There is a limited of time to appeal a decision. In Missouri, it is usually ten days after a judgment becomes “final.” When a judgment becomes “final” also varies.
There is an exception to the general appeal deadline. A party may seek a special order in the appellate court to file a late notice of appeal. Under Rule 81.07(a), the request must be made no later than six months from the date of the judgment. There must also be a “showing by affidavit, or otherwise, that the delay was not due to appellant’s culpable negligence.” Rule 81.07(a). The purpose of this rule is to provide a six-month grace period, from the date of final judgment, during which an appellate court has discretion to allow the late filing of an appeal. Lavelock v. Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., 169 S.W.3d 865, 866 n1 (Mo. 2005).
What constitutes “culpable negligence”? It is “negligent conduct that, while not intentional, involves a disregard of the consequences likely to result from one’s actions.” Adkins v. Hontz, 280 S.W.3d 672, 675 (Mo. App. W.D. 2009) (citing BLACK’S LAW DICTIONARY 1056-57 (7th ed.1999)).