Under the Saudi legal process, what the appeals court ruling means is that the controversial marriage is still in effect, but a challenge to the marriage by the girl's mother is still alive.
Rights groups hailed this week's decision because it keeps the mother's challenge going.
"I think that it happened because of the mother, because she refused to accept the [original] verdict, because she challenged the court in and took it to the appeals court, said Saudi women's rights activist Wajeha Al-Huwaider. "I really admire the mother for this."
The mother is extremely relieved, the family member told CNN. She also expressed her thanks to the head of the appeals court for the attention paid the case, according to the Saudi daily newspaper Al-Riyadh on Tuesday.
The appeals court action now sends the case back to the earlier judge, who will decide whether to stand by his original decision.