Stays of judgment enforcement in California are governed by statute. There are basically only two ways to stay enforcement of a money judgment: (1) post a bond and file a notice of appeal, or (2) ask for a temporary stay under Code of Civil Procedure section 918 (but the stay only lasts until the deadline to file an appeal, plus 10 days).
So the indefinite stay of an immediately-enforceable sanctions order in Marriage of Bush (D4d3 Jun. 15, 2023 No. G061202) 2023 WL 4013349 (nonpub. opn.) was a little surprising. The court granted sanctions of $3,635 in favor of the husband against the wife. But until the court decided the property issues, it was still possible the ultimate judgment would wind up with the husband owing the wife. So the judge stayed enforcement of the money order.
Can the trial court do this? Just take an immediately enforceable order for the payment of money, and stay enforcement?
Yes, the Court of Appeal held. But the court did not explain why.
Comment: There is a key detail that, if changed, would require a different outcome. That detail is the amount of the discovery sanction of $3,635. If instead the amount was greater than $5,000, the sanction would have been immediately appealable. And in that case, the order could not have been stayed consistent with section 918 longer than 10 days after the deadline to appeal.