:
Events transpiring and brought to our attention since Dixieland, Allgood, and Garrett, clearly establish that confusion exists regarding applicable procedures to be taken in appeals from lower courts. The administration of justice will be better served by only one method of appeal rather than the three discussed above and presently allowable under our statutes and decisions. We now deem it needful and imperative, in keeping with judicial economy, for the prevention of further confusion, to provide for
one (and only one) method of appeal to the Supreme Court of Mississippi. No longer is it doubted that we have the power to act accordingly. Newell v. State, 308 So.2d 71 (Miss.1975). Therefore, we now promulgate Supreme Court of Mississippi Rule 48, attached as APPENDIX" A ", to be effective January 1, 1984. 437 So.2d at 1225.
The Court adopted Rule 48 on the date Moran, supra, was decided, effective January 1, 1984. It was given wide publication, including Moran, supra; and Mississippi Supreme Court Rules, Mississippi Cases, 435-439 So. 2d at XXI; and Mississippi Rules of Court, (1984-85) published by West Publishing Company.
The present case was tried in the Chancery Court of the First Judicial District, Hinds County, Mississippi, and judgment entered January 18, 1985, more than twelve (12) months after the effective date of Rule 48. Movants attorneys candidly admit that they were not aware of Rule 48 and that they did not know of the conflict between Mississippi Code Annotated 11-51-5 (1972) and Rule 48, which changed that section of the law. Then, they simply request that they be granted an out-of-time appeal.
We recognize that there are exceptional cases in which the rule should not be strictly applied. For a short period of time after the effective date of the adoption of the rule, the Court exercised some leniency in its application and enforcement under circumstances then existing.
The Bench and Bar should have been aware of Rule 48 long ago. In order that the rule may be meaningful and workable, it must be enforced. The fact that some members of the Bar honestly are not aware of the rule and its requirements for appealing to this Court, is inexcusable.
The motion for leave to file appeal out of time is denied.
PATTERSON, C.J., WALKER, P.J., HAWKINS, PRATHER, ROBERTSON, and SULLIVAN, CONCUR. ANDERSON and DAN LEE, ...