Interlocutory Appeals Law and Legal Definition

An interlocutory appeal is an appeal of a ruling by a trial court that is made before the trial itself has concluded. It asks an appellate court to review an aspect of the case before the trial has concluded. In the U.S., such an appeal can be made if extraordinary circumstances exist that would prevent the case from being properly decided if the appeal wasn't heard. Interlocutory appeals are generally restricted by state and federal appellate courts because courts do not want fractional litigation. These appeals are entertained to prevent irreparable harm from occurring to a person or property during the pendency of a lawsuit or proceeding. Interlocutory orders may be issued in a divorce proceeding to prevent injury or irreparable harm during the pendency of the lawsuit. Courts may also issue interlocutory orders where property is about to be sold or forfeited and a lawsuit has been filed seeking to stop the action. In such cases, the court enters an interlocutory injunction, preventing the transfer of property until it has made a final decision.