from the Superior Court in Pima County No. C20154817 The
Honorable Jeffrey T. Bergin, Judge
Michael G. Rankin, City Attorney By Alan L. Merritt, Deputy
City Attorney, Jessie M. Pringle, Senior Assistant
Prosecuting Attorney, and Mari L. Worman, Associate
Prosecuting Attorney, Tucson Counsel for
PLLC, Tucson By T. William Pew III Counsel for
Eppich authored the opinion of the Court, in which Presiding
Judge Vásquez and Judge Espinosa concurred.
Noah Sensibar appeals from the superior court's ruling
affirming the Tucson City Court's finding that he had
violated the Tucson City Code (TCC). He argues that the
municipal ordinance in question is facially invalid because
it conflicts with a state statute shielding members or agents
of a limited liability corporation from personal liability.
Because his appeal is untimely, we dismiss for lack of
and Procedural Background
In February 2015, the City of Tucson filed a complaint in
city court alleging Sensibar, the managing member and
statutory agent of Blue Jay Real Estate LLC, an Arizona
corporation, was responsible for building code violations. In
May of that year, after a hearing, the city court found
Sensibar responsible and he timely appealed that decision to
the superior court. On January 4, 2016, the superior court
affirmed the city court's ruling and denied
Sensibar's motion for rehearing on February 5, 2016.
Sensibar filed a notice of appeal on February 8, 2016. We
determined that we lacked jurisdiction and dismissed the
appeal as untimely. City of Tucson v. Sensibar, No.
2 CA-CV 2016-0051, ¶ 4 (Ariz. App. Oct. 11, 2016) (mem.
decision). We also declined Sensibar's request that we
exercise special-action jurisdiction. Id. ¶ 5.
In October 2016, we denied Sensibar's motion for
reconsideration and our mandate issued on January 17, 2017.
On March 23, 2017, Sensibar asked the superior court to amend
its January 2016 ruling to include language pursuant to Rule
54(c), Ariz. R. Civ. P. On April 17, 2017, the superior court
entered an amended order finding that "all matters
asserted in this action requiring resolution before entry of
final judgment were resolved by this Court according to this
Court's Ruling dated January 4, 2016 . . . ."
Sensibar filed a second notice of appeal on April 20, 2017.
5The city argues that Sensibar's instant appeal
is untimely, citing our prior decision dismissing his first
appeal. Sensibar counters that the superior court's
original ruling was not appealable as a final order due to
its lack of Rule 54 language. In effect, he contends his
first notice of appeal was premature and we therefore erred
in finding that it was filed after the time to appeal had
expired. The city disagrees, contending Rule 54(c) language
is unnecessary to render the superior court's ruling
6 Under the Arizona Rules of Civil Procedure, a
judgment is not final unless the court expressly indicates
its finality as provided in Rule 54. When appellate
jurisdiction is premised upon A.R.S. § 12-2101(A)(1), a
judgment must contain Rule 54(b) or (c) language in order to
be appealable. Brumett v. MGA Home Healthcare,
L.L.C., 240 Ariz. 420, ¶ 1 (App. 2016). When there
is an independent statutory basis for appeal, however, Rule
54 language is not always a prerequisite to the appeal of a
superior court ruling. Id. ¶ 11. Whether Rule
54 language is necessary depends on whether the independent
basis for appeal requires the court's ruling to comply
with Rule 54. Compare id. ¶ 13 (compliance with
Rule 54 required insofar as Rules of Probate Procedure
incorporate Rules of Civil Procedure unless inconsistent),
with id. ¶ 15 (compliance with Rule 54 would be
contrary to statutory directive and is not required).
This court's jurisdiction to consider this matter is
governed by A.R.S. § 22-375, which provides that an
appeal may be taken "from a final judgment of the
superior court" in an action appealed from a lower court
if the action involves, inter alia, the validity of a
municipal statute. Because our jurisdiction to consider
Sensibar's claim is not found in § 12-2101(A)(1),
Rule 54 language is not necessarily required to render the
superior court's decision appealable. See
Brumett,240 Ariz. 420, ¶ 11. However, we must