The interplay between motions for reconsideration and timely appeals is one that can cause trouble if the litigant and attorneys are not careful. Frequent discussion occurs among attorneys as to whether the filing of a motion for reconsideration tolls the appeal period when one can file an appeal. However, the issue is not as simple as it may seem.

Recently, the Pennsylvania Superior Court case of J.P. v. J.S., ___ A.3d ___, 2019 Pa. Super. 2011 (Pa. Super. 2019) addressed this issue head on. The J.P. case pertained to a child custody decision entered by the trial court permitting the father to relocate with the child from Philadelphia to Montgomery County. The trial court also granted primary physical custody to the father. The order entered by the trial court was dated Jan. 2. According to the Superior Court decision, the mother timely filed a petition for reconsideration Jan. 7 and, thereafter, retained counsel who entered her appearance on Jan. 14 and filed a petition to modify custody.