Providence County Family Court, P 15-1203, Patricia K.
Asquith Associate Justice.
Plaintiff: Colleen M. Crudele, Esq.
Defendant: Christopher Lombardi, Pro Se.
Suttell, C.J., Goldberg, Flaherty, Robinson, and Indeglia,
pro se defendant, Christopher Lombardi,
appeals from a March 22, 2017 Consent Order of the Family
Court dismissing his "Motion for a New Judge" and
further stating that "all child support issues between
the parties including * * * the child support garnishment
have been fully resolved by separate order * * *." This
matter came before the Supreme Court for oral argument on
October 25, 2018, pursuant to an order directing the parties
to appear and show cause why the issues raised in this appeal
should not be summarily decided. After a close review of the
record and careful consideration of the parties'
arguments (both written and oral), we are satisfied that
cause has not been shown and that this appeal may be decided
at this time.
9, 2015, the plaintiff, Tammy Lombardi, filed a complaint for
divorce from Christopher. A Family Court justice held a
hearing on October 18, 2016, after which, on December 15,
2016, a decision pending entry of final judgment of divorce
entered. That decision provided, in pertinent part as
follows: "Mother shall get the Social Security
Disability dependency benefit for [Valerie], and father shall
get the Social Security Disability dependency benefit for
[Cedric]. Child support shall be left open at this
time." Neither party ever filed a motion to vacate that
decision, nor was that decision appealed to this Court.
Christopher did, however, file several motions thereafter in
Family Court, concerning which a hearing was held on March
after the March 22, 2017 hearing, the parties engaged in a
"Consent Meeting" at the Family Court, and an
attorney from the Rhode Island Department of Human Services
took part in that meeting. Eventually, both Tammy and
Christopher signed the Consent Order that includes the
following two provisions with which Christopher now takes
"1. The parties agree that the following motions shall
"A. Defendant's Motion for a New Judge and
Plaintiff's Motion to Dismiss Defendant's Motion for
New Judge * * *.
"* * *
"3. That all child support issues between the parties
including but not limited to the SSDI dependency benefits for
both children and the child support garnishment have been
fully resolved by Separate Order entered [b]y the state of RI
arising from today's hearing date."
Family Court justice signed the Consent Order, and it entered
on the same day as the Consent Meeting.
April 11, 2017, Christopher filed an appeal from the Consent
Order, asking this Court to "strike item #1a of the * *
* Consent Order" and to "strike item #3 of the * *
* Consent Order." Before this Court, Christopher declares
with respect to item 1A that he "adamantly rejects the
notion and language in its ENTIRETY;" and he also
asserts that he, "at no time, agreed to the
language" in item 3. (Emphasis in original.)
challenge to the Consent Order is clearly
interlocutory. As such, the only means for seeking
appellate review by this Court would have been by the filing
of a petition for issuance of a writ of certiorari. See
Henderson v. Henderson, 818 A.2d 669, 671 (R.I. 2003).
In Dale v. Dale, 37 A.3d 124 (R.I. 2012) (mem.),
this Court stated that "[i]nterlocutory orders are
reviewable only by way of writ of ...